You Can Soon PayNow Money to People in Malaysia With Just Mobile Numbers


While we’re pretty much stuck in Singapore for the foreseeable future, the same can’t be said about our money.

Because come end-2022, our money can travel to Malaysian bank accounts as easily as we travelled to Johor Bahru for a day-trip during the pre-COVID-19 days.

Here’s what you need to know.

You Can Soon PayNow Money to People in Malaysia With Just Mobile Numbers

On 27 Sep 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed an exciting venture with Malaysia’s Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

They are now working to link Singapore’s PayNow system and Malaysia’s DuitNow real-time payment systems.

Basically, it means that you and a Malaysian friend can make transfers between your accounts with just one mobile number.

Very cool.

Of course, both accounts must be participating financial institutions in one of the two systems.

This also makes it convenient for those looking to remit money back to their families at home.

Very-very cool.

Now, is that the extent of this good news? Apparently not.

DuitNow and PayNow QR Codes

I know it’s hard, but imagine a future where you can travel to Johor Bahru for some retail therapy or cheap seafood again.

Image: SirAkbar17 /

Except, instead of having to bring cold hard cash, you can do so with a single device: your mobile phone.

According to MAS’s press release, the new collaboration will also allow customers to make retail transactions through scanning a QR code located at the merchant’s storefront.

This will cater to travellers from both sides of the causeway, it added.

More To Come

Don’t worry if your desired function or financial institution isn’t included in the first phase of the project.


According to MAS, the project will include more participants and a “wider range of features” progressively.

An example would be integrating distributed ledger technology-based solutions to more effectively clear payments between participating banks.

Exciting, although we all only care about the first two features mentioned up above.

According to the MAS and BNM, the project will support the cross-border payment needs of both businesses and individuals; and support cheaper and more accessible payment services.

Discussing Reopening of Borders With S’pore

As for when we’ll finally get to cross over the borders to Johor Bahru, well, that remains to be seen.


On 24 Sep 2021, it was reported that Malaysia and Singapore are holding border reopening talks soon.

It was added that the Malaysian health minister had a nice talk with his Singapore counterpart, Mr Ong Ye Kung, about the matter.

Of course, much has changed on that fateful day where restrictions, just like our belts, are tightened for the coming days.

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Feature Image: aslysun /