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METI Proudly Confirms Japan and ASEAN to Unify QR Code Payment Systems by 2025

ByYasmeeta Oon

Mar 21, 2024
METI Confirms Japan and ASEAN to Unify QR Code Payment Systems by 2025

In a groundbreaking move set to revolutionize financial transactions, Japan, in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has announced plans to unify QR code payment systems by the year 2025. This initiative, as reported by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and confirmed by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), is aimed at streamlining expenditures and facilitating easier currency transactions, especially for tourists traversing between these regions.

The integration of QR code payment systems between Japan and ASEAN countries represents a significant leap towards enhancing economic cooperation and promoting cashless transactions across borders. METI officials have highlighted ongoing discussions with governments and central banks across Southeast Asia to realize this vision. Spearheaded by the Cashless Promotion Council, efforts are underway to establish a seamless payment infrastructure connecting domestic and international services, with a target completion date set for 2024.

  • Unified QR Code System: Starting in 2025, Japan and ASEAN will adopt a harmonized QR code payment mechanism to simplify cross-border transactions.
  • Cashless Promotion: A dedicated council is expediting the development of an interconnected payment framework, poised for completion by next year.
  • Expanding Services: The initiative aims to overcome current limitations, enabling consumers to pay for any service directly using the new system.

Currently, Japan hosts multiple QR code-based payment services like Paypay and Rakuten Pay, which are limited to transactions within registered services. This integration seeks to broaden the scope of services accessible to consumers, allowing for payments across a wider range of offerings without the need for currency exchange.

In 2022, a significant stride was made towards payment integration in Southeast Asia when five countries—Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines—signed a memorandum of understanding. This agreement laid the groundwork for enhanced cooperation in various sectors, including financial services.

Region2022 Non-Cash Payment Volume (USD)QR Code Contribution
Japan$750 billion2.6%
ASEAN (6 major countries)$858 billionVaries (Up to 28% in Indonesia, 23% in Thailand)
Source: Fidelity National Information Services (FIS)
  • Extensive Negotiations: Japan is set to engage in discussions with ASEAN nations to implement this integrated payment system effectively.
  • Growing Market: Non-cash payments in Japan accounted for approximately $750 billion in 2022, with a minor share from QR codes.
  • Digital Ascendance: In contrast, six major Southeast Asian countries reported digital transactions totaling $858 billion the same year, showcasing a higher adoption rate of QR code payments.

This collaborative effort marks a significant step towards the realization of a more interconnected and financially inclusive Asia, promoting ease of travel and commerce across the region.


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Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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