IMDA and MAS seek feedback on proposals to strengthen participation in SGQR
28 October 2022
The Info-communications Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) jointly published a consultation paper dated 26 September 2022 to seek feedback on three key proposals to strengthen participation in the Singapore Quick Response Code Scheme (“SGQR”). The public consultation closed on 28 October 2022.
Set out below is a summary of the proposals.
Proposal 1: New set of guidelines covering MAS’ expectations on all Relevant Merchant Acquirers through their participation in the SGQR
IMDA and MAS seek to introduce a new set of guidelines which cover MAS’ expectations on all Relevant Merchant Acquirers through their participation in the SGQR (“Proposed Guidelines on Participation in SGQR”).
The Proposed Guidelines on Participation in SGQR define a “Relevant Merchant Acquirer” as any major payment institution or any exempt payment service provider that provides the Relevant Merchant Acquisition Service to any merchant. A “Relevant Merchant Acquisition Service” is defined as the provision of merchant acquisition service to any merchant through a static quick response (“QR”) code at that merchant’s physical place of business.
To continue minimising QR code payment fragmentation at merchant shopfronts, IMDA and MAS propose to add a new rule to the current Rules (i.e. existing relevant governance, membership and operating rules, and branding and presentment protocols relating to the SGQR) to require SGQR members to provide the Relevant Merchant Acquisition Service by way of an SGQR label only and not with proprietary static payment QR code labels.
The regulators also propose to exclude standard payment institutions, as defined in the Payment Services Act 2019, from the scope of the Proposed Guidelines on Participation in SGQR.
IMDA and MAS propose for the Proposed Guidelines on Participation in SGQR and the revised Rules to take effect on 1 December 2023, allowing a transition period of at least three months from the publication of the response to the SGQR consultation which is targeted for mid-2023. IMDA and MAS also propose to give existing SGQR members at least six months from the date that the Proposed Guidelines on Participation in SGQR and the revised Rules take effect, to remove all proprietary static QR code payment labels at their merchants’ physical places of business and replace them with SGQR labels. If there is broad support for the proposed transition periods, IMDA and MAS will indicate the effective date in the Proposed Guidelines on Participation in SGQR accordingly.
Proposal 2: New fee structure model for SGQR members
IMDA and MAS propose to introduce a fee structure model for SGQR members to ensure that SGQR is financially self-sustaining in the long term. The proposed fee structure model will include a one-time onboarding fee of S$1,800, an annual account maintenance fee of S$360 and a tiered annual subscription fee that depends on the total number of SGQR labels issued by the SGQR member at the end of the calendar year. There are four tiers of annual subscription fees, whereby the annual subscription fee per SGQR label by an SGQR member decreases if more SGQR labels are generated by that SGQR member.
If there is broad support for the proposed fee structure model, IMDA and MAS will propose a one-time fee collection on the effective implementation date of the revised Rules, currently set as 1 December 2023, from SGQR members who have joined SGQR prior to 1 December 2023.
Proposal 3: Conduct regular batched onboarding exercises for merchant acquirers who wish to join SGQR
IMDA and MAS propose regular batched onboarding exercises to onboard merchant acquirers who wish to join SGQR in a structured manner. Such onboarding exercises should be held at least semi-annually, and newly licensed Relevant Merchant Acquirers should register as an SGQR member in the next available onboarding exercise.
SGQR was introduced in September 2018 as the world’s first standard for a unified payment QR code which allows multiple payment schemes to be combined into a single SGQR label. The key objectives of SGQR are to solve payment QR code fragmentation, standardise payment QR code specifications and promote payment QR code interoperability.
The following materials are available on the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg via the relevant webpage: