Japan and ASEAN’s unified QR payment system incoming in 2025

Japan moves toward interoperability with other QR code payment systems aims to strengthen its ties with the region, and hopes to increase its economic influence in Southeast Asia

Flags of Southeast Asia countries, AEC, ASEAN Economic Community

The Payments Japan Association plans to create a new system this year, aiming to integrate JPQR, Japan’s standardized QR code payment system, with international providers, enabling international cashless transactions. JPQR enables transactions via different providers using one unified QR code, facilitating in-store purchases simply through smartphone scans. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has already initiated talks with Southeast Asian governments and central banks and this initiative is set to begin by 2025.

Certain Southeast Asian nations, including Thailand and Indonesia, have standardized QR code payment systems managed by their central banks and adhered to by payment service providers. Moreover, in 2022, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines (ASEAN countries) signed an MOU to consolidate their QR payment systems, with some countries already using the service.

Japan’s pursuit of QR code payment systems interoperability seeks to fortify regional economic security and data usage, aiming to amplify its economic sway in Southeast Asia, while counterbalancing China’s intent to broaden its domestic digital payment platforms.