Jhe concept of QR codes that was pioneered in China is gaining popularity in Southeast Asia. Central banks in the region are looking to link their payment systems that will allow customers to buy goods and services by scanning QR codes within a year.
Bloomberg reported that five of the region’s largest economies are expected to sign an agreement to integrate their networks by November, Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo told a panel on the sidelines of the Group’s meeting of the 20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Bali.
At the same panel in Bali, the Chief Executive of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ravi Menon, said this trend “can be a deeply impactful movement that we can build for the rest of the world,” before adding: “ It is a public good infrastructure that enhances financial inclusion, improves efficiency, and creates new business opportunities for all citizens.
Payments made through the system will use local currency settlements between countries. In other words, transactions made in Thailand using an Indonesian app would be directly exchanged between rupiah and baht, so the US dollar would not be needed as an intermediary. Central banks are also planning to link this network to other regional clusters around the world and bring the same structure to real-time bank transfers and possibly even central bank digital currencies.
Several companies, including Sea Limited and Goto Group in Indonesia, which are part of the EMQQ Global group Next Frontier Internet and E-Commerce ETF (FMQQ), will benefit from this trend. FMQQ, which debuted last September, seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the Next Frontier Internet and Ecommerce Index (FMQQetf.com).
The fund is designed to provide investors with exposure to the Internet and e-commerce sectors of the developing world and holds over 60 companies operating in emerging and frontier markets. FMQQ presents exposure to 17 countries, not counting China. Securities must meet a minimum market capitalization of $300 million and pass a liquidity filter that requires an average daily turnover of $1 million.
For more news, insights and strategy, visit the Emerging Markets Channel.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.