AMBD to streamline Brunei’s digital payments

by Haadi Bakar
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The Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) will soon centralise all digital transactions in Brunei through a shared ‘payment hub’.

The country’s central bank said it is developing a payment hub that will integrate existing and future payment systems and channels to avoid fragmentation in the Brunei market.

AMBD’s managing director Yusof Hj Abd Rahman said the hub would establish common standards amongst payment service providers (PSPs) and integrate with regional systems to enable cross-border payments.

“In the long run, the same payment infrastructure will serve as the conduit for cross-border integration with other ASEAN markets, so that anyone in ASEAN can make secure payments throughout the region quickly, conveniently and at low cost,” Yusof said during the launch of AMBD’s Digital Payment Roadmap for Brunei Darussalam 2019-2025 yesterday.

With Brunei’s mobile internet penetration at 116 per cent, the adoption of digital payments has been rapidly increasing. 

According to AMBD’s survey of bank payment services, internet banking has increased 135 per cent from 2016 to 2017, while card use has increased 33 per cent to B$1.98 billion over ther same period.

Head of Payment and Settlement System for AMBD Lim Shaw Fhen said the shared payment hub will be interoperable, enabling PSPs to connect in real-time, supporting an open, competitive market.

With digital payments in Brunei managed more efficiently through the hub, AMBD forecasts the creation of more products and services that are accessible to consumers and affordable for business.

Lim said that the common standards and centralised management of the hub by AMBD will ultimately help build public trust to increase their uptake.

Under the roadmap, AMDB says that secure and low-cost point-of-sales technology (e.g. QR codes, biometric solutions and contactless payments) must become available to MSMEs and not just established retailers.

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