BIS’ Project Nexus prototype links Eurosystem, Malaysia and Singapore

PETALING JAYA: BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre and partners announced today that their Project Nexus prototype has linked Eurosystem, Malaysia and Singapore, allowing payments to be sent across the three parties almost instantaneously using mobile phone numbers.

Along with partners in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, the year-long collaboration included the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Bank of Italy and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), plus payment system operators PayNet and Banking Computer Services (BCS).

BIS Innovation Hub head Cecilia Skingsley said, “Our success in connecting three national payment systems and the potential pave the way for further development, and we look forward to collaborating with our partner central banks on the next phase of the project.”

BNM assistant governor Suhaimi Ali said, “Our vision is to realise the shared aspiration for faster, cheaper and more accessible cross-border payments. We participate in Project Nexus Phase 3 to realise that vision. Building on the success of the Nexus proof-of-concept, we are well-placed to accelerate the development of this next-generation payment connectivity model to bring benefits to the people of Malaysia and Asean.”

The Nexus report, published today, provides details on the early experiments and technical specifications for the multilateral interlinking of payment systems. The success of the experiment paves the way for the BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre to explore the practical applications of a distributed multilateral network.

The Nexus concept was developed as a multilateral network connecting multiple domestic instant payment systems (IPS) with the aim of achieving wider payments connectivity.

Test payments were initiated using mobile phone numbers or the recipients’ company registration numbers via the respective countries’ payment system operators: Eurosystem’s Target Instant Payment System, Malaysia’s Real-time Retail Payments Platform and Singapore’s Fast and Secure Transfers payment system.

For the next phase of the project – in line with their November 2022 Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Regional Payment Connectivity – Bank Indonesia, BNM, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, MAS and the Bank of Thailand will leverage experiences from Phase I and Phase II of the project towards connecting their countries’ IPS and facilitate cross-border transactions across a combined population of about 500 million people.

The Innovation Hub’s Singapore Centre will collaborate with these central banks to facilitate their design processes, as they aim to connect their domestic payment systems.

Gradually over several years, BIS and the five central banks envisage that Nexus could eventually be implemented globally.

To achieve this, they aim to establish a Global Advisory Panel of central banks and payment system operators to advise on the project’s development beyond the Southeast Asian region. The Bank of Italy and the European Central Bank will be invited to join this panel.