The central banks in Singapore and Thailand are holding preliminary discussions about linking their national digital payment networks to form a regional alliance to drive the use of mobile money.

The cooperation would connect Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay e-payment platforms, Bloomberg reported.

Naphongthawat Phothikit, director of payment systems policy at the Bank of Thailand, told Bloomberg the two organisations “are exploring the possibility” of linking their systems.

A representative of the Monetary Authority of Singapore said it encourages cross-border engagements to create a seamless and interoperable digital experience for financial services within ASEAN.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of Thailand in July signed an agreement to cooperate on financial technology.

Singapore’s PayNow rolled out in July and has more than 500,000 people registered, while PromptPay launched in January and has 24 million registrations, Bloomberg said. Both platforms enable users to transfer funds between banks and make payments from their mobile phones.

According to a 2016 report by Kantar, 53 per cent of connected consumers in Asia Pacific use their mobile phones to pay for goods or services at point of sale via apps, compared with 33 per cent in North America and 35 per cent in Europe.

The region is home to 24 mobile money deployments and accounts for 34.3 million registered accounts, according to GSMA.