Some of the reasons why the rupiah is accepted in these countries are the proximity of the region, the large number of Indonesian tourists visiting the country, and the existence of local currency settlement (LCS) cooperation. Then, which countries accept payments using rupiah?
The first is Malaysia. This neighboring country of Indonesia has similarities in culture, and language, and accepts rupiah payments. In addition to the large number of tourists visiting, Malaysia is the main destination country for Indonesian Migrant Workers (TKI) or currently known as Indonesian Migrant Workers (PMI).
The Malaysian central bank became one of the first central banks to establish LCS cooperation with Bank Indonesia (BI). This means that the rupiah is accepted as a means of payment in Malaysia and vice versa ringgit is accepted in Indonesia.
Indonesian tourists visiting Malaysia, and vice versa, can use their respective currencies for transactions.
The transaction is done by using the Indonesian Standard Quick Response Code (QRIS) with a QR that has crossed national borders or a QR Cross-boarder.
“Bank Indonesia has also conducted a QR Cross-border trial with Malaysia and Thailand, which allows consumers and traders in both countries to make and receive payments for goods and services via QR Code,” BI wrote in an official statement on March 16.
“In the tourism sector, foreign tourists will only need to use QR Cross-border if they want to transact during their vacation in Indonesia. Likewise, if we want to travel abroad,” added BI.
The next country is Thailand. As mentioned by BI, a trial payment with QRIS will also be carried out in Thailand. Similar to the Malaysian central bank, BI has established LCS cooperation with the Thai central bank since 2018.
Thailand is indeed one of the destinations for Indonesian tourists. Based on data from the Thai Statistics Agency, ASEAN countries are the most tourists visiting Thailand.
Of these countries, there is Indonesia, whose number of tourists continues to increase until 2019 or before the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic hit.
In 2019, the total number of ASEAN tourists visiting Thailand reached 10.75 million people. Of the total, tourists from Indonesia reached 710 thousand people, an increase of 10% from the previous year.
Before using the QR Cross-boarder, residents in Malaysia and Thailand in some areas reportedly also received payments in rupiah. This certainly cannot be separated from the many Indonesian tourists who visit the country.
However, for the official route through the QR Cross-boarder, apart from Malaysia and Thailand, BI Governor Perry Warjiyo at the end of last year revealed that it would also be implemented with Singapore, the Philippines, and the Middle East.
“If it works with Thailand, it will work with Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the Middle East,” Perry explained at a press conference, Thursday (12/16/2021).
Several countries are rumored to be following soon to accept the rupiah as a means of payment. These countries are Singapore and Saudi Arabia