Singapore will launch cross-border QR code payments with Indonesia by the end of this week, central bank chief Ravi Menon said on Thursday.

The city-state will also have instant payment linkages between its PayNow system and Malaysia's DuitNow by the end of the week.

Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), announced the new bilateral cross-border payment arrangements in a speech at the Singapore FinTech Festival.

Singapore already has bilateral instant payment linkages with Thailand and India, and QR payment linkages with China, Malaysia, and Thailand.

"Thanks to our QR payment linkages with China, Malaysia, and Thailand, travelers between Singapore and these countries experience seamless transactions – from purchasing train tickets to indulging in local shopping," said Menon.

The MAS had also on Thursday granted in-principle approval to Paxos Digital Singapore and StraitsX to issue stablecoins - a type of cryptocurrency which aims to keep a constant value and are usually backed by traditional assets such as dollars.

Singapore has been competing with the likes of Hong Kong to become a hub for stablecoin activity in Asia.

Meanwhile, the MAS will pilot the "live" issuance of wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to instantaneously settle payments across commercial banks, Menon said.

"We will take our experiments a step further next year," Menon said. "MAS will soon partner the local banks to pilot the use of wholesale CBDCs as a common settlement asset in domestic payments." (Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; additional reporting by Xinghui Kok; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)