Rise of fintech heralds Singapore payments revamp
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released a consultation paper on proposed changes to the payments regulatory framework and establishment of a National Payments Council.
Jacqueline Loh, MAS deputy managing director, says this is an “important step for MAS and the payments industry to co-create the future of Singapore’s payments landscape; one where payments are swift, simple, and secure, supported by streamlined regulation and inclusive governance”.
MAS says Singapore’s payment regulations currently cut across two pieces of legislation – the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (PS(O)A) and the Money-changing and Remittance Businesses Act (MCRBA).
With technological advances and the advent of fintech, it says the “lines between payments and remittance are blurring; new payment providers are emerging and some do not fit neatly into these categories”.
MAS proposes to bring these regulations under a single framework that will provide for the licensing, regulation and supervision of all payments services, including stored value facility holders, remittance companies, and virtual currency intermediaries.
Regulation will be applied on an activity basis, and entities will only be required to apply for a single licence to undertake several payment activities. The proposed framework aims to “strengthen standards” of consumer protection, anti-money laundering (AML), and cybersecurity related to payment activities.
On top of this, MAS proposes to establish a National Payments Council to co-ordinate “key initiatives” such as promoting interoperability and adopting common standards. The council will draw its members from among users and providers of payment solutions.
MAS seeks industry feedback on the proposed scope of the payments council, its composition, ownership and powers.
The public consultation will last from 25 August 2016 to 31 October 2016 and is the first in a series of consultations. The full 24-page consultation paper can be found here.
In a separate announcement, MAS has also just opened its purpose-built fintech innovation lab – known as Looking Glass @ MAS.