Singapore’s payment services law comes into force

Photo by Mike Enerio

The Payment Services Act in Singapore has comes into force  and is expected to enhance the regulatory framework for payment services, strengthen consumer protection and promote confidence in the use of e-payments.

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the PS Act adopts an activity-based licensing framework in recognition of the different kinds of activities and new developments in payment services.

The law also expands MAS’ regulatory ambit to include new types of payment services, such as digital payment token services.

In designing the PS Act, MAS closely engaged the industry through dialogues and public consultations.

To support the transition of payment services firms to the new PS Act, MAS has initiated a payments regulatory evaluation programme to help them connect with providers of legal services.

“The PS Act provides a forward-looking and flexible regulatory framework for the payments industry,” said Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director at MAS.

“The activity-based and risk-focused regulatory structure allows rules to be applied proportionately and to be robust to changing business models,” she said. “The PS Act will facilitate growth and innovation while mitigating risk and fostering confidence in our payments landscape.”

With the the PS Act in force, the Money-changing and Remittance Businesses Act and the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act will be repealed.

In addition, MAS and the Singapore Academy of Law has launched the Payments Regulatory Evaluation Programme or PREP initiative to help connect the payments industry with legal service providers.

Instead of relying on informal referrals, PREP provides payment firms with a streamlined process to gain access to lawyers specialising in payment services regulations to meet their compliance needs.

The Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Start-ups, Singapore (ACCESS), the Singapore Blockchain Association (SBA) and the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) will be organising workshops on licensing under the PS Act 2019, which will be conducted by MAS representatives.