Singapore proposes new regulatory framework to handle payments innovation

Singapore proposes new regulatory framework to handle payments innovation

Singapore's central bank is to streamline its regulatory framework to accommodate new innovations in payments systems and establish a National Payments Council to promote interoperability and common standards among competing services.

The consultation paper from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) proposes to merge legislative rules under the the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (PS(O)A) and the Money-changing and Remittance Businesses Act (MCRBA), which govern stored value and remittances respectively.

With new innovations blurring the lines between remittance and payments, MAS intends to create 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.

It is envisaged that 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 will also seek to strengthen standards of consumer protection, anti-money laundering, and cyber security related to payment activities.

To co-ordinate the initiative and ensure interoperability, MAS proposes to establish a National Payments Council, which will draw its members from among users and providers of payment services.

MAS deputy managing director, Jacqueline Loh, comments: “Payments is one of the key components of fintech and serves as a foundation for our vision of a Smart Financial Centre. This public consultation 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.”

The public consultation will run from 25 August 2016 to 31 October 2016.

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