The Monetary Authority of Singapore is to inject further competition into the market for payment services by opening up direct access to the nation's real-time payment plumbing to non-bank financial institutions (NFIs).
Available from from February 2021. NFIs that are licenced as major payment institutions under the Payment Services Act will be allowed to connect directly to Fast and Secure Transfers (Fast) and the PayNow overlay central addressing service .
The shift to direct access will enable users of NFI e-wallets to make real-time funds transfers between bank accounts and e-wallets as well as across different e-wallets. Currently, most e-wallets require the use of debit or credit cards to top-up funds, and funds transfers between e-wallets are not possible.
NFIs will be able to connect directly through a new Application Programming Interface (API) payment gateway developed by the Direct Fast Working Group (DFWG).
Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS says: “Direct access by NFIs to FAST and PayNow closes the last-mile gap in Singapore’s e-payments journey. Consumers who may not have ready access to debit or credit cards to fund their e-wallets will now have the option to do so directly through their bank accounts. Our vision to enable complete real-time payments interoperability will now become a reality."
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