Singapore is preparing for a FinTech revolution.
The small nation is making a big push in support of FinTech innovation by reforming its payment laws. Singapore’s financial authority said it will look to consolidate existing legislation related to payment systems, stored value facilities and remittance businesses in order to create a new combined regulatory framework.
“A more calibrated regulatory regime, applied on an activity basis to payment service providers, rather than specific payment systems, would allow the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to better address specific issues, such as consumer protection, access and corporate governance,” the agency stated. “It would also give MAS the flexibility to address emerging risks, such as cybersecurity, interoperability, technology and money laundering and terrorism financing. It is envisioned that activity-based regulation of payment service providers would build public confidence and encourage the use of electronic payments.”
It was reported that the new changes will bring about a “blurring of the lines” between payments and remittance through advances in financial technology.
Under the new framework, businesses will still have to apply to perform any payment-related activities, but they will no longer be required to obtain multiple licenses for services, such as digital wallets, acquiring, operating payment platforms, etc.
“Payments is one of the key components of FinTech and serves as a foundation for our vision of a smart financial center. 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,” MAS Deputy Managing Director Jacqueline Loh explained.
MAS will also establish a new National Payments Council (NPC) in Singapore as part of the oncoming reforms. The creation of the council is aimed at fostering innovation, collaboration and competition across the country’s payments ecosystem.
“MAS expects the NPC to coordinate and drive strategic changes which are aligned to the economy and national initiatives,” MAS explained.