Singapore Includes Cryptocurrency in New Payments Regulations

The new Payment Services Bill aims to foster innovation and reduce risk in the payment cycle.

Singapore’s financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), announced on Monday that it would be issuing a series of new regulations governing payments. The regulator says that the new regulations are designed to help foster innovation and reduce risks across the payments chain.

“The Payment Services Bill,” said MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon, “will enhance the regulatory framework for payment services in Singapore, strengthen consumer protection and engender confidence in the use of e-payments.”

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In its statement, the MAS also said that the new rules would condense all payment services regulation into a single piece of legislation. Within that legislation, there will be two separate frameworks.

Singapore – Regulating Crypto Payments?

One of these will be designed to regulate what the MAS defines as “systemically important payment systems.” The regulator says that rules governing these systems are designed to improve stability and efficiency.

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The other framework is focused on retail payment service providers (PSPs). What the regulator aims to do in this regard is less clear, but one would assume the new rules fit in with the broader goal of boosting innovation and reducing risk.

More importantly, retail payment service providers will have to get a license to provide services to merchants and customers. A broader range of firms, including those that enable domestic money transfers, merchant acquisition and the sale of cryptocurrencies, will now be required to get a PSP license from the MAS.

Those PSPs will only have to get one payments license. The type of license they will be required to get will be dependent on the scale of the risk posed by the firm. Industry and firm-specific risk mitigating measures will also be tailored to PSPs applying for a license from the MAS.

“[The new rules] illustrate,” continued Menon, “our shift towards regulation that is modular, activity-based and facilitative of growth and development in the Singapore payments landscape.”

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