MAS seeks changes to payments regulatory framework

MAS seeks changes to payments regulatory framework

SINGAPORE - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released a consultation paper on proposed changes to the payments regulatory framework for the licensing, regulation and supervision of all payments services.

In a press statement on Aug 25, the authority also said that it will establish a National Payments Council.

Currently, Singapore's payment regulations cut across two pieces of legislation - the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (PS(O)A) and the Money-changing and Remittance Businesses Act (MCRBA), which govern stored value and remittances respectively.

However, technological advances and the advent of FinTech have caused the line between payments and remittance to blur. Furthermore, as new payment providers are emerging, some do not fit neatly into these categories.

In response to these issues, MAS is proposing to bring these regulations under 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. Under this framework, 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 aims to strengthen standards of consumer protection, anti-money laundering, and cyber security related to payment activities, while facilitating innovation and system interoperability," a MAS spokesperson said in the statement.

The new National Payments Council will be made up of users and providers of payment solutions, and coordinate key initiatives such as promoting interoperability and adopting common standards.

MAS added that it is seeking industry feedback on the proposed scope of the payments council, its composition, ownership and powers.

Public consultation will last from Aug 25 to Oct 31. It is the first in a series of consultations on the proposed regulatory framework and governance model for Singapore's payments landscape.

Interested parties can view the consultation paper on the MAS website.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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