Singapore’s New Payments Law Comes Into Effect

Singapore’s Payment Services Act comes into effect today, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced.

The new law – which was first passed in January 2019 – effectively covers all crypto businesses and exchanges in Singapore and it requires them to register and then apply for a license to operate. It also brings these services under current anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist-financing (CTF) rules.

“Digital Payment Token Services” – what the MAS calls crypto firms – will have a month to register with the central bank and another six post-registration to apply for a payments license.

The licenses, happily enough, seem nuanced, with different licenses for different activities. Here’s The Block:

The act, however, does not impose uniform licensing requirements. It adopts an activity-based licensing framework for different kinds of activities firms undertake and risks they pose.

There are three classes of licenses – a money-changing license, a standard payment institution, and a major payment institution, per the act. “Each service provider needs to hold only one of the three licenses.”

“The activity-based and risk-focused regulatory structure allows rules to be applied proportionately and to be robust to changing business models. The PS Act will facilitate growth and innovation while mitigating risk and fostering confidence in our payments landscape,” said Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director at MAS.

At any rate, The Block says that firms are currently making a beeline to register. Singapore-based Zipmex is one of those firms, and its CEO Marcus Lim told the news portal that regulation brings “’legitimacy and credibility’ to digital assets.”

Photo: Jpatokal