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The Payment Services Act

07 February 2019

The newly proposed Payment Services Act aims to simplify the current regulatory payments system in Singapore by streamlining services under a single piece of legislation. Glen Chee Director at DWF Compliance highlights the key changes.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has proposed to enact a new payments legislation in the form of the proposed Payment Services Act (the “Act”). The aim of the Act is to simplify the current regulatory payments system in Singapore by:  

(a) streamlining payment services under a single piece legislation by combining the PS(O)A and the MCRBA;

(b) enhancing the scope of regulated activities to take into account developments in payment services; and

(c) calibrating regulations according to the risks the activities pose by adopting a modular regulatory regime.

The activities regulated under the licensing regime are as follows.

(a) Activity A: Account issuance services;

(b) Activity B: Domestic money transfer services;

(c) Activity C: Cross border money transfer services;

(d) Activity D: Merchant acquisition services;

(e) Activity E: Electronic money issuance;

(f)  Activity F: Virtual currency services;

(g) Activity G: Money-changing services.


The Compliance Requirements

The MAS proposed that the regulation of licensees be calibrated according to their activities based on the risks or regulatory concerns that they pose, namely:

(a) Money-Laundering & Terrorism Financing

(b) User Protection

(c) Interoperability

(d) Technology risk

What does this mean for remittance and money changer companies?



Licensees offering retail payment activities will be grouped into three main license classes, namely:

(a) Money-Changing license;

(b) Standard Payment Institution license; and

(c) Major Payment Institution license.

To comply with the new regime, all licensees are required to classify their business activities and make sure their compliance obligations are in accordance to the Act and inform MAS of the specific activities they are conducting within six months of the commencement of the Bill.


If you'd like to find out more about the implications of the MAS proposals or any other compliance issue, we can help you. Please contact Glen Chee, Director of DWF Compliance glen.chee@dwfcompliance.com or +65-96550863.