Key license reforms for Singapore-based fintechs


Size is nothing to go by when it comes to Singapore’s fintech prowess, with the nation set to reform its payment laws to further expand its innovation frontier.

Under the newly proposed framework in the latest Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) consultation paper, businesses will still have to apply for payment-related activities, but will no longer be required to obtain multiple licenses to do so.

“Payments are one of the key components of fintech and serves as a foundation for our vision of a smart financial centre. This public consultation is an important step for MAS and the payments industry,” said MAS deputy managing director, Jacqueline Loh.

“[We are] co-creating the future of Singapore’s payment landscape, one where payments are swift, simple and secure, supported by streamlined regulation and inclusive governance.”

As part of the reforms, MAS has also proposed a National Payments Council to coordinate national initiatives in the alternative finance space, including the promoting of interoperability. Users and providers of payment solutions are set to form the council body and foster partnerships among stakeholders and investors to drive innovative payment solutions.

The delivery of the consultation paper comes directly off the back of a MAS announcement of a change to the structure of its governing board on August 29th. Minister for national development Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai has stepped down to the board after five years, while Ong Ye Kung will join the board in a term of appointment lasting until May 31, 2019.

Ong is the acting minister of education, senior minister of state, ministry of defence, and former director of group strategy at Keppel Corporation.