Singapore passes Fintech-driven payments law

Executive Summary

  • Driven by new payments business models, Singapore has passed the Payment Services Act 2019.
  • Replaces old payments legislation.
  • Expected to come into effect at some point in 2019.


  • Entities providing payment services are required to obtain a licence.
  • The licence types are a money-changing licence, a standard payment institution licence, and a major payment institution licence.
  • Regulatory obligations differ depending on the type of licence.
  • Effects include, for example, restricting balances in mobile wallets (such as Singtel Dash and GrabPay) to S$5,000 and capping the total value of transfers customers can make in a year.
  • The act is intended to help protect consumers, prevent money laundering, to prevent terrorism financing.
  • The act will come into effect at some point in 2019 (to be determined by the government).
  • It will replace two existing acts – the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act (MCRBA) and the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (PS(O)A).


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