The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has moved the Payment Services Bill for its first reading in Parliament, in a bid to regulate all payment services within a single legislation.
The new bill, which considers new developments in the payment sector and the subsequent risks, will replace the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act and the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act.
It empowers MAS to regulate seven payment services, including cryptocurrencies.
The bill aims to address money-laundering and terrorism financing, cyber risks, loss of funds due to insolvency, and limitations to interoperability.
It includes two parallel regulatory frameworks, one a designation regime that will support regulation of systemically important payment systems. Another is a licensing regime that will deal with retail payment services.
The bill recognises three classes of licences- money-changing licensee, standard payment institution, and major payment institution.
Money-changing licensees will be allowed to conduct only money-changing services, while standard payment institutions will be allowed to carry out any combination of regulated activities that are below specified thresholds.
Major payment institutions will be allowed to carry out payment services above specified thresholds.
In order to segregate payment services licensees from deposit-taking institutions, the bill bars
e-money issuers from lending any customer money.
Moreover, MAS will have general powers over all regulated entities. These include powers to launch probe and emergency powers.