Singapore is planning to bring some changes in the regulation system in order to facilitate the use of electronic payments. The central bank underlined that Singapore is to become a major center for financial technology (fintech).
“Our vision is to make Singapore an electronic payments society, a society that spurs innovation in payments technology, that gives consumers maximum convenience and confidence in making payments,” said Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Reuters informs that Ravi Menon performed at a conference on fintech and financial inclusion jointly organized by Singapore Management University and the International Monetary Fund.
Menon stated that MAS is developing single legislation both for traditional and innovative payment businesses to unite existing money changing, remittance and payment systems law. “We will enhance the provisions for consumer protection and strengthen cyber security requirements,” he added. “Fintech is changing the face of payments…It is not efficient for companies to be regulated under two pieces of legislation which were not written with the fintech solutions of today in mind.”
According to Menon, payment service providers will need only one license to conduct multiple payment activities. Thus, Singapore is reinventing its regulation system to defend off a regulatory threat to its wealth management industry and revive a sluggish economy.
“We will make regulation modular and activity-based, so that firms need to meet only those regulations pertinent to the specific payment activities they undertake, rather than the full gamut of payments regulations,” Menon added.
MAS is also planning to put in place a Payments Council. The aim is to bring different stakeholders together to join their efforts to manage the development of Singapore’s payments landscape. The Council will help to support payment initiatives with national strategies and public interest. It will focus on the development of common payments infrastructure, promotion of open access and inter-operability in payments solutions, improvement of payments systems quality through the adoption of relevant standards and best practices, and the availability of electronic payments.
Singapore has been in focus of attention in the emerging financial technology industry lately. IBM, a leader in the sphere of blockchain research and development, has recently partnered with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to launch a Blockchain Innovation Centre in Singapore.
IBM Researchers is intending to cooperate with government, industries and academia to develop blockchain-based technologies. The company is also planning to work with cyber-security and cognitive computing technologies. Blockchain Innovation Centre together with small and medium enterprises will create new applications to grow new markets in finance and trade.
In November, Singapore will host the FinTech Festival organized by MAS. The event is intended to become a platform for collaborations, connections, and co-creations within the fintech ecosystem in and around Singapore.