Singapore launches initiative to help fintech firms meet compliance needs

It pairs startups with legal experts.

Singapore. Photo from Shutterstock.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has partnered up with Singapore’s Academy of Law (SAL) on a scheme that helps fintech firms in Singapore navigate local regulations, according to an official statement released by MAS.

Called Payments Regulatory Evaluation Program (PREP), the initiative helps connect firms within the payments industry with legal service providers who specialize in payment services regulations. This is to lessen the burden of fintech firms struggling to meet compliance needs.

Any fintech firm interested in participating in PREP will have to answer a standard questionnaire about its business in Singapore. Based on the responses, the participating law firm will provide a customized assessment report on regulations applicable.

PREP is currently in the test-run phase with seven local and international participating law firms in Singapore. It will officially launch in November 2019 at the Singapore FinTech Festival. Then, it will be open to all law firms that provide specialized legal services in Singapore.

Beginning with providing advisory services to fintech firms in the payments industry, SAL hopes that Singapore’s lawyers can eventually move on to also develop legal tech solutions in the regulatory and compliance tech fields to complement what they are currently offering to the payments firms, said SAL COO Paul Neo according to the statement.

Singapore has a vibrant fintech ecosystem with a broad range of firms operating across a multitude of fintech services. According to a PwC study, the payments sector, while not one of the top three sectors, still takes up a significant share of the industry.