Singaporean government begins granting e-money licenses to digital payment providers

So far, one fintech firm has received the seal of approval from the Singapore government to run a fully operational e-money service.

Credit: Unsplash.

E-wallets are huge in Singapore. In a short time, they have become an essential part of life for many in the city-state. Singaporeans’ willingness to adopt the technology made the country Samsung Pay’s first market in Southeast Asia, and the third market globally for Android Pay.

Like all new technologies, governmental regulations eventually kick in. Late last year, the parliament of Singapore passed a new law, requiring electronic payment firms operating in the city-state to hold a license, which will give the companies permission to conduct activities including merchant acquisition, cross-border money transfers, account issuance, money issuance, and operate digital payment exchanges.

The law will also impact the operations of cryptocurrency exchanges that are based in Singapore.

Those licenses are now being handed out. Singapore-based payments platform Xfers is the first company to receive the charter. Other digital payment platforms that operate in the country—including YouTrip, GrabPay, and ApplePay, among others—are expected to be handed their licenses soon.

Editor: Brady Ng