Payment Services Act

The Payment Services Act 2019 have come into force on 28 January 2020, which repeals the Money-changing and Remittance Business Act and the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act, in order to reflect the evolution of the payment space in Singapore. MAS conducted  regulatory and licensing briefings to the industry, to facilitate a smooth transition for all players to the new framework. Some of the other briefing sessions are with  Singapore Blockchain Association, Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) and ACCESS.


Payment Activities considered as payments


 Payment Services   Description   Currently Regulated?

Account Issuance

Issuing a payment account or any service relating to any operation required for

operating a payment account, such as an e-wallet (including certain multi-purpose

stored value cards) or a non-bank issued credit card


Not as a separate activity

Domestic Money Transfer Providing local funds transfer service in Singapore.

This includes payment gateway services and payment kiosk services.

Cross-border Money Transfer Providing inbound or outbound remittance service in Singapore. Yes – for outbound remittance

Merchant Acquisition

Providing merchant acquisition service in Singapore where the service provider processes payment transactions from the merchant and processes payment receipts on behalf of the merchant. Usually the service includes providing a point-of-sale

terminal or online payment gateway.




E-money issuance


Issuing e-money to allow the user to pay merchants or transfer to another individual.

Yes – in respect of pre- payment for

good / services



Payment Tokens


Buying or selling DPTs (commonly known as cryptocurrencies), or providing a

platform to allow persons to exchange DPTs.



Money Changing Buying and selling foreign currency notes. Yes



Excluded Services

   Activities/Features Services/Relationship
Authorized commercial agent  

Commercial agent authorized to negotiate/conclude sale/purchase for the payer/payee.


PSP transaction

Between ≥ 2 persons (each a PSP or its agent/branch), each acting for its own account, and where the service is provided by one of those persons.
Related corporation transfer Between ≥ 2 corporations, where transaction is: (i) not executed through a PSP; or (ii) executed through a related-PSP.

Within payment system

Executed within payment system between ≥ 2 participants (each being a PSP, settlement agent, central counterparty, clearing house, central bank or other system participant).

Document-based transaction

Based on a document being drawn on a person with a view to placing money at the payee’s disposal, and being: (i) cheque, cashier’s order, drawing voucher, dividend warrant, demand draft, remittance receipt, traveler’s / gift cheque; or (ii) paper postal order.

currency business

Where the corporation is in the business of transporting currency (including collection, processing and delivering of

the currency).


Sandbox Requirements

1. Sandbox Express provides firms with a faster option to test certain innovative financial products and services in the market.

Eligible applicants can begin market testing in the pre-defined environment of Sandbox Express within 21 days of applying to MAS. Sandbox Express will be available specifically for:

(a) carrying on business as an insurance broker; and

(b) establishing or operating an organised market.


2. The applicant will need to:

(i) declare and undertake that it will fully comply with the conditions of licence approval or exemption;

(ii) prior to on-boarding any person as its customer, provide clear, complete and proper disclosure to the person and obtain a written acknowledgement of such disclosure from the person;

The disclosure to potential customers must include the following:

(a) that the applicant is permitted to operate in a sandbox for only a specified period of time (“the approved period”) and the scope of its permitted activities is limited to the constructs of that sandbox. The scope and limitations on the activities of the applicant must be fully disclosed;

(b) all key risks arising from or in relation to the applicant’s scope of activities in the sandbox, including the impact on customers due to the discontinuance of its service during or after the approved period;

(c) that the applicant is exempted by MAS from complying with the full legal and regulatory requirements under the relevant Act, during the approved period:

(i) for an applicant that is exempted from requirements to be registered / approved / recognised / licensed (as applicable) by MAS, the applicant is not supervised by MAS; or

(ii) for an applicant that is registered / approved / recognised / licensed (as applicable) by MAS, MAS is unlikely to conduct on-site supervision on the applicant, unless there is sufficient cause for MAS to do so.

(d) that the applicant’s financial service or product may be discontinued by the applicant, or may be required by MAS to be discontinued, during the approved period; (e) that the applicant’s continued operations after the approved period would be subject to the applicant obtaining the required regulatory approvals from MAS;

(f) that the applicant may decide to discontinue its service after the approved period; and

(g) that the applicant’s customers will not have access to the dispute resolution scheme managed by the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC).

(iii) submit progress reports and a final progress report to MAS.

(a) a progress reports every two months from the start of the approved period; and

(b) a final progress report at the end of the approved period.


3. The application form is rather short and need to provide:

(a) full details of the applicant and key stakeholders;

(b) financial information;

(c) description of all business activities;

(d) full details of the proposed financial service/product to be experimented in the sandbox:

(i) problem statements to be addressed;

(ii) business model and use cases;

(iii) technical architecture and solution

(iv) readiness of the prototype and the development timeline

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