The Payment Services Bill (PSB) is an Act to provide for the licensing and regulation of payment service providers, the oversight of payment systems, and connected matters. PSB was passed in Parliament on 14 January 2019 . The PSB act shall repeal the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (Cap. 222A) (“PS(O)A”) and the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act (Cap. 187) (“MCRBA”) and shall streamlines the regulation of payment services under a single legislative framework , PSB is targeted to commence in January 2020.

What constitutes “Payment Services”?

The Payment Services Act focuses on seven retail payment activities provided by service providers that deal directly with consumers or merchants:

  1. Account issuance: the service of issuing a payment account to any person in Singapore or any service relating to any operations required for operating a payment account;
  2. Domestic money transfers: accepting money for the purposes of executing or arranging for the execution of a payment transaction from or through a payment account or a direct debit or credit transfer through a payment account or a transfer to another person’s payment account, in each case between a payer and a payee in Singapore;
  3. Cross border money transfers: any service of accepting money in Singapore, whether as principal or agent, for the purpose of transmitting, or arranging for the transmission of, the money to any person outside Singapore or service of receiving any money from outside Singapore for, or arranging for the receipt of any money from outside Singapore by, any person in Singapore;
  4. Merchant acquisition: Service of accepting and processing a payment transaction for a merchant under a contract between the provider of the service and the merchant, which results in a transfer of money to the merchant pursuant to the payment transaction, regardless whether the service provider holds or possesses the money;
  5. E-money issuance: issuing e‑money to any person for the purpose of allowing a person to make payment transactions;
  6. Digital payment token: dealing in digital payment tokens or facilitating the exchange of digital payment tokens.
  7. Money-changing: buying or selling of foreign currency notes.

What are the type of License that may be applied for under the PSB?

The seven broad categories of payment services will be licensed under three classes of licenses

  1. Money‑changing licence;
  2. Standard payment institution licence;
  3. Major payment institution licence.

Minimum capital requirement

Except Money-changing Licensees, all other licensees must satisfy minimum capital requirement on an initial and on-going basis.  Standard Payment Institution should have a capital of S$100,000 and for Major Payment Institution is S$250,000

Who are Exempt Payment Service Providers?

The following persons are exempt from the requirement to have in force a licence to carry on a business of providing any payment service:

  1. Bank licensed under the Banking Act;
  2. Merchant bank approved as a financial institution under the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act;
  3. Finance company licensed under the Finance Companies Act;
  4. Person licensed to carry on the business of issuing credit cards or charge cards in Singapore under section 57B of the Banking Act;
  5. Other person or class of persons that may be prescribed.

A licensee may only conduct the payment services that has been approved by the authority in the license. Any intended change in its services, will require approval from MAS.

We, at Argus Global, are a team of consultants who specialize in Regulatory Compliance for Financial Institutions in Singapore that are regulated by MAS. We can assist you through the process of acquiring the requisite license to facilitate your business in Singapore. We will be happy to answer your queries, whether specifically to this article or any other regulatory compliance hurdles you may face.

Do reach out to us at

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