Singapore - MAS Publishes Guidelines On Licensing For Payment Service Providers.

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Asia Pacific Legal Updates


30 January, 2020


Singapore - MAS Publishes Guidelines On Licensing For Payment Service Providers.


Soon after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act) will commence on 28 January 2020 (Commencement Date), MAS has now published the Guidelines on Licensing for Payment Service Providers (Guidelines), as well as certain specimen notification and application forms. The Guidelines set out the eligibility criteria and application procedures for payment service providers under the PS Act and will take effect on the Commencement Date.


Summary of the Guidelines


We provide a brief summary of guidance provided on the licensing criteria and ongoing requirements for payment service providers:


Licences under the Payment Services Act: unless exempted, any person that conducts payment services as defined in the First Schedule to the PS Act is required to hold an appropriate licence, as follows:


  •   a money-changing licence (to carry out money-changing service only);

  •   a Standard Payment Institution licence, where payment services are conducted below the specified thresholds1; or

  •   a Major Payment Institution licence, where payment services are conducted in excess of the specified thresholds.


Admission Criteria: an applicant must fulfil specific licensing criteria, including governance and ownership requirements, competency requirements, having a permanent place of business, base capital and security requirements - and must demonstrate how it will be able to comply with its obligations under the PS Act as a licensee.


Ongoing Requirements for Licensees: a licensee must ensure ongoing compliance with all applicable requirements set out under the PS Act and other relevant legislation, such as:

 adopting anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism requirements; 


  • submitting periodic regulatory returns;

  • complying with the cyber hygiene requirements;

  • accurately representing the scope of its licence and provide the required disclosures applicable to its business; and

  • satisfying annual audit requirements.


The appendices to the Guidelines provide further information on, and examples of:


  • the governance and ownership requirements;

  • minimum compliance arrangements;

  • guidance on licence applications; and

  •   licence fees.


Specimen forms

MAS has also released the following forms. 


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This form is to be used by entities to notify MAS of the date on which they commenced business of providing certain payment services, so as to benefit from the transitional arrangements prescribed under the Payment Services (Exemption for Specified Period) Regulations 2019.

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This form is to be used by applicants to apply for a payment service provider licence or to apply to change their entity type between a sole- proprietorship, partnership, or company/corporation under the PS Act.

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This form is to be used to apply for the variation or change of a payment service provider licence under the PS Act.

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This form is to be used to apply for the approval of a Chief Executive Officer, Director or Partner of a payment service provider under the PS Act.


Note that the forms currently published are specimens only, and the actual forms will be available online at the MAS website on the Commencement Date. MAS will only accept notifications and applications lodged via the online forms.



Baker McKenzie

For further information, please contact:


Stephanie Magnus, Principal, Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow


1 Briefly, the thresholds are:

- S$3m monthly transactions for any activity type;
- S$6m monthly transactions for two or more activity types; - S$5m of daily outstanding e-money. 


2 specimen notification form released at Templates/Notification-form-for-the-Payment-Services-Act.pdf

3 specimen application form released Templates/Form-1---Application-for-a-Payment-Service-Provider-Licence.pdf


4 specimen form released at Templates/Form-2---Variation-or-change-of-a-Payment-Service-Provider-Licence.pdf