The prepaid card market in Singapore is well regulated by the country’s central bank – the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Companies operating in this market has to follow the rules and regulation imposed by the regulator. The regulatory body periodically changes rules and regulations to strengthen the country’s payment ecosystem. For instance,
In January 2020, the MAS introduced the Payment Services Act (PS Act) to promote secured electronic payment infrastructure, consumer protection, and strengthen the overall payment system. The PS Act extended the MAS’ regulatory jurisdiction to new payment systems such as digital tokens. The Act also changed the conventional licensing system and introduced activity-based licensing. By implementing this Act, the MAS integrated other laws such as the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act and the Money-changing and Remittance Businesses Act into the new PS Act.
The regulatory body also introduced the Payments Regulatory Evaluation Programme (PREP) to facilitate payment companies to consult with legal service providers such as lawyers specialized in payment industry norms and regulations.
The regulatory body also directs stringent rules and regulations to offer better protection of consumers. In October 2020, the MAS ordered Wirecard entities to withdraw their payment services from the country. Moreover, it also mentioned returning all the funds the company was managing at that time. Notably, in June 2020, Wirecard AG, a German-based payment service provider, declared bankrupt after a US$4 billion scam. Therefore, to protect the citizens of Singapore, the MAS restricted all the services the company used to offer in the country.
The regulatory body is continuously trying to improve the payment infrastructure in the country. In April 2021, the MAS extended its partnership with the Bank of Thailand (BOT) to improve the retail payment system between these two countries. The partnership integrated two payment platforms PayNow (Singapore) and PromptPay (Thailand). The payment system integration will allow customers from participating banks to transfer money only by using their mobile number. Customers are allowed to transfer $1,000 per day. Therefore, this partnership will create a new growth opportunity for the remittance sector for both countries.