Media Releases
Published Date: 19 August 2016

MAS Sets Out Strategies for Electronic Payments in Singapore

Singapore, 19 August 2016...The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today articulated strategies to promote electronic payments in Singapore, and has published a “Singapore Payments Roadmap” which it has commissioned KPMG Advisory to produce. In a speech at the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics, the Managing Director of MAS, Mr Ravi Menon, described ongoing initiatives for swift, simple, secure payments, enhancing convenience for customers and productivity for businesses.

2     The “Singapore Payments Roadmap” is a collaborative effort by MAS and KPMG. More than 2,500 stakeholders in Singapore’s payment ecosystem and across the world were surveyed to understand the current state of payments, focusing on how consumers and businesses make payments. KPMG observed that Singapore had the requisite components to be a best-in-class jurisdiction in the area of payments but would need to take several steps to improve the landscape:

a. Streamline and strengthen the regulatory framework
b. Establish a new governance model for payments
c. Enhance the adoption of electronic payments

Streamline and strengthen the regulatory framework

3     The report recommends that the current regulatory regime governing payments and remittances be streamlined to create a single and modular regime that will be applied on an activity basis, rather than specific payment systems. The new payments regime will provide MAS the flexibility to address emerging risk areas like cyber security and consumer protection. The new framework will help promote innovation and encourage non-traditional FinTech players to access the Singapore market and provide a wider spectrum of payment solutions.

Establish a new governance model for payments

4     The report recommends strengthening the governance model and creating a national payments council that fosters innovation, competition and collaboration in the payments industry, including leveraging FinTech. Specifically, this new payments council will coordinate key initiatives, such as promoting interoperability and adopting common standards. The payments council will comprise representatives from among users and providers of payment solutions. With the payments council, consumers and businesses can expect greater coordination and alignment among payment initiatives at the national level.

Enhance the adoption of electronic payments

5     The report welcomes several key infrastructure projects being undertaken by the industry as having the potential to transform the payment landscape for recurring, retail and peer-to-peer payments, with the implementation of interoperable solutions. These include enabling more convenient payments through a centralised addressing system and creating a seamless consumer experience with unified point-of-sale payment terminals.

6     MAS will be conducting a public consultation on the review of the payments regulatory framework and proposed payments council in the coming week.

7     A copy of the Singapore Payments Roadmap is available on the MAS website.