MAS Urges Use of Digital Finance and E-Payments to Support COVID-19 Safe Distancing Measures
Singapore, 9 April 2020... The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) urges individuals and businesses to use digital financial services and e-payments, and minimise visits to the premises of financial institutions (FIs). This will contribute to the effectiveness of the elevated safe distancing measures announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) last week.
2 MAS expects FIs to be able to provide as many basic financial services through digital channels that do not require physical presence at FI premises. In recent years, FIs have substantially expanded their suite of digital financial services. Today, many retail banks, insurance companies and brokers offer internet or mobile channels for customers to access a range of financial servicesThese include making enquiries on bank account balances, bill payments, electronic funds transfers, loan facilities and applications, and managing insurance policies and investment portfolios. . FIs have also been offering their customers other non-face-to-face transaction options such as video or teleconferencing, where possible, to perform customer verification. MAS encourages FIs to actively promote the use of these digital options and provide customers suitable guidance on how to use them.
3 MAS is working closely with The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to promote greater adoption of e-payments among individuals and businesses. Supported by MAS, ABS will mount a sustained campaign to promote the use of PayNow, PayNow Corporate, and SGQR in the coming months. This is in addition to FIs’ individual efforts to actively encourage all customers to adopt e-payment solutions for their financial transactions.
4 To date, more than 2 million individuals have registered to use PayNow. In addition, over 120,000 business have adopted PayNow Corporate and SGQR as a low cost, infrastructure-light e-payment solution.
In response to two forum letters raising concerns regarding banks charging a fee to process cheques, MAS explained that cheque clearing is an increasingly inefficient use of industry capital and resources. Charging for cheque usage more accurately reflects processing costs. Cheque users have the option of transitioning to cheaper and more efficient means of fund transfers.
MAS announced the features of a new regulatory framework that seeks to ensure a high degree of value stability for stablecoins regulated in Singapore. The regulatory framework takes into account feedback received, following an October 2022 public consultation.
At the Indonesia Digital Economy and Finance Festival, Mr Leong Sing Chiong, Deputy Managing Director (Markets and Development), MAS, spoke on the panel titled "Promoting Digital Payment Inclusivity in the Region through Cross-border Interoperability Initiatives".