Major Payment Institution Licence

Major payment institutions are licensed and regulated under the Payment Services Act ("PS Act") to provide payment services without being subject to the specified thresholds.

The thresholds are set out in section 6(5) of the PS Act. In summary, these are:

  • S$3 million monthly transactions for any payment service (other than e-money account issuance and money-changing services).
  • S$6 million monthly transactions for two or more payment services (other than e-money account issuance and money-changing services).
  • S$5 million of daily outstanding e-money

Note that entities that provide only money-changing services should hold a money-changing licence instead. Entities that provide payment services under the specified thresholds should hold a standard payment institution licence.

To view the list of major payment institutions in Singapore, refer to the Financial Institutions Directory.

Who Can Apply

The criteria are as follows:

  • The applicant must be a Singapore-incorporated company or a foreign corporation registered in Singapore.
  • The applicant must have a permanent place of business or registered office.
  • The applicant must have a minimum base capital of S$250,000.
  • The applicant's board of directors should have either:
    • at least 1 executive director who is a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident
    • at least 1 non-executive director who is a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident and at least 1 executive director who is a Singapore Employment Pass Holder.

Admission Criteria

When assessing an application, MAS takes into consideration factors such as:

  • Fitness and propriety of the controllers and directors.
  • Governance structure.
  • Qualifications and experience, particularly in operating a payment services business and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Financial condition and track record.
  • Business plan and model, including operational readiness.
  • Ability to comply with obligations under the PS Act, including compliance, safeguarding, technology risk management and audit arrangements.
  • Regulatory status in other jurisdictions, where applicable.
  • For applicants with a holding company, commitment to operations in Singapore.
  • Whether the public interest will be served by granting a licence.

For more details, read the Guidelines on Licensing for Payment Service Providers.

Note: MAS considers each application on its own merits and may take into account other factors on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply

Find out about the application process.

Licence Fee

Major payment institutions are required to pay an annual licence fee and the applicable fees depend on the payment services that it is licensed to conduct. The fees are prescribed in the Schedule to the PSR and are, in summary, S$10,000 or the sum of the amounts below for the payment services provided, whichever is higher:

Activity Type Fees
Account issuance service                                                                                                              S$0                                                                                                                                             
Domestic money transfer service S$10,000

Cross-border money transfer service

S$10,000
Merchant acquisition service S$10,000
E-money issuance service S$10,000
Digital payment token service S$10,000
Money-changing service S$1,500

Validity

The major payment institution licence is valid until either:

  • The licence is revoked by MAS.
  • The licence lapses in accordance with section 11(1) of the PS Act and regulation 10 of the Payment Services Regulations.
  • The licensee surrenders its licence.

All entities that cease to hold a licence will be removed from the Financial Institutions Directory.