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Singapore to require payment services license under proposed regulation

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Singapore to require payment services license under proposed regulation

The Monetary Authority of Singapore plans to require payment services providers, including virtual currency exchanges, to hold a license to conduct payment activities.

Under the proposed Payment Services Bill, entities that intend to provide retail payment services in Singapore will need a license, unless exempted by the regulator. MAS said the plan would level the playing field and help mitigate risks, such as money-laundering, terrorism financing and technology risks.

The rule will also apply to virtual currency exchanges, including those that originated from initial coin offerings.

In addition, the regulator will require virtual currency intermediaries to abide by anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing requirements, given their vulnerability to such risks. This includes identifying and verifying customers, ongoing monitoring, screening for money-laundering and terrorism financing concerns and suspicious transaction reporting and record keeping.

Further, the regulator said it may also impose interoperability measures on certain payment providers when they reach certain scale to ensure seamless transactions. The move would help promote the growth and development of the city's e-payments ecosystem, the regulator added.

The regulator is seeking comments on the proposals from interested parties by Jan. 8, 2018.