Singapore Merchant Account

Standard payment service provider

Payment service providers and payment systems are both regulated under the Payment Services Act 2019 ("PS Act"). Payment service providers are licensed to provide specified payment services under the PS Act. Payment systems facilitate the transfer of funds between or among participants and may be designated under the PS Act for closer supervision.

Timeframe 30 Days
Capital US$ 75,000
Accounting Required
Nominee Required

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The benefit of having Standard Payment Service Provider in Singapore

Growing economy

Singapore is already one of the world’s top financial hubs, and it is constantly innovating. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the financial and AML regulator, has created a friendly and sustainable environment for fintech companies.

Procrypto environment

The new flexible regulation for payment services providers has a favorable license regime with low fees; Singapore is eager to support the development of crypto businesses.

Lenient tax system

There are no taxes on the profits generated outside of Singapore. The income from a local activity is subject to a mere 8,5% for the first S$300,000 ($220k) and 17% for anything above.

Uncorrupted reputation

Singapore is one of the most respectable financial centers in the world. Its reputation as a stable, technology-oriented jurisdiction makes it an attractive place for business and investment.

Activities of Payment Service Providers

With Standard Payment Service Providers, license owner can do any activities in the Activities of Payment Service Providers, but below specified transaction flow or E-Money float threshold which is:

  • 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

List of Activities of Payment Service Provider which is the following:

Activity Type Brief Description
Activity A
Account issuance service

The service of issuing a payment account or any service relating to any operation required for operating a payment account, such as an e-wallet (including certain multi-purpose stored value cards) or a non-bank issued credit card.

Activity B
Domestic money transfer service

Providing local funds transfer service in Singapore. This includes payment gateway services and payment kiosk services.

Activity C
Cross-border money transfer service

Providing inbound or outbound remittance service in Singapore.

Activity D
Merchant acquisition service

Providing merchant acquisition service in Singapore where the service provider processes payment transactions from the merchant and processes payment receipts on behalf of the merchant. Usually, the service includes providing a point-of-sale terminal or online payment gateway.

Activity E
E-money issuance service

Issuing e-money to allow the user to pay merchants or transfer to another individual.

Activity F
Digital payment token service

Buying or selling digital payment tokens (“DPTs”) (commonly known as cryptocurrencies), or providing a platform to allow persons to exchange DPTs.

Activity G
Money-changing service

Buying or selling foreign currency notes.

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$100,000.
  • 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.
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Standard Requirements

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, 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 license.

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.

On-Going Requirements

Licensees are required to comply, on an ongoing basis, with all applicable requirements set out under the PS Act, as well as other relevant legislation. Licensees are expected to put in place systems, policies, and procedures to ensure that they fulfill all ongoing obligations, including the key areas below:

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Requirements
  • Periodic Returns
  • Cyber Hygiene
  • Business Conduct
  • Disclosures and Communications
  • Annual Audit Requirements

Licensees should also understand and apply the relevant MAS Guidelines and keep abreast of regulatory changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Licensed financial advisers are required to prepare and lodge with MAS a true and fair profit and loss account and a balance sheet made up to the last day of its financial year in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act (Cap. 50), where applicable. The above documents are to be lodged together with an auditor‘s report in Form 17. In addition, they are required to submit Forms 14, 15, and 16, where applicable. These documents are to be lodged within 5 months, or within such extension of time as may be permitted by MAS, after the end of the financial adviser‘s financial year

The types of services provided by financial planners vary widely. Some planners assess every aspect of their clients' financial profile, including savings, investments, insurance, tax, retirement, and estate planning, and help them develop detailed strategies to meet their financial objectives. Others may call themselves financial planners, but only provide advice on a limited range of products and services.

MAS regulates all financial planning activities related to securities, futures, and insurance. Tax and estate planning activities do not come under our regulatory ambit. Hence, only financial planners who conduct activities regulated under the FAA are required to be licensed as a financial adviser. A financial planner may conduct other activities such as tax planning, but these are not subject to supervision by MAS.

Banks, merchant banks, finance companies, insurance companies, insurance brokers registered under the Insurance Act, holders of a capital markets services license under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap 289). are exempt from holding a financial adviser's license to act as a financial adviser in Singapore in respect of any financial advisory services. Nonetheless, exempt financial advisers and their appointed and provisional representatives are required to comply with the business conduct requirements stipulated in the FAA.

There is no need for a licensed financial adviser to renew its license. The license is valid until

  • The licensed financial adviser ceases to act as a financial adviser (pursuant to the Financial Advisers Regulations [―FAR‖], the licensed financial adviser would need to notify MAS within 14 days of its cessation by submitting Form 5);
  • Its license is revoked by MAS; or
  • Its license lapses in accordance with section 19 of the FAA.