Regulations for activities relating to E-money

Are payment services relating to e-money regulated in Singapore?

E-money is defined in the Payment Services Act 2019 as electronically stored "money" that is denominated in a currency. Its value is pegged to the currency by its issuers and the e-money represents a claim on its issuers. E-money would be paid for in advance and stored in a payment account (commonly knowns as e-wallet) for the purpose of making payment for a transaction. Most providers of e-wallets and e-money are regulated for the following activities:

Account issuance service: Issuing or providing services relating to the operation of a payment account;
Domestic money transfer service: Providing local money transfer services;
Cross border money transfer service: Providing inbound and/or outbound remittance services in Singapore; and/or
E-money issuance service: Issuing e-money to allow the user to pay the merchants or transfer e-money to another individual.

Store value that falls within the scope of "limited purpose e-money" is not "e-money" under the Payment Services Act 2019. This exception includes money that is used to purchase goods from and/or services of the issuer (e.g. vouchers issued by a restaurant or spa to be used at the entity only) or money that is used only within a limited network of merchants, franchisees or related companies (e.g. points awarded under loyalty programme).

Depending on the type of regulated activity conducted by the providers of e-wallets and e-money, they are subject to specific risk mitigation measures relating to:

Anti-money laundering / countering the financing of terrorism ("AML/CFT");
User protection;
Interoperability (fragmentation of payment solutions); and/or
Technology and cyber security risks.

For more information, please click here for the Guide to the Essential Aspects of the Payment Services Act 2019 issued by MAS.