Singapore Expands Regulation of Digital Payment Token Services

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced amendments to the Payment Services Act (PS Act) to broaden regulation of digital payment token (DPT) service providers. The amendments, set to be implemented in stages starting April 4, will bring custodial services for DPTs, token transfers, exchange facilitation, and cross-border money transfers under the scope of the PS Act.

MAS clarified that the amended law covers cases where service providers do not handle funds or where transactions do not occur in Singapore. The updates empower MAS to impose requirements on DPT service providers related to anti-money laundering, user protection, and financial stability.

Transitional arrangements will be provided for affected entities, requiring them to notify MAS within 30 days and apply for a license within six months of April 4 to continue operations under review. Noncompliant entities face closure when the amendments take effect.

Additionally, MAS will introduce amendments safeguarding customer assets of payment token service providers, including asset segregation, bookkeeping, and security measures. These protections will be enacted six months after April 4.

Several crypto companies, such as, Coinbase, and Ripple, have obtained payment institution licenses in Singapore. secured its Major Payment Institution (MPI) license in June 2023, while Ripple and Coinbase received approval in October 2023.