MAS provides guidelines on the provision of Digital Payment Token services to the public

      On 17 January 2022, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued ‘Guidelines on the Provision of Digital Payment Token Services to the Public’ (“MAS Guidelines”) giving effect to MAS’ expectations that Digital Payment Token (DPT or cryptocurrency) service providers should not promote their DPT services to the general public in Singapore.

      The new Payment Services Act (“PS Act”) commenced on 28 January 2020 and as part of the transitional arrangements, entities that were engaged in regulated activities before the commencement of the Act were exempted from holding a licence if they submitted licence applications before the end of a specified grace period. The specified grace period for digital payment token (DPT) service providers ended in July 2020, six months after the commencement of the PS Act. The exemption remains in force until the applications are approved or rejected by MAS or withdrawn by the applicant.

      MAS’ guidelines clarify that the DPT service providers subject to the new restrictions include payment institutions, banks and other financial institutions and applicants under the PS Act and state that DPT service providers should not carry out any of the following activities:

      • portraying the trading of DPTs in a manner that trivialises the high risks of trading in DPTs
      • promote their DPT services in public areas in Singapore or through any other media directed at the general public in Singapore, including promotional advertisements on public transport, public transport venues, broadcast media or periodical publications, third party websites, social media platforms, public events or roadshows
      • engage third parties such as social media influencers, third-party websites, to promote their DPT services to the general public.

      The Straits Times reports that there have been approximately 170 applications to be licensed as DPT service providers under the Payment Service Act. Of that original number, approximately 100 have since withdrawn their application or have been rejected.

      Singapore continues to evaluate the crypto space and aims to have a well regulated crypto-related industry in Singapore. This particular sector is, however under close scrutiny, due to its inherent money laundering and terrorism financing risks.  By well regulating the cryptocurrency space, Singapore aims to provide retail investor confidence in cryptocurrency as an investment class.

      How can Waystone Compliance Solutions help?

      Our team of dedicated professionals have the regional expertise to assist you in the following ways:

      • applying for a licence under the PS Act
      • drafting policies and procedures such as the compliance manual, Enterprise Wide Risk Assessment (EWRA) framework and technology risk policy
      • providing ongoing regulatory compliance support to manage compliance risks.

      If you would like to find out more about how Waystone Compliance Solutions can assist you, please reach out to your usual Waystone representative or contact us below.

      Waystone’s Payment Services Act Solutions

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