Legislative changes in Singapore 2020: SPI vs. SVF license
Businesses related to electronic payment systems or virtual money are subject to licensing in most countries. The Standard Payment Institution Licence is considered the most functional and popular among e-payments licenses. The SPI license in Singapore became available recently, only in 2020. It replaced the Stored Value Facility (SVF).
Features of the SVF license
The Singapore Stored Value Facility was the national equivalent of the European Electronic Money Institution. The list of activities regulated by the SVF included the creation and operation of payment systems, as well as the issue of electronic currency. Availability of SVF license in Singapore ensured that the company had no turnover restrictions at all and partially - on client account balances ($21,000,000), as well as excellent reputation and the opportunity to work around the world.
Now Stored Value Facility is losing its popularity with great speed, primarily due to the local law on payment systems, which came into force in January 2020. Now any company belonging to the small or medium business segment and providing payment services must obtain an extended Standard Payment Institution Licence.
SPI License: what are the principal differences?
The new legislation has not toughened the requirements to companies applying for a payment license in principle. They are still minimal: the firm must be established in Singapore, the application can be made by a real or nominal director, the main thing is that the package of documents must be fully formed and the state fee for the issuance - paid in time.
The changes, to a greater extent, affected the list of permitted activities: it was significantly expanded. Now the updated license controls the functioning of payment services and electronic wallets, merchant services, local transfers, issue of electronic money and prepaid cards. MAS, the state body of Singapore, which controls the activities of companies providing payment services, has provided already existing companies with a certain transition period. They had to submit a statement of intent to replace SVF with SPI by February 2020. Those who failed to do so in time can buy an SPI license in Singapore on a par with newly established companies.
The basic principles of how an SPI license works in Singapore
Due to changes in legislation, competition among payment services market players has increased, and security measures towards clients have been strengthened. Among other positive aspects we can highlight:
- development of uniform technological standards;
- consolidation of software and improvement of its compatibility;
- competent control system;
- implementation of the principles of anti-money laundering and antiterrorism financing.
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