Singapore gives non-banks access to e-payment platforms

Out-Law News | 04 Dec 2020 | 8:09 am | 1 min. read

Non-bank financial institutions (NFIs) in Singapore will have direct access to e-payment platforms such as Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST) and PayNow.

From February 2021 NFIs, as major payment institutions under the Payment Services Act, will be able to connect directly to FAST and PayNow. Once this happens users of NFI e-wallets could make real-time funds transfer between bank accounts and e-wallets, including transferring across different e-wallets.

Electronic funds transfer service FAST was launched in 2014 and enables users of participating banks to transfer Singapore dollar funds from one bank to another almost instantly in Singapore.

PayNow, launched in 2017, is a service that allows users to send to and receive money using a mobile number. It only enables funds transfer between participating banks.

According to the statement, businesses that collaborated with any of the 23 FAST or nine PayNow banks will benefit from the new policy, which was announced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday.

E-wallets that have used to been "closed-loop ecosystems" will also be able to receive real-time payments from other users of e-wallets of mobile banking applications that will soon join FAST or PayNow.

Mark Tan of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said, "This further step to extend access to FAST and PayNow to non-bank financial institutions is a welcome move which will help to enhance as well as encourage the further usage of e-payments by both consumers and businesses."

"This represents a significant milestone in Singapore’s journey towards being a cashless economy, and will be likely to result in an acceleration of the widespread adoption of instantaneous real-time payments here." He said.