SINGAPORE (Nov 26): Grab and Go-Jek, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing platforms that were disrupting traditional banking services by offering electronic payments and other financial services, have since formed alliances with banks as part of their aggressive expansion plans. Now, their services are set to be licensed under a new Payment Services Bill that was introduced in Parliament last week.

Currently, money remittance services and stored value facilities, such as EZ-Link and Nets CashCard, are regulated. The new bill proposes that all payment services providers hold a standard payment institution licence for activities that include the issuing of accounts and electronic money; the domestic and cross-border transfer of funds; virtual currency and money exchange services; and the acquisition of merchants onto the payments platforms. Licence holders must also satisfy minimum capital requirements as prescribed by the regulators.

The bill comprises two parallel frameworks. One enables the Monetary Authori­ty of Singapore to designate and regulate systemically important payment services for financial stability and efficiency. The other is a licensing regime that focuses on retail payment services for customers and merchants.

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