The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) have launched a new Payments Regulatory Evaluation Programme (PREP) to help connect the payments industry with legal service providers. Instead of relying on informal referrals, PREP provides payment firms with a streamlined process to gain access to lawyers specialising in payment services regulations to meet their compliance needs. For a start, seven local and international law firms in Singapore will participate in a two-month pilot run of PREP.
Under PREP, payment firms can access a list of such specialised legal service providers. They can also be assured that the regulatory assessment conducted by the legal service provider will be sufficiently comprehensive in scope. Based on a payment firm’s response to a standard questionnaire about its business in Singapore, it can expect to receive a customised assessment report on regulations applicable to its payments business. Interested payment firms can participate in PREP by contacting a participating law firm of their choice. Information on PREP is available on the SAL’s website.
Following the pilot, MAS and SAL will take in feedback and make adjustments to the programme as necessary. PREP will then be formally launched at the Singapore FinTech Festival in November 2019 and will be open to all law firms in Singapore to join. Payment firms in Singapore can look forward to selecting from an expanded list of law firms providing specialised legal services through PREP after the official launch.
Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at MAS, said: “Singapore’s vibrant fintech ecosystem and strong regulatory environment have attracted substantial interest from foreign and local firms to establish their payment services business in Singapore. With the upcoming commencement of the Payment Services Act, it is important that the payment services industry is well supported in all aspects. MAS has developed PREP to ensure that payment firms that want to engage legal services to support them in their business can do so easily and quickly.”
Paul Neo, chief operating officer at SAL, commented: “The evolution of payment services regulations is an important aspect of Singapore’s development as a fintech hub. As a promotion and development agency for Singapore’s legal sector, we want to give our legal professionals the opportunity to showcase their expertise in the fintech space. Through PREP, they can help payment services providers evaluate their compliance with the requirements of the new Act. In time to come, we hope that our lawyers will also develop legal tech solutions in the regulatory and compliance tech fields to complement their legal advisory services to the payments industry.”
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