Blockchain for Banking News

Singapore blockchain group helps firms navigate payments regulations with MAS support


The Singapore Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Start-ups, (ACCESS) has announced the release of a Code of Practice intended to help blockchain firms successfully apply for a payment service license. The Code was released with support from the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which acts as a central bank and financial regulator for the country.

Founded in 2014, ACCESS aims to support the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries by representing them and attempting to ensure that regulations are appropriate and properly complied with. It currently consists of over 400 firms. ACCESS spent two years developing the Code and undertook a public consultation last year to help it in this process.

The Payment Services Act, which came into force in January 2020, requires all those providing certain payment services such as digital payments and trading of digital tokens to apply for a license. The international FATF Travel Rule meanwhile insists that the digital asset industry steps up its regulatory compliance.

The Code of Practice will help firms manage in this landscape by providing guidance on applying for a payment service license. It also presents a standardized approach blockchain companies can use to tackle key issues they face such as Know Your Customer (KYC) best practices and combatting money laundering or terrorism funding on their platforms.

MAS has been trying to position Singapore as a leading player in the blockchain and digital asset sector for some time. Last year, it released Sandbox Express, a fast track sandbox that allows firms to trial financial products and services.

It has also run a test of a blockchain-based payment system developed with JP Morgan and the government-owned Temasek. This was part of Project Ubin, a large-scale exploration into blockchain’s potential in Central Bank Digital Currencies.