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Singapore payment firms to tap specialised legal expertise on compliance under new plan

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) have rolled out a payments regulatory evaluation programme to help connect the payments industry with legal service providers.

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) have rolled out a payments regulatory evaluation programme to help connect the payments industry with legal service providers.

The programme provides fintech firms with a streamlined process to gain access to lawyers specialising in payment services regulations to meet their compliance needs. The firms would be assured that the regulatory assessment conducted by the legal service provider will be sufficiently comprehensive in scope, said the MAS and SAL in a joint media statement issued on Friday.

Interested payment firms can participate in the programme by contacting a participating law firm of their choice. For a start, seven local and international law firms in Singapore will participate in a two-month pilot run of the programme. Following the pilot, MAS and SAL will take in feedback and make adjustments to the programme if necessary.

The programme will then be formally launched at the Singapore Fintech Festival in November 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 the programme after the official launch.

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SAL chief operating officer Paul Neo said: "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... 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.”

MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said that 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. The regulator has developed the programme to to ensure that payment firms that want to engage legal services to support them in their business can do so easily and quickly.