Singapore central bank sets up Payments Council to boost e-payments trend

MAS said the council will facilitate the development of seamless payment solutions like the recently-launched PayNow.

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The logo of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is pictured at its building in Singapore Reuters

As the city-state gears up towards its vision of pushing for an e-payments society, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that the establishment of Payments Council is in the works.

According to the central bank's statement, the council will comprise 20 leaders from banking firms, payment service providers, businesses, and trade associations.

MAS said the council will facilitate the development of seamless payment solutions like the recently-launched PayNow, supporting the introduction and rollout of unified point-of-sale terminals at merchants. MAS also plans to have the council introduce new payments legislation to safeguard consumer interests and facilitate innovative payment solutions.

MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said the Payments Council will bring together both the providers and users of payment services in Singapore.

As the chairperson of the council, Menon noted that one of the goals is to encourage collaboration within the payments industry and promote interoperability among e-payments solutions. The council will also develop strategies to drive the adoption of e-payments.

The Payments Council will forward recommendations to MAS on payments related policies.

"We have many good e-payment solutions in Singapore. We need to make them more interoperable and better integrate them with individual and business use cases so that more people will adopt e-payments," Menon said in a statement.

He furthered, "The Payments Council brings together the various parties that can help achieve this. Our mission is to make e-payments simple, seamless, and secure for all Singaporeans."

Member firms from the banking sector include Citibank, DBS, OCBC, Standard Chartered, and UOB. Hailing from the payment service providers side are Mastercard, NETS, PayPal, and Visa.

Businesses like Grab, Lazada Singapore, Sea, Sheng Siong, and YCH Group will be joining the council as well.

Meanwhile, associations like the Federation of Merchant Associations, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Restaurant Association of Singapore, Singapore Business Federation, and Singapore Retailers Association will also contribute to the council.