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Singapore sets up payments council in push for e-payments

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to establish a payments council to help it develop an "e-payments society" in Singapore.07 Aug 2017

The council will be made up of 20 leaders from banks, payment service providers, businesses, and trade associations, each appointed for a two-year term.

MAS hopes the council will "encourage collaboration within the payments industry, promote interoperability among e-payments solutions, develop strategies to drive the pervasive adoption of e-payments, and advise and make recommendations to MAS on payments related policies", it said.

Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS will chair the council.

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

Technology law expert Bryan Tan of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint venture partner of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said:  "The payments council is a multi-stakeholder body which tries to harmonise the payments solutions being developed concurrently by different parties and represents a key part of the fintech ambitions of Singapore.

Other initiatives in Singapore's drive towards e-payments include encouraging the development of seamless payments solutions, supporting the introduction and rollout of unified point-of-sale terminals at merchants, and introducing new payments legislation to protect consumer interests and help the development of innovative payment solutions, MAS said.

The Singapore government announced in March that a Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) would be set up in the prime minister's office, and would join the government technology agency (GovTech) as part of a Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG).

Singapore's smart nation initiative was launched in late 2014, and aims to use digital solutions to provide better services for citizens and businesses. The SNDGG will coordinate the government's efforts in developing these services.

The SNDGG also will build on work that has been done by GovTech in data sharing, and partner with MAS on e-payments.