Ripple approved to operate in Singapore.
Blockchain solutions provider Ripple has been given preliminary approval for the Major Payments Institution License by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This means that its subsidiary in Singapore, Ripple Markets APAC Pte Ltd, is among the few companies that can offer regulated digital payment token products and services to citizens while operating in the country.
Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO, commented:
“Singapore is a leading global financial center and a prominent gateway to business in Asia Pacific. We’re incredibly proud to receive an in-principle license from the MAS, reaffirming our commitment to the region and ongoing proactive engagement with regulators globally.”
This in-principle regulatory approval from the MAS is a significant milestone for Ripple, which has been strengthening its position in Singapore since 2017 when it opened its Asia Pacific headquarters. According to Ripple’s Chief Legal Officer Stu Alderoty, the license will allow the company to provide better support to its “forward-looking customers” and facilitate the process of building a “more inclusive and borderless financial system”.
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What Is a Major Payment Institution License?
The Payment Services Act (PSA) came into effect in Singapore in 2020, streamlining the payment services regulatory framework under a single piece of legislation. There are three classes of licenses under which the MAS regulates, and one of them is the Major Payment Institution, which allows the license holder to carry out any number of payment services if the activity exceeds specific threshold limits.
The license allows holders to offer account issuance services, domestic and cross-border money transfer services, merchant acquisition services, e-money issuance services, digital payment token services, and money-changing services.
Since 2020, MAS has received as many as 680 applications for payment services licenses. Some were rejected, and about 214 applications were withdrawn. For example, Binance’s arm in the region, Binance Asia Services (BAS), withdrew its application for a license from MAS in 2021, citing “strategic, commercial, and developmental considerations” as the reason. It has continued operating in Singapore, focusing on blockchain innovation.
So far, MAS has approved 190 Major Payment Institution licenses and 11 Digital Payment Token Service licenses.
Ripple’s Growth in APAC
Ripple’s presence in the Asia Pacific region has been strong, with the company seeing Singapore as one of its fastest-growing markets and the highest on the list for recruitment. Over the past year, its headcount has doubled, reaching 50 employees.
Brad Garlinghouse said:
“Singapore is a leading global financial center, and a prominent gateway to business in Asia-Pacific.”
Ripple’s transactions have surged by 130% year-over-year. In addition, its On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service in the APAC has grown more than five times in 2022 in response to increased demand for quick settlements and immediate access to funds. Currently, Ripple is focusing on further strengthening its position in the region.