Fintech Market Overview

This article does not constitute legal advice.

Cross-border payments in Singapore

Fintech Software

There is no concept of 'passporting' of a fintech product or service under Singapore law. The fact that a fintech company is licensed in a foreign jurisdiction does not allow it to undertake regulated activities in Singapore simply on the basis that it is licensed in the foreign jurisdiction. Regardless of its licensing status in another jurisdiction, the offering of fintech products and services to persons in Singapore may trigger licensing requirements in Singapore on the part of the offeror, which depend on the actual type and scope of the products and services being offered.1

What happens if a fintech company does not specifically target persons in Singapore in respect of its fintech product or service? The licensing requirements under the FAA and the SFA may still be triggered as they have extraterritorial effect. The relevant legislation provides that:

"Where a person does an act partly in and partly outside Singapore which, if done wholly in Singapore, would constitute an offence against any provision of this Act, that person shall be guilty of that offence as if the act were carried out by that person wholly in Singapore, and may be dealt with as if the offence were committed wholly in Singapore."1

Furthermore, even where an act is done entirely outside of Singapore, licensing requirements would still apply if the conduct has a 'substantial and reasonably foreseeable' effect in Singapore. In this regard, there is no bright line test as to when conduct will be seen to have a 'substantial and reasonably foreseeable' effect in Singapore and such an analysis should be undertaken on a case-by-case basis. One factor (of many) that should be considered is that there has been no marketing of the fintech product or service to persons in Singapore.1

Fintech in Singapore

Fintech in other countries

  1. https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-financial-technology-law-review/singapore
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