Singapore's position in the global fintech arena

Obtaining a Fintech license in Singapore in 2024 requires not only a thorough understanding of the current regulatory requirements and legal framework but also an appreciation of Singapore's standing on the global fintech stage. In recent times, the nation has solidified its position as a key front-runner in the financial technology industry, regularly placing within the top five countries offering ideal environments for the growth of fintech enterprises and technological markets. This achievement is supported by various analyses and evaluations.

One significant factor contributing to Singapore's prominence in the global fintech arena is its pioneering approach and openness to cutting-edge technologies. The government actively fosters the growth of fintech initiatives, providing support at various stages of their development. An exemplary form of such support is the establishment of a regulatory "sandbox," which allows fintech companies to experiment with innovative solutions in a secure and regulated environment.

It is crucial to note that in the context of securing a Fintech license in Singapore, regulators are committed to ensuring a high degree of transparency and security, which in turn fosters increased confidence in the country's fintech sector. Despite rigorous oversight, the licensing process is regarded as relatively straightforward and transparent, making Singapore an appealing destination for international fintech companies and investors.

Additionally, Singapore's involvement in international initiatives such as the Global Financial Innovation Network fosters the exchange of expertise and insights in the fintech sector, thereby making a substantial contribution to the global development of this industry. Acquiring a fintech license in Singapore, therefore, represents not merely a step towards operating a successful enterprise but also an entry into a progressive and dynamically evolving international fintech community.

Incentives for the development of fintech businesses in Singapore

Securing a fintech license in Singapore stands as a crucial step for businesses aiming to penetrate a dynamic and innovative market. With its various benefits supporting the development of fintech enterprises, Singapore positions itself as a leading financial center in Asia and worldwide. These advantages not only attract new firms but also foster the expansion and advancement of established companies.

The Singaporean government’s approach to advancing innovation and technological expansion is a crucial element in simplifying the process of acquiring a fintech license in the country. Singapore's administration is deeply involved in the fintech sector by offering monetary support and nurturing an environment conducive to the growth of cutting-edge technologies. For instance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has invested heavily in developing an innovation ecosystem, which encompasses financial backing for fintech research and development.

The creation of a regulatory "sandbox," which enables fintech businesses to test innovative goods and services in a controlled setting free from onerous regulatory constraints, is another important incentive. By allowing businesses to experiment with innovations more freely, this framework reduces risks and speeds up the adoption of new technology.

In addition, to streamline the process of obtaining a fintech license in Singapore, the country offers favorable tax conditions and infrastructural support. Low or even zero taxes on specific activities, alongside incentives for new companies, create an appealing economic environment for investors and entrepreneurs. This, in turn, attracts capital and fosters the growth of the sector.

Overall, Singapore has crafted a conducive environment for fintech companies by offering a combination of government support, progressive regulatory policies, and advantageous economic conditions. These incentives not only foster the growth of existing fintech enterprises but also attract new ventures seeking to obtain a fintech license and commence their operations in Singapore.

Legislative regulation of fintech activities

Payment Services Act (PSA) and its impact on the fintech industry

The purpose of implementing the PSA is to enhance oversight of payment systems and service providers, thereby mitigating the risks associated with these operations.

The law introduces a two-tier regulatory structure. Through the Designation Regime, the regulator has the ability to designate certain payment systems aimed at ensuring financial stability, increasing efficiency, and supporting competition in the financial sector. The licensing regime provides an adaptive approach based on risk analysis, ensuring adequate regulation of payment service provider operations, taking into account their volume of activity and associated risks.

A key aspect of the PSA is to set standards for seven main types of payment services:

  • Currency operations
  • Processing of digital tokens
  • Issue of electronic money
  • Payment acceptance services
  • International and domestic transfers
  • Issue of invoices

The law also establishes restrictions on the provision of credit and prohibits the issuance of cash from payment accounts, aimed at protecting consumer rights and preventing abuses in the payment services sector.

Thus, this law plays a pivotal role in legitimizing the activities of Fintech companies in Singapore, ensuring adaptability of the regulatory environment to innovations and fortifying consumer interests protection and stability in the financial sector.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) Policy

Obtaining a fintech license in Singapore in the context of ICO is subject to important legal norms that are being developed and adapted to current market conditions. Singapore's primary policy regarding ICO reflects a flexible and phased approach, with particular attention paid to the classification of various types of tokens and their potential applications in the financial sector.

One of the key aspects of regulating ICO in Singapore is the determination of the token type issued during the ICO. In Singapore, tokens are classified based on their functions and utility. For instance, they may be deemed as securities, payment tokens, or derivative financial instruments. Each of these classifications entails distinct legal obligations and regulatory requirements.

The issuance of a fintech license in Singapore for conducting ICO also entails the necessity of adhering to stringent AML/CFT requirements. This mandates companies to conduct thorough KYC checks and transaction monitoring.

Furthermore, the authorities in Singapore are actively responding to changes in the digital currency and ICO sphere by introducing new recommendations and regulations to ensure transparency and transaction security. This implies that companies wishing to conduct ICO must constantly monitor updates to regulatory requirements and adapt their operations accordingly.

Obtaining a fintech license in Singapore for an ICO requires meticulous preparation and careful planning by companies, considering that regulatory requirements may evolve in line with market developments and the emergence of new technologies. Tracking and complying with these requirements is a pivotal factor for the successful launch and conduct of ICO within Singapore's jurisdiction.

The process of obtaining a license for payment services

Choosing the right type of legal entity for conducting FinTech business in Singapore

The establishment of a fintech company in Singapore commences with the selection of an appropriate legal entity type for conducting business. The choice of legal form carries long-term implications, including taxation, reporting obligations, and levels of legal liability. In Singapore, several primary types of legal structures exist, suitable for fintech companies.

Private Limited Company

This is the most preferred choice for fintech companies in Singapore. This type of LLC offers limited liability to its shareholders, meaning that the personal assets of shareholders are shielded from the debts and obligations of the company. Additionally, such a company can avail itself of various tax incentives and stimuli offered in Singapore.

Public Limited Company

This form of legal entity is suitable for larger fintech projects planning to raise funds through public offering of shares. This type of JSC has the right to trade its shares on the open market, but at the same time it is subject to more stringent regulatory requirements and transparency.


This type of legal form entails joint entrepreneurship of two or more individuals (natural or juridical). There are several varieties of partnerships in Singapore, including General Partnership, Limited Partnership, and Limited Liability Partnership. The choice of partnership type depends on the governance structure, desired level of liability, and financial capabilities of the participants.

The choice of a suitable legal form for a fintech company in Singapore depends on a multitude of factors, including the scale of operations, future plans, financial capabilities, and preferences regarding management and operational flexibility. Each legal form has its own peculiarities in terms of taxation, reporting, and corporate governance, so it is important to carefully assess all options and, if necessary, seek advice from qualified lawyers or consultants.

Please remember that establishing a fintech company in Singapore also necessitates compliance with local corporate, tax, and regulatory requirements. For instance, private limited companies are mandated to have at least one local director, maintain corporate financial records, and file tax declarations.

The establishment of a fintech company in Singapore represents an appealing opportunity for entrepreneurs, thanks to the favorable business climate, robust legal framework, and active governmental support for innovation. However, the key to successful launch and sustainable growth of the business lies in the prudent selection of legal structure and strict adherence to all requisite regulatory requirements.

Choosing the right type of financial license in Singapore

The process of obtaining a Fintech license in Singapore commences with the determination of the most suitable type of financial license, which becomes a pivotal stage for companies intending to provide payment services in this jurisdiction. Based on the specificity of their operations and the volume of transactions, enterprises may choose among several license categories proposed within the Payment Services Act.

Standard Payment Institution (SPI) license

Tailored for businesses executing limited payment activities, securing an SPI permit in Singapore involves predefined transaction thresholds: up to 3 million SGD monthly for one payment service category and up to 6 million SGD for a blend of services. The mandated capital for this license tier stands at 100,000 SGD, making it an attainable choice for small and medium-sized enterprises aiming to partake in payment operations within Singapore's regulatory purview.

License of a Major Payment Institution (MPI)

Adapted for companies engaged in more substantial payment operations, the MPI license stands out for its absence of limits on transaction volumes. Obtaining it requires a minimum paid-up capital of SGD 250,000, indicating the necessity of possessing adequate resources to manage the risks associated with extensive payment activities.

License for currency exchange

Specialized for entities exclusively engaged in currency exchange operations. This type of license permits the execution of exchange transactions without involvement in other types of payment services.

Selecting the right license category necessitates a detailed examination of the company's operations, considering its scale and its capability to meet financial and regulatory standards. Businesses aiming to secure a Fintech permit in Singapore should meticulously evaluate their activities to identify the license that aligns with their operational requirements and long-term objectives.

Required documentation to obtain a license

The application for a license for fintech companies in Singapore is submitted through the online platform of the MAS. This procedural process, involving multiple stages, may extend over several months, during which the regulatory body may request additional information or clarifications. The main set of documentation includes:

  • Documentation confirming KYC and AML compliance.
  • Detailed business plan with business model, expected income/expenses, marketing, and management strategies.
  • Risk analysis and mitigation strategies.
  • Internal cryptocurrency policies covering transactions, client fund protection, risk management, and legal compliance.
  • Confirmation of required authorized capital.
  • Financial and compliance audit reports.

It is vital to understand that obtaining a license successfully requires meticulous compliance with global standards and regulations. Any deviations might lead to the rejection of the license application. We highly advise engaging with our experts to guarantee adherence to all criteria and to facilitate the smooth acquisition of the license.

Possible difficulties and taxes for FinTech license holders in Singapore

Taxation system for companies with a registered FinTech license in Singapore

The implementation of a fintech project in Singapore entails the application of unique tax provisions, necessitating due consideration. Singapore employs a single-tier corporate tax system, ensuring that taxes paid at the company level are final, with no additional taxes levied on dividends distributed to shareholders.

The primary corporate tax rate in Singapore is set at 17%, which stands as one of the lowest rates both in the Southeast Asian region and globally. This renders the jurisdiction particularly appealing to foreign investors, considering the reduction from 26% during the period from 1997 to 2000 to the current value.

Singapore offers significant tax benefits to encourage business growth, particularly during the initial phase of a company's lifecycle. For instance, for the first three years of operation, new enterprises are exempt from paying taxes on their first 100,000 SGD of earnings. Additionally, there is a 50% tax rate reduction available for income surpassing 100,000 SGD. These incentives make Singapore's tax environment exceptionally attractive for emerging ventures.

Notably, Singapore does not levy a tax on capital gains, providing an extra benefit for enterprises, especially in the financial technology domain. This promotes the inflow of overseas capital and the advancement of pioneering initiatives.

Consequently, Singapore's taxation framework fosters an advantageous environment for the launch and expansion of fintech enterprises by providing attractive rates and various incentives, which in turn drive economic growth and draw global businesses.

Potential difficulties

Setting up a fintech venture in Singapore might face numerous obstacles, including high running costs and rigorous financial regulations.

Operating costs

Singapore is one of the world's largest financial centers, which entails significant expenditures on company maintenance. While there are ways to optimize these costs, fledgling fintech companies should consider substantial expenses for office rent, employee salaries, and other operational expenditures.

Bank requirements

Fintech companies registered in Singapore, especially in their early stages of development, may encounter stricter requirements from banks. This includes conditions for opening and maintaining bank accounts, as well as compliance with AML/KYC norms. Banks in Singapore rigorously monitor adherence to these regulations, which may create additional administrative barriers for fintech companies.

Financial regulation

Singapore boasts a sophisticated financial infrastructure and stringent regulatory framework in the realm of financial services, imposing additional licensing and financial management requirements for fintech companies. Such requisites may prove challenging for emerging market entrants.These factors may pose certain barriers to the initiation and advancement of fintech businesses in Singapore; however, with a prudent approach and strategic planning, they can be overcome.

Support and investment in the fintech sector

The reputation sandbox and its implications for innovation

The registration of a fintech firm in Singapore encompasses the opportunity to engage in the regulatory "sandbox," which plays a pivotal role in fostering innovation and advancement within the fintech industry. The MAS sandbox constitutes a distinctive platform enabling fintech companies to trial new products and services within a controlled environment, thereby bypassing the full spectrum of regulatory requirements. It is established to afford fintech startups the chance to validate their innovations under real-world conditions while remaining under constant supervision of the regulatory body.

This concept significantly influences the innovation process by mitigating legal risks and regulatory uncertainty often accompanying the development and implementation of new financial technologies. Operating within a "sandbox" enables fintech companies to experiment and devise novel approaches without jeopardizing compliance with existing legislation. This accelerates the market entry of new solutions and helps reduce costs associated with innovation development and deployment.

The regulatory "sandbox" in Singapore, furthermore, cultivates collaboration between fintech startups and investors. Startups that have undergone the "sandbox" and successfully completed product testing often attract additional financing, indicating heightened trust from the investment community. Thus, participation in the "sandbox" not only aids in the development and testing of new fintech products and services but also assists startups in streamlining internal processes and preparing for successful market entry of their products.

These factors render the regulatory "sandbox" a pivotal instrument for stimulating innovation and fostering the development of the fintech sector in Singapore, concurrently ensuring an appropriate equilibrium between the advancement of novel technologies and adherence to regulatory standards.

Investment strategy and initiatives for financing fintech projects

Exploring the FinTech landscape in Singapore, particularly within the ambit of the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation initiative, presents an avenue rich in essential resources and funding. These are conducive to driving advancements in environmental sustainability, social accountability, and corporate governance (ESG) areas. Noteworthy among the funding opportunities is the ESG FinTech Grant, tailored to enhance the adoption of technological innovations addressing key ESG challenges within Singapore's financial sector.

The primary components of the ESG FinTech grant are outlined below:

  • Grant purpose: the primary objective of this grant is to enhance the capabilities of financial institutions in the management of ESG data and infrastructure. Additionally, the grant facilitates capital mobilization for sustainable activities and monitoring plans for transitioning to net-zero.
  • The Financial Industry Technology and Advancement initiative remains in effect until March 2026. It is crucial to take this timeframe into account when planning your project, as submissions will be open until that date. Nevertheless, endorsed projects may extend their operations beyond this cutoff.
  • Funding: the grant may cover up to 50% of qualifying expenses, capped at $500,000 USD. This implies substantial support for the implementation of your ESG-oriented projects. The maximum funding duration is 18 months.
  • Qualifying expenses: the grant allows for covering various categories of expenditures, including workforce, professional services, hardware and software, equipment, and intellectual property. This provides ample opportunities for financing your projects.
  • To present an application for funding, it's advisable to make contact with the Green FinTech MAS office to converse about your project concepts. It's crucial to bear in mind that the submission must occur three months prior to the project commencement, so careful planning and reaching out to pertinent institutions are key.

Accessing the ESG FinTech subsidy within the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation initiative while founding a FinTech enterprise in Singapore could represent a pivotal advancement in your operational framework. This support not only nurtures company expansion but also underscores a dedication to a sustainable future, aligned with principles of environmental and social responsibility. Ensure compliance with official guidelines and submission deadlines to optimize the impact of your initiative.


Our specialists are ready to provide complete help and consultations for anybody interested in a detailed explanation of the FinTech licensing procedure in Singapore. Our organization will offer you expert advice at every stage of obtaining a license, from document preparation to regulatory compliance, since we have extensive understanding in this area.

We'll provide a personalized solution designed to fit your company's unique needs, aiding in crafting a plan that thoroughly considers the regulatory nuances of the Singaporean market. Our offerings extend beyond merely submitting documents and engaging with the MAS; we also deliver guidance on adjusting your business approach to align with local legal mandates.

Moreover, we provide assistance in enhancing your internal procedures to adhere to KYC and AML regulations, pivotal elements of running a FinTech firm in Singapore. Additionally, our experts will aid you in crafting a robust risk management framework and offer guidance on matters concerning cybersecurity and safeguarding data. To commence partnership and acquire further insights, please reach out to us via your preferred means of communication.