The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today (March 16) that it has granted in-principle approval to two more fintech firms, namely Digital Treasures Center (DTC) and Hodlnaut, for Major Payment Institution Licenses under the Payment Services Act.
This news follows MAS’ move to grant in-principle approval to fintech firm Paxos last week, allowing it to provide accredited investors in Singapore with regulated access to cryptocurrencies and tokenised assets.
DTC is a Singapore-incorporated company that leverages on distributed ledger technology and finance to provide fully-compliant technology solutions for major enterprises. It offers merchants online services for accepting digital payment solutions including payment settlement, debit card and digital wallet.
Currently, DTC will be able to offer six out of the seven payment services permitted under the Payment Services Act. This includes account issuance, merchant acquisition, domestic money transfer, cross-border money transfer, e-money issuance, as well as digital payment token services.
“We are delighted to receive MAS’ nod of approval. It is a testament of DTC’s strong compliance and regulatory culture. This demonstrates that DTC can comply with regulations around digital payment tokens (DPT) and other payment services while achieving a sustainable business model,” said Desmond Yong, Chief Strategy Officer of DTC.
Once they obtain the license, DTC will be able to provide fiat-to-crypto pairing. This allows merchants to accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether, and convert them into fiat including SGD and USD.
“We seek to empower merchants to do business globally by opening a secure payment gateway to seamlessly accept crypto, cash and card,” added El Lee, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of DTC.
Only four companies are awarded the full licenses by MAS so far
Meanwhile, Hodlnaut is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency borrowing and lending platform that allows users to earn interest of up to 12.73 per cent on their cryptocurrencies by lending them to vetted institutions.
Besides its borrowing and lending services, Hodlnaut also offers a Token Swap feature. Only the latter feature is regulated by MAS.
As such, the licence will regulate its token swaps, which allow users to exchange cryptocurrencies, such as from Bitcoin to Ether.
“We are thrilled to have received the in-principle approval of the MAS to provide DPT services as a Major Payment Institution. This aids with regulatory clarity and allows us to continue to serve our users through our existing DPT services. With this, we are confident about the growth of Hodlnaut,” said Juntao Zhu, co-founder and CEO of Hodlnaut.
Hodlnaut is committed to staying compliant with the regulatory requirements while providing the best service for its users. The firm will continue working through the conditions of its in-principle approval with a view towards meeting the requirements of the MAS to receive its full license.
Once these requirements are met, both companies will be allowed to provide DPT services in Singapore. So far, only four companies are awarded the full license by MAS.
The first digital payment token licence was granted to Singapore-based fintech firm FOMO Pay in September last year, followed by Australian cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve and local bank DBS’ brokerage arm DBS Vickers in October 2021, and most recently, Singapore-based crypto payment provider TripleA in November 2021.