SINGAPORE, Nov. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- XREX, a blockchain-enabled financial institution specialising in cross-border payments in emerging markets, announced today that its Singapore entity has obtained in-principle approval for a Major Payments Institution (MPI) Licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation's central bank and financial regulator.
The MAS regulates digital payment token service providers (DPTSPs) under the Payments Services Act 2019, which requires a DPTSP to operate under an MPI licence that specifically allows for the provision of DPT services.
Since the establishment of this licencing regime in January 2020, hundreds of DPTSPs have submitted their applications. According to a report by The Straits Times last year, the MAS has received over 580 applications for payment services licences. Fewer than 20 DPT licences and in-principle approvals have been granted to date and with this nod from the MAS, XREX joins a group of approved exchanges, stablecoin issuers and neobanks such as Coinbase, DBS Vickers, Circle, Paxos, Ripple, and Revolut.
"Hard-fought, the approval from the MAS has taken years to come to fruition, and rightly so. Singapore wants to attract responsible actors, and the reality is that doing so necessitates a fine-tooth comb. This is great for Singapore and great for our industry as a whole," said XREX Singapore CEO, Christopher Chye. "XREX is looking forward to introducing cheaper, safer, and faster domestic and cross-border payments for Singapore and emerging market businesses."
XREX team in Singapore, taken in December 2022. (From second left to right): Christopher Chye (CEO, XREX Singapore), Winston Hsiao (Co-founder and CRO, XREX Group), Wayne Huang (Co-founder and CEO, XREX Group) (From second right to right): Jason Lai (Head of Legal, XREX Singapore), Nick Chang (Head of Compliance, XREX Group and XREX Singapore)
The MPI licence will allow XREX Singapore to expand XREX's crypto-friendly escrow payment tool - BitCheck - to support fiat, stablecoins, and cryptocurrencies.
XREX Singapore will serve as the Asia Pacific headquarters for the group. XREX will expand its partnership with major banks, credit card institutions, and payment institutions in one of the world's most important financial hubs and seamlessly bridge blockchain finance and traditional finance.
"XREX Group is the world's only digital asset player to which Singaporean and Taiwanese regulators have simultaneously granted approvals for virtual asset services. This is a testament to our unwavering commitment to the highest regulatory compliance standards," said XREX co-founder and Group CEO Wayne Huang.
XREX Singapore's in-principle approval encompasses a total of six payment services, namely:
i) Account issuance service;
ii) Domestic money transfer service;
iii) Cross-border money transfer service;
iv) Merchant acquisition service;
v) E-money issuance service; and
vi) Digital payment token service.
"Singapore boasts a progressive and robust regulatory framework, offering our users the clarity and confidence they need to access digital assets and use stablecoins," said XREX Group and XREX Singapore Head of Compliance, Nick Chang. XREX Singapore Head of Legal Jason Lai adds, "We're excited to bring to bear our team's expertise in navigating the intricacies of cross-border legal frameworks and common law principles. The in-principle approval further cements our commitment to regulatory compliance and user safety."
XREX Singapore is an MAS-regulated financial institution leveraging blockchain technology to make cross-border payments faster, cheaper and safer for businesses globally. Its proprietary escrow payment feature - BitCheck - empowers enterprises to switch flexibly between digital currencies, stablecoins or traditional currencies, thereby ushering their businesses into the new era of digital money. XREX Singapore also specialises in working with emerging markets businesses to help solve their issues with USD liquidity access.
A subsidiary of XREX Group, XREX Singapore is registered with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a Money Service Business (MSB).