Flywire recently secured an in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to operate as a Major Payment Institution License holder. We sat down with Frans Wiwanto, Flywire’s Managing Director of APAC based in Singapore, to discuss the significance of this designation.
Congratulations on this recognition, Frans! Can you start by telling readers what this designation from MAS entails?
This is a further validation of Flywire’s ability to meet the highest standards of regulation and compliance all over the world. In Singapore, major payment institutions need to be licensed and regulated under the Payment Services Act ("PS Act") to provide payment services. Flywire has demonstrated that we are meeting these requirements, thus highlighting our commitment to data security, privacy and compliance for our clients and payers.
What are the payment services that companies licensed as a Major Payment Institution can provide?
MAS regulates seven payment services under the PS Act and payment service providers can conduct multiple payment services under one license:
- Account issuance service
- Domestic money transfer service
- Cross-border money transfer service
- Merchant acquisition service
- E-money issuance service
- Digital payment token service
- Money-changing service
Of the above services, Flywire has received an IPA for a Major Payment Institution license to provide domestic money transfer services, cross-border money transfer services and merchant acquisition services.
This is coming at a time of great momentum for Flywire’s business in Asia Pacific, right?
Yes it’s been a really exciting time for Flywire in the Asia Pacific region. We’ve continued to grow our team here to better serve our clients and payers. In July of last year, Flywire acquired Cohort Go, which has a strong regional focus in APAC, in addition to its partner relationships all over the world, and we welcomed many new FlyMates as part of the acquisition. We continue to seek top talent in the region, with many open roles available across all departments in Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai and more.
Can you speak more specifically to Flywire’s overall compliance framework?
Given we move high-value, high-stakes payments, and operate in some highly-regulated industries, we are deeply committed to upholding best practices around data security, compliance and risk management.
First, our dedicated compliance and risk management function has been built over more than a decade, giving us unparalleled experience in a young fintech space. This includes robust processes for:
- Adherence to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedures
- Adherence to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies
- Filing suspicious activity reports (SARs)
Additionally, we have a global team of data privacy and security experts who establish and execute strong data governance policies across:
- Application security
- Infrastructure security
- Physical security
- Vendor security
- Incident response and forensic investigations
We are constantly looking for the next threat, and to set the bar for data security and compliance in our industry. We use predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies to ease the complexities of money movement across borders while providing fast, compliant, and transparent receipt of payments.