The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has reported about 300 companies, including Google, Apple and Alibaba, that are operating electronic payment services in the country. And they may soon open their own crypto exchanges.
In fact, a list has been published on the official website, among which the names Google Asia Pacific, Apple Distribution International and Alibaba.com Singapore clearly stand out.
The document reads:
“The following entities have been granted an exemption from holding a licence under the Payment Services Act (“PS Act”) for the specific payment services for a specified period. Please note that these entities are not licensed under the PS Act to provide the specific payment services, but are allowed to continue to provide the specific payment services.
The exemption will cease after the specified period; or if the entity submits a licence application under the PS Act, on the date that the application is approved or rejected by MAS, or withdrawn by the applicant”.
The PS Act is Singapore’s comprehensive regulatory framework for companies operating digital asset businesses, including payments and trading.
However, while Alibaba does not currently provide e-money services, Google and Apple do. None of these companies currently offer any payment token services.
These companies would have to apply for and obtain a licence under the PS Act if they wished to continue to do so in Singapore, and it is presumable that they would do so. Once this licence is obtained, they could also operate as crypto exchanges.
In addition, rumours have been circulating online for a few days about Apple’s possible entry into the crypto exchange business.
Moreover, a few days ago, Google updated its policy on cryptocurrency-related advertisements, allowing advertisements on crypto exchanges that are recognized and licensed in the US as of 3 August.
Why Apple and Google should enter the cryptocurrency business
The fact is that both Apple Pay and Google Pay could benefit greatly from the use of cryptocurrencies, just as PayPal has benefited greatly in recent months. On the other hand, Samsung, Visa and Mastercard are also increasingly moving towards integrating cryptocurrencies into their payment systems, so it would be quite curious if Google and Apple were to leave this market in the hands of their competitors.
Finally, it should be noted that, thanks to BitPay, it is already possible to use cryptocurrencies for payments with Apple Pay, but this is a third-party service.
Integrating cryptocurrencies would mean attracting crypto users, but above all being able to collect commissions, perhaps not only on transactions but also on currency exchanges. This is why giants like Google and Apple would be better off having their own exchange, rather than relying on an external one.