BNPL industry group
Singapore, 21 March 2022 -
The Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) today announced the formation of the Buy Now, Pay Later Working Group (BNPL WG) as an industry-led initiative to develop a BNPL Framework for the Singapore market. The BNPL Framework will mitigate risks of consumer over-indebtedness, ensuring that BNPL offerings will have a positive impact on Singapore consumers, as well as continue to benefit the ecosystem. The BNPL WG aims to launch the BNPL Framework in the second half of 2022.
SFA established the BNPL WG with members Atome, Grab, and hoolah, under the guidance of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
The BNPL Framework that is currently being developed by the BNPL WG will be a compendium of published documents that will address behavioural guidelines and enforcement mechanisms for organisations offering BNPL solutions.
The BNPL WG will hold itself and its members to the highest ethical and professional standards, holding themselves in conduct and practice to the guidelines outlined by the BNPL Framework. The WG will also adhere to the following guiding principles during deliberations around key issues:
- Upholding fairness, transparency, and inclusivity: The BNPL WG is committed to considering the varied views and concerns of stakeholders, including those from the public and private sectors, where relevant. Decision-making processes should be as transparent as possible, and their outcomes should look to serve all consumers well, especially those in vulnerable circumstances.
- Protecting consumer interests: The BNPL WG will focus on promoting a fair and ethical environment for the industry, protecting consumers’ interests, and instilling confidence in consumers around BNPL services and providers.
- Focusing on outcomes: The BNPL WG will strive to achieve the best possible outcomes in terms of promoting innovation and consumer safeguards.
BNPL solutions available to Singapore consumers have increased in recent years, alongside wider merchant adoption. The BNPL WG has brought on other industry players such as Ablr, Fave, Latitude Pay, Pace, Rely, Split, and Zip. Collectively, these players offer potential benefits which include the improvement of financial inclusion for underbanked and underserved segments and the democratisation of credit for the general populace. The BNPL WG is also calling out from now to 31st March 2022 to other organisations currently offering BNPL services or are planning to do so to bolster its ranks further and participate in the development of the BNPL Framework. The WG will also be opening up to closed-door consultations with other stakeholders throughout the length of this work.
Commenting on the launch of the BNPL WG, Ms Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime), MAS, said “BNPL schemes offered in Singapore today include some safeguards to mitigate the risk of excessive debt accumulation by consumers. The BNPL Framework will be an important step forward to formalising standards for the industry to ensure consumers’ interests continue to be protected. We support this initiative and look forward to the active participation of the BNPL industry in developing and effectively adopting the BNPL Framework.”
Shadab Taiyabi, President of the SFA, stated:
“BNPL has established itself as one of the key emerging trends of Singapore’s innovative FinTech ecosystem, with the potential to unlock significant benefits for Singapore consumers with sufficient guardrails implemented. SFA is proud to lead the BNPL WG in defining the best practices and standards that will uphold fairness and transparency among providers. This will ensure that consumer interests are protected, promote growth for industry players, and that we continue to put Singapore on the map as a beacon of FinTech innovation.”
Leanne Lim, Regional Head of Compliance, Atome, said: "This marks a significant step forward in the development of the BNPL industry in Singapore. We welcome this industry-led initiative and with guidance from MAS and SFA, we will work with WG committee members to drive and develop a risk-appropriate BNPL Framework for industry adoption which protects consumer interests while allowing healthy and sustainable BNPL industry growth and innovation to continue."
Wong Wenbin, Head of Grab Financial Group Singapore, said: "As Grab strives to make financial services such as BNPL more accessible and convenient for our users, it is our priority to ensure consumers spend responsibly. We welcome the opportunity to be part of this industry-led effort, with guidance from SFA and MAS. We are committed to working with BNPL WG members to codify a set of practices that will contribute to the growth of BNPL, and reinforce Singapore’s standing as a global hub for fintech innovation.”
Arvin Singh, CEO and Co-Founder of hoolah, said: “hoolah welcomes and supports this progressive initiative. We believe it will provide room for differentiation while ensuring that industry trust and consumer safety are protected. This further crystallises our mission to bring ‘Responsible Affordability’ to consumers, and we are very excited to be spearheading this alongside the SFA and peers in the industry.”
About Singapore FinTech Association (SFA)
The SFA is a cross-industry and non-profit organisation. Its purpose is to support the development of the FinTech industry in Singapore, and to facilitate collaboration among the participants and stakeholders of the FinTech ecosystem in Singapore. The SFA is a member-based organisation with over 800+ members. It represents the full range of stakeholders in the FinTech industry, from early-stage innovative companies to large financial players and service providers. To further its purpose, the SFA also partners with institutions and associations from Singapore and globally to cooperate on initiatives relating to the FinTech industry. Well-connected globally, the SFA has signed over 70 international Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to lay the network for its members and ecosystem.
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Elizabeth Yeong / Desmond Wong for Cognito, on behalf of SFA