PayTech giant Airwallex to expand ASEAN foothold following regulatory approval

Global payments platform Airwallex has been granted a Major Payment Institution License in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Payment Services Act.

Airwallex will progressively introduce a suite of product and service offerings that will enable businesses in Singapore to operate and grow across the ASEAN region and globally.

This includes a modern global business account, multi-currency wallet company and employee cards, spend management, online payments, international collection and transfer, in addition to other value-add solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, and APIs for larger businesses.

The regulatory approval follows the company’s entry into Southeast Asia after securing a money service business (MSB) license in Malaysia. The PayTech unicorn also raised its valuation to $4bn in September this year following the close of an oversubscribed Series E funding round.

Jack Zhang, CEO and co-founder of Airwallex, said the company continues to make steady progress in Southeast Asia, “Receiving this approval reflects our robust policies, compliance framework and risk management systems we have put in place.

“We will continue to work closely with regulators and partners to ensure we facilitate a safe, effective and transparent way to manage their cross-border financial transaction needs. We look forward to launching our services in Singapore next year and enabling businesses in Singapore to operate globally without borders.”

Singapore has established a strong FinTech market over the years. Since 2017, a total of $6.7bn has been invested through 457 investment rounds, according to data from FinTech Global. 

The country’s FinTech sector experienced a significant drop off during 2020, falling from $2.1bn annual investment to just $884.2m. However, it looks to have recovered from the draught. In the opening six months of 2021 $1bn has been invested through 97 funding rounds.

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