Payments firm Fiserv has won approval to expand its offerings in Singapore.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has granted Fiserv a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license, allowing it to provide cross-border money transfer services and real-time account transfers, Fiserv announced in a Monday (Jan. 30) news release.
The license also allows Fiserv to continue offering merchant acquiring services in Singapore, where the company has its regional headquarters.
“Fiserv, as part of the MPI license obligations and its own internal standards, will continue to enhance its rigorous compliance program, which includes anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing measures, as well as industry leading cybersecurity standards to protect customer data,” the release said.
The company’s MAS approval comes a little more than a week after Fiserv teamed up with BNY Mellon to offer financial institutions faster foreign exchange rate quotes.
Last month, the MAS granted a similar license to the commerce technology firm Payoneer. Soon after, PYMNTS spoke with Anand Bindumadhavan, the firm’s vice president of global banking, who said making cross-border payments should be as simple as sending email.
“Everyone wants to get paid or be paid by someone else,” Bindumadhavan said, noting that in international settings, “this poses a big challenge,” especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Banks might seem like the go-to providers for international payments, said Bindumadhavan, and in fact have served as the historic pillar of the financial ecosystem.
“But there are only a few truly global banks,” he added. “Most banks tend to serve their local markets — or maybe they extend, a little bit, to regional markets.”
The relative dearth of truly global players, said Bindumadhavan, has opened up “significant space” for FinTechs like his to help underserved SMBs find working capital, access cross-border payments functionality, and grow their businesses internationally.
The opportunity is there, but the challenges can seem daunting. Joint research from PYMNTS and Payoneer has found that even while SMBs represent half of employers worldwide and have an interest in expanding, 27% of SMBs say the complexity of cross-border payments hinders their ability to grow.
Just under a quarter of SMBs found their current cross-border payment solutions to be very or extremely satisfactory, the study found.
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