Singapore: MAS Issues E-Payments User Protection Guidelines

Last Updated: 23 October 2018
Article by Eric Chan
Most Read Contributor in Singapore, October 2018

On 13 February 2018, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (" MAS") conducted a public consultation on the establishment of a framework to protect certain vulnerable users from losses, arising from unauthorised or erroneous payment transactions from accounts maintained with certain financial institutions (" FIs"), such as banks and holders of stored value facilities.

After receiving feedback from the public, MAS has on 28 September 2018 finalised its policy posture on the framework, and issued the E-Payments User Protection Guidelines ("Guidelines").


The Guidelines aim to establish a common baseline protection offered by in-scope FIs in respect of losses arising from unauthorised or erroneous transactions, and cover the following areas:

(a) application of the Guidelines

(b) duties of account holders and users;

(c) duties of the in-scope FIs;

(d) liability for losses arising from unauthorised transactions; and

(e) specific duties in relation to erroneous transactions.


In-scope FIs

The Guidelines will apply to the following FIs ("responsible FIs"):

(a) banks licensed under the Banking Act;

(b) non-bank credit card issuers licensed under the Banking Act;

(c) finance companies licensed under the Finance Companies Act; and

(d) holders of widely accepted stored value facilities approved under the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act.

In-scope accounts and holders

The Guidelines are meant to afford enhanced protection to individuals and sole proprietors, and will only be applicable in respect of a payment account ("protected account") that:

(a) is held in the name of one or more persons, all of whom are either individuals or sole proprietors;

(b) is capable of having a balance of more than S$500 (or equivalent amount expressed in any other currency) at any one time, or is a credit facility; and

(c) is capable of being used for electronic payment transactions.

Duties of account holders and users1

The Guidelines set out the duties applicable to account holders and users of a protected account, as summarised below:

(a) account holders are expected to provide the responsible FI with complete and accurate contact information and monitor notifications;

(b) account users are expected to safeguard account access codes (eg to not voluntarily disclose codes to third parties, unless instructed to do so);

(c) account users are expected to protect access to the protected account (eg to ensure the device to access the protected account is secure and uses strong passwords);

(d) account holders are expected to report unauthorised transactions to the responsible FI as soon as practicable, after receipt of any alert for any unauthorised transaction via proper channels;

(e) account holders are expected to provide comprehensive information on unauthorised transactions within a reasonable time to the responsible FI; and

(f) account holders are expected to make a police report if the responsible FI requests such a report to be made to facilitate its claims investigation process.

Duties of the responsible FI

The Guidelines also set out the duties of responsible FIs. In summary, responsible FIs are expected under the Guidelines to:

(a) clearly inform the account holder of user protection duties, ie the duties of the account holder and account user (as set out above), and the responsible FI (as set out below);

(b) provide timely transaction notifications to account holders in respect of all transactions made to or from the account holder's protected account2;

(c) provide recipient credential information, ie an onscreen opportunity for an account user of a protected account, to confirm the payment transaction and recipient credentials before the transaction is executed;

(d) provide reporting channels for the purposes of reporting unauthorised or erroneous transactions;

(e) assess claims and complete claims investigation related to unauthorised transactions to determine account holder's liability; and

(f) credit the account holder's protected account with the total loss arising from any unauthorised transaction, where it has been determined that the holder is not liable for any such loss.

Liability for losses arising from unauthorised transactions3

The Guidelines set out the circumstances under which an account holder of a protected account is liable for losses arising from unauthorised transactions, as follows:

(a) the account holder of a protected account is liable for actual loss arising from an unauthorised transaction where, any account user's recklessness (eg non-compliance with his duties under the Guidelines) was the primary cause of the loss. The actual loss that the account holder is liable for is capped at any applicable transaction limit or daily payment limit that the account holder and responsible FI have agreed to;

(b) the account holder of a protected account is not liable for any loss arising from an unauthorised transaction if, the loss arises from any action or omission by the responsible FI (eg fraud, negligence, or non-compliance of duties by the FI) and does not arise from any failure by any account user to comply with any of his duties under the Guidelines; and

(c) Where the loss arises from any action or omission by any third party independent of the responsible FI and does not arise from any failure by any account user to comply with any of his duties under the Guidelines, the account holder of a protected account is not liable for any loss arising from an unauthorised transaction that does not exceed S$1,000.

In this regard, responsible FIs will likely be expected to revise their account agreements to give effect to the above standards set by MAS.

Notwithstanding the above:

(a) where the account agreement specifies a lower amount for the account holder's liability in the same situations described above, the responsible FI should honour such lower amount; and

(b) the responsible FI may offer to reduce the account holder's liability specified above, on a case by case basis.

Specific duties in relation to erroneous transactions4

The Guidelines also set out the duties applicable to FIs and account holders in respect of erroneous transaction, as follows:

(a) duty of FIs: Where an account holder has informed his responsible FI that he or an account user has initiated an erroneous transaction, and the account holder's FI has informed the wrongful recipient's FI of the erroneous transaction, the FIs of both the account holder and of the wrong recipient should make reasonable efforts to recover the sum sent in error.

That said, the FIs are not expected to resolve each erroneous transaction claim but to facilitate effective communication between the account holder and the recipient with the aim to improve the account holder's chances of recovering the payment amount sent through the erroneous transaction; and

(b) duty of the account holder: The account holder is expected to provide all information on erroneous transaction requested by the responsible FI.

The Guidelines, which will become effective on 31 January 2019, can be accessed here.


1 Under the Guidelines:

"account user" refers to: (a) any account holder; or (b) any person who is authorised in a manner in accordance with the account agreement, by the responsible FI and any account holder of a protected account, to initiate, execute or both initiate and execute payment transactions using the protected account; and

"account holder" refers to any person in whose name a payment account has been opened or to whom a payment account has been issued, and includes a joint account holder and a supplementary credit card holder.

2 This duty only applies in respect of a credit card, charge card or and debit card issued by the responsible FI.

3 This does not apply to any responsible FI in respect of any credit card, charge card or debit card issued by the responsible FI.

4 Under the Guidelines, an "erroneous transaction" is a payment transaction from a protected account such that money has been placed with or transferred to the wrong recipient.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions