About Stored Value Facilities (SVFs)
The Singapore Stored Value Facility is a Business Vehicle used for holding and managing online accounts, virtual currencies and/or prepaid debit cards. The SVF can be compared to E-Money institutions in other jurisdictions.
An SVF may be of single purpose or multi-purpose. A single purpose SVF is an SVF that is used for payment only of goods or services provided by the holder of that SVF (the merchant/service provider). Single purpose SVFs are exempt from certain sections of the Payment Systems Oversight Act 2006 (PSOA). A multi-purpose SVF is not limited to payments of goods or services provided by the holder of the SVF.
When the stored value outstanding in a multi-purpose SVF exceeds a prescribed threshold limit set in the PSOA, the SVF is regarded as a widely accepted SVF. The threshold limit stands at SGD 30 million (Approximately EUR 20 million). Approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is required for the continued operation of this type of SVF. Consequently, an SVF offering accounts and payment services as a multi-purpose SVF, but that is not holding more than SGD 30 million (or equivalent in any other currency) in total deposits at any time, does not require MAS approval.
The Singapore SVF is the perfect vehicle for offering online accounts and payment services to clients worldwide. The SVF is well suited for offshore operations (for offering services to non-Singapore residents). As an example, PayPal offers services in the US through various entities licensed as Money Service Businesses (MSBs). In Europe PayPal operates its own bank licensed in Luxembourg. Most clients located outside these regions, are served by the PayPal multi-purpose SVF (outside the MAS approval requirement).