SEA Digest: Indonesia launches new crypto rule; Singapore to accredit 5 BNPL operators

SEA Digest: Indonesia launches new crypto rule; Singapore to accredit 5 BNPL operators

FILE PHOTO: A bitcoin is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

In Southeast Asia, regulators are seen advancing developments in the financial sector to safeguard consumers while also nurturing emerging industries.

OJK introduces new regulation for crypto

Indonesia’s financial services authority or OJK has launched a new regulation requiring crypto companies to undergo assessment within a regulatory sandbox before receiving licensing to operate in the country, according to a statement.

A regulatory sandbox is a testing ground and innovation incubator for assessing products to ensure their safety and reliability.

The transition comes at a time when the OJK prepares to oversee cryptocurrencies – which are currently under the purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Supervisory Agency (Bappebti) – in January 2025.

These regulations are outlined in financial services authority regulation (POJK) 3/2024 regarding the implementation of financial sector technology innovation (ITSK), encompassing supervision of the fintech sector and crypto assets. Companies providing services in Indonesia without undergoing sandbox evaluation will be deemed to be operating unlawfully.

“Our focus at OJK, particularly on consumer protection and education, embodies our ethos. We aspire for our regulatory frameworks to be robust, preventing fraudulent investments,” said Hasan Fawzi, OJK’s head of financial technology supervision, during a media briefing on Tuesday.

According to Bappebti data, Indonesia has 18.51 million crypto asset investors as of 2023, with transactions totaling IDR 149.25 trillion. There are 501 registered crypto assets and 33 registered crypto trading platforms

Five Singapore BNPL operators to get accreditation

Five providers of buy now, pay later (BNPL) services based in Singapore are set to receive accreditation and will be eligible to display the Trustmark from April 1, indicating compliance with the BNPL Code of Conduct, The Strait Times reported.

The five companies include Atome, SeaMoney, Grab, LatitudePay, and, confirmed Shadab Taiyabi, the president of the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA), in the report.

BNPL services allow consumers to purchase a product and make payments over time in installments. The model has been gaining popularity across Southeast Asia, especially among young shoppers.

In November 2023, the SFA announced that six players – Ablr, Atome, Grab, LatitudePay, SeaMoney, and ShopBack – were progressing toward accreditation. However, ShopBack and Ablr have withdrawn, while a new entrant,, has joined the accreditation process.

ShopBack announced in early March its decision to discontinue its Pay Later service in Singapore and Malaysia.

According to SFA, the BNPL Code of Conduct aims to enhance industry standards by implementing measures to prevent consumer over-indebtedness. Providers must join a private credit bureau to manage consumer data on outstanding BNPL loans. They must also undergo an audit by an independent assessor to obtain accreditation. Upon accreditation, they can display a Trustmark signifying compliance with the code for three years before seeking re-accreditation.

Edited by: Padma Priya

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