4 Benefits of obtaining an EMI-license in Singapore

November 13, 2020


4 Benefits of obtaining an EMI-license in Singapore

November 13, 2020

Singapore is the fifth-largest financial center in 2020, according to 27th edition of the global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) Rank. But what is so special about Singapore? Why do so many european companies register there or open a branch office. Especially companies from the financial sphere? First of all, we need to admit that E-money is no longer a hot topic for fintech conferences but it is already a reality. Most people and businesses are using e-money on everyday basis. This is why so many businesses nowadays are looking for opportunities in this field. Let’s see which benefits are available to you by getting an EMI-license in Singapore. 

4 benefits of obtaining an EMI-license in Singapore

  1. Developed financial infrastructure. In Singapore there are around 140 banks with crypto-friendly policies. And finance is one of the main sectors contributing to nominal GDP. For example, in 2019 financial and insurance services made up 13,9% of GDP. This is a significant. That’s why many companies from the financial sphere are obtaining  an EMI-license in Singapore. The government launched the Local Enterprise E-Commerce Program (budget $9 million) in November 1998 to encourage local companies to start actively implementing e-commerce into their long-term business strategies. This is one of the reasons why the country has become one of the biggest financial centers in the past 20 years.
  2. Tax benefits. No taxation for income outside of Singapore. The income tax is just 8,5% for the first 220k USD and 17% for any subsequent income. The tax on capital gains and dividend income is 0%. Moreover, Singapore uses a single-tier tax system. This means that companies in Singapore do not have to pay capital gains or dividend taxes. Whereas, major taxes applicable to foreign enterprises doing business in China are 25%. This could be one of the main benefits of obtaining an EMI-license in Singapore, since taxes can take a major bite out of your wallet when running a business.
  3. Wide range of allowed activities with an EMI-license

    Before obtaining a license a business owner has to make a SWOT-analysis and prepare a cash flow plan. The very first question regarding an EMI-license is – what opportunities will it give the business in the future. One of the benefits of acquiring an EMI-license in Singapore is the wide range of allowed activities, which includes:
  • Payment transactions using a payment card
  • Remittance of money
  • Payment initiation
  • Business activities with e-money
  • Operation of the payment systems

    As you can see, if you wish to get an EMI-license, you would have all the rights and operations, which ordinary payment institutions have. Obviously this license greatly enhances opportunities for  growth of your business. 
  1. Low costs. The requirement for minimal capital for a major license is 155 000 euros. To obtain the same EMI license in London, the capital of your company must be 350 000 euros, as it is in Luxembourg. The second reason why you benefit from obtaining an EMI-license in Singapore is the low application fee – starting from 620 euros. Again, in Luxembourg the application fee must be 10 000 euros and in Malta – starting from 3000 euros.


Obtaining an EMI-license can improve your existing business and open promising opportunities for new companies as well. If you’re looking for a country, where you can get an EMI-license, you should definitely consider Singapore as one of the states for this. The process of obtaining a license in Singapore requires time and may be very stressful if you haven’t requested it before. UniversePay has solid experience in licensing questions with several successful cases. Our team will lead you through the whole process from collecting the documents to the application. And as an additional bonus – everything can be done remotely. Visit our website to get a free consultation. 

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