, Singapore

UK-Singapore’s digital economy deal to promote safe e-payments, trusted data

The agreement will improve online consumer protection.

The UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (UKSDEA) took effect on 14 June to provide businesses with end-to-end digital trade including safe electronic payments and trusted data flows, the government said.

According to a joint statement, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said the agreement will provide consumers with better online protection and secure cross-border payments.

Under the UKSDEA, Singapore and the UK will promote transparent and facilitative measures by encouraging open Application Programming Interfaces, adopting internationally accepted standards, and advancing interoperability between e-payment systems,

The agreement also seeks to allow paperless trading as both nations will accept electronic versions of trade administration documents.

Both nations also aim to facilitate cross-border digitalisation of supply chains, with a “focus on promoting interoperability of electronic documents such as bills of lading and invoices.” It will speed up processes, make cheaper transactions, and cut costs for businesses.

It will also boost trusted data flows by allowing businesses in Singapore and the UK to transfer information more seamlessly across borders as long as they meet the regulations.

Moreover, data localisation will be banned as it is unnecessary to trade and could increase the cost of storing data.

The agreement also facilitates trust in digital systems such as for companies using cryptography and source code protection. 

Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises’ and removing barriers in the digital economy were also included in the agreement.

The UKSDEA was signed by Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan on 25 February 2022. It took effect this June following the completion of legal requirements and procedures.

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