FinTech in the Lion City, Pushing the Industry Forward

Singapore FintechGerben Visser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the Singapore Fintech Consortium has kindly given an extensive statement regarding the FinTech advancements in the region. Here’s the second part of the special statement:

The FinTech Industry in Singapore

Based on the Global Financial Centres Index, Singapore is ranked the 4th largest financial center in the world, and is also ranked in 1st place on the World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report 2015. This confluence of financial maturity and technological readiness is critical for the acceleration of the FinTech industry, and naturally points to Singapore as a FinTech Hub.

From a regulatory perspective, the Singapore government is increasingly receptive in embracing discussions with market participants in the financial services industry and FinTech community. One very encouraging sign is its Infocomm Development Authority’s (IDA) active involvement in engaging the FinTech community, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) proactively publishing a consultation paper on securities-based crowdfunding in early 2015.

From a business viewpoint, Singapore has been voted the number one place for doing business globally. Various government bodies such as Spring Singapore, IE Singapore, and the Economic Development Board have been very supportive towards the local entrepreneurial and SME scene, offering resources for international expansion into Singapore. Singapore’s strong legal framework also provides a good degree of comfort and stability for foreign companies to establish themselves here.

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From a market penetration perspective, Singapore is geographically more strategically located closer to the booming ASEAN region, providing closer access to opportunities arising from efforts to establish greater financial inclusion in the region. In this respect, Singapore can be used as an initial testbed market before springboarding to the broader regional market. We have already begun exploring cross-border collaboration opportunities with other global financial centres and start-up ecosystems, which will continue to fuel Singapore’s growing prominence in the FinTech scene

The Drivers of FinTech in Singapore

A key driver of FinTech in Singapore is the conducive business environment. Entrepreneurship and innovation is heavily supported by government-related entities such as SPRING Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore (“IE Singapore”), Singapore Economic Development Board (“EDB”), and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (“iDA”). These organizations have been purposefully pushing initiatives aimed at encouraging and fostering innovation and enterprise in the local scene. Singapore’s strong legal framework also provides a high degree of comfort and stability for FinTech companies to establish themselves here.

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The heavy involvement of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) in FinTech activities is yet another positive development for Singapore. Recently, MAS announced a Chief FinTech Officer that will serve as an entry point for FinTech companies into MAS, and an Innovation Hub similar to the FCA in the UK will be formed. They have also affirmed their strong commitment to FinTech by committing $225 million to the Financial Sector Technology & Innovation (“FSTI”) scheme.

Finally, there is a tangible surge with regards to information sourcing and content generation in relation to FinTech. Renowned educational institutes like Singapore Management University (“SMU”) have established several centers such as the Financial IT Academy (“FITA”) or the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (“SKBI”), while several banks in the local scene have been exploring executive development programs with an emphasis on FinTech. Moving forward, the circulation and iterative refinement of shared knowledge about FinTech will definitely contribute to greater public education, awareness, and interest, which will indirectly drive a higher level of FinTech activity as well.

Learn more about the rapid development of the Bitcoin Asia situation here at Coin News Asia.

To be concluded…