Singapore, a leading global FinTech hub has a vibrant and collaborative FinTech ecosystem comprising of 270+ FinTech startups, several technology companies, financial institutions, investors, accelerators, research institutes and institutes of higher learning. With its business-friendly environment, access to expertise and strong support from the government and regulators, the city-state is ranked as one of the top FinTech hubs in the world. In 2014, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced plans to make Singapore into a “Smart Nation,” an effort to co-create a better future by improving the welfare of Singaporeans through technology-enabled solutions. With this objective, stakeholders from the government and the industry have come together to identify issues and develop solutions.
Financial technology is an integral part of Singapore’s ambition to be a Smart Nation. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is rapidly moving towards the creation of a Smart Financial Centre where technology is used pervasively in the financial industry. To support the development of a vibrant FinTech ecosystem, the MAS has taken several steps such as committing S$225 million under the Financial Sector Technology & Innovation (FSTI) scheme, the launch of the FinTech and Innovation Group (FTIG) and the FinTech Office, creation of a FinTech regulatory sandbox, a move towards an open-API architecture, the “Singapore Payment Roadmap” and the opening of the MAS’s FinTech innovation lab – the “Looking Glass @ MAS,” amongst other first of their kind initiatives.
To further create an atmosphere to drive innovation and co-creation, the MAS in partnership with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) has organized a week-long inaugural Singapore FinTech Festival (we’ve got a special discount for you – see below). The event will include a series of distinct, back-to-back FinTech events and is set to take place from the 14 to 18 November 2016 and will bring together startups, financial institutions, investors, government agencies and other local and international ecosystem partners. Besides networking events and a grand closing party, the Singapore FinTech Festival will comprise of the following components:
1. Innovation Lab Crawl: MAS will kicking off the event with this event. Singapore houses several innovation centers by banks, insurance companies, financial institutions and technology companies. More than 20 FinTech innovation labs across Singapore are proving a rare experience to visit their labs and get a sneak peek into the future.
2. Global FinTech Hackcelerator: The global accelerator program aims to create market-ready and impactful FinTech solutions to the 100 problem statements published by MAS and developed in collaboration with the industry. The 100 problem statements are from 10 broad categories: KYC/Identity Authentication, RegTech, Trade Finance, Insurance, Financial Literacy, Financial Inclusion, Customer Engagement, Payments, Portfolio Management and Capital Markets. The Hackcelertaor demo day will showcase the 20 finalist teams that are part of the 10-week long virtual accelerator program. About 650+ submissions were received from 50 countries around the globe and 72% of the applications were from APAC, 16% from EMEA and 12% from Americas.
3. FinTech Awards: The FinTech Awards will recognize the 10 most innovative FinTech solutions developed by FinTech startups, financial institutions and technology companies. The 10 winners will receive S$1.15 million worth of prizes. Over 215 global submissions were received for the FinTech Awards, and 74% of the applications were from APAC, 21% from EMEA and 5% from Americas. The FinTech Awards will also showcase the three winners from the Global FinTech accelerator.
4. Conferences and Events: The Festival will include the following conferences:
- MAS FinTech Conference: This two-day multi-format conference will cover technology topics such as digital and mobile payments, authentication, advanced sensors, APIs, big data, blockchain, machine learning, along with leaders’ dialogues on corporate banking, consumer banking, financial markets and insurance.
- ABS-MAS Tech Risk Conference: The conference is in its fourth edition this year and will focus on technology risk issues such as cybersecurity, continuous authentication, online fraud monitoring, IT outsourcing, cloud adoption framework and predictive analytics in security.
- ABS-MAS RegTech Forum: This will be the first RegTech-focused conference in Asia. It will look at the opportunities and challenges for RegTech, the role of public sector, examples of new technologies and compliance areas that need the highest transformation.
It is expected that the initiatives taken by the MAS will create a blueprint for other innovative and forward-thinking regulators to follow suit. The FinTech Festival has generated global interest in budding entrepreneurs and technologists wanting to locate and start FinTech companies out of Singapore. With a strong ecosystem of talent from banking and financial services, engineers building interesting technology and a growing venture capital interest in financial technology, the regulatory push by the MAS is a very welcome move for Singapore and Asia.
Let’s Talk Payments is a proud media partner of the Singapore FinTech Festival and will be covering the event in person. Register here for the Singapore FinTech Festival and don’t forget to use our special partner discount code – LTP10 – on the registration page. Hope to see you there!