November 15, 2017
Ravi Menon’s Remarks at Singapore FinTech Festival Singapore Expo – November 14, 2017 Ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the second edition of the Singapore FinTech Festival:
• This is the largest gathering of the global FinTech community anywhere in the world. • We have more than 25,000 participants from across 100 countries.
The world is becoming more digital, especially here in Asia.
• According to Bain & Company, in the past year alone, the number of online-engaged consumers in Southeast Asia has surged by 50% to 200 million people.
And FinTech – or the application of technology to financial services – has been at the forefront of this digital renaissance.
• According to Ernst & Young, FinTech has already achieved initial mass adoption and is now poised for mainstream adoption. • About 1 in 3 digitally active users globally already consider themselves regular users of FinTech services. In China, that figure is nearly 70%.
Singapore’s FinTech journey is set against this emerging digital future.
• It is also part of Singapore’s broader Smart Nation agenda, to harness the power of technology to support better living, increase productivity, and create new jobs. • A smart nation needs a smart financial center.
Globally, the financial industry is facing slower economic growth, tighter regulation, and keener competition. It needs to foster innovation and transform itself.
• This means harnessing technology
- to increase efficiency, manage risks better, create new opportunities, and improve people’s lives
• If Singapore is to maintain its position as one of the top financial centers in the world, it must embrace FinTech – maximizing its benefits, minimizing its risks.
And so, for the last two to three years, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been working together with the industry to foster a thriving FinTech hub. This requires getting several pieces right:
• an ecosystem of diverse players competing and collaborating; • an open architecture economy that enables connectivity and innovation; • a web of international links to promote the exchange of ideas and scale solutions; • a strong talent pool and deep research capabilities; • a conducive regulatory environment; and • a safe and secure cyber environment.
We want to create an ecosystem for innovation, where established financial institutions and FinTech startups compete as well as collaborate.
Financial institutions are no longer the laggards and technology dinosaurs of popular myth. I know this from my conversations with CEOs of global banks and insurance companies.
• Almost every major financial institution has an active innovation agenda to strengthen its business by harnessing technology. • Many CEOs today can carry on an intelligent conversation about blockchain without looking at their notes – this is a big change from just two years ago.
Singapore wants to be the place where these financial institutions test, develop, and apply new technology solutions.
• Just in the last few years, global MNCs have set up more than 30 FinTech innovation labs or research centers in Singa ...