Singapore’s fintech business continued its momentum in 2020 on the again of latest rules, fintech initiatives from regulators themselves and the introduction of the town state’s very first digital banks, in keeping with the Singapore Fintech Report 2021 produced by Fintech Information Singapore in partnership with Alibaba Cloud.
The Singapore Fintech Report 2021, launched in January 2021, which may be downloaded here, seems to be on the state of the fintech business in Singapore, highlighting the important thing developments made in 2020 which might be set to form the business for the yr to return.
The report indicated that 2020 was a fruitful yr for Singapore’s fintech startups which continued to develop and entice funding. Fintech funding in Singapore reached US$346 million in 2020, representing 6.2% of all that was raised in Asia.
The sector continued to mature and consolidate with a number of acquisition offers happening final yr together with the purchase of robo-advisory fintech Bento by Grab, and the merger of insurtech participant Singlife with Aviva Singapore.
The yr additionally saw the granting of 4 digital banking licenses. Two digital wholesale financial institution licenses went to Ant Group, and a consortium comprising Greenland Monetary Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong and Beijing Co-operative Fairness Funding Fund Administration, and two digital full financial institution licenses have been awarded to the Seize-Singtel consortium and tech big Sea.
These 4 digital banks won’t have conventional brick and mortar branches however will market their providers and function virtually completely on-line. They’re anticipated to shake up the banking business by making use of innovative know-how to serve financially excluded inhabitants. Singapore’s digital banks are set to start out enterprise from early 2022.
In 2020, Singapore confirmed its dedication to open banking with the Financial Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Good Nation and Digital Authorities Group (SNDGG) launching the Singapore Monetary Information Change (SGFindex). The infrastructure makes use of Singapore’s Nationwide Digital Identification (SingPass) to permit residents to acquire their monetary info from completely different monetary establishments and authorities businesses.
Leveraging SGFinDex, Singaporeans can consolidate all of their funds by monetary planning providers provided by monetary establishments in addition to by MyMoneySense, a free monetary planning digital service provided by the Singapore authorities.
Singapore Fintech Report 2021: Blockchain takes heart stage
One fintech vertical that has risen to prominence in Singapore is blockchain and cryptocurrency, which now dominates the native fintech scene.
Out of the 430 fintech startups recognized in Singapore, 19% function within the blockchain and cryptocurrency vertical, making it the most important section, forward of funds (16%), investments and wealthtech (14%), and regtech (11%).
2020 noticed the town state show support for the sector with the launch of a brand new S$12 million blockchain analysis program. The Singapore Blockchain Innovation Program goals to speed up the event and adoption of the know-how, and can interact near 75 corporations to conceptualize 17 blockchain associated tasks throughout the subsequent three years in sectors beginning with commerce and logistics, and provide chain.
The yr additionally noticed the Fee Service Act (PSA) come into impact, requiring cryptocurrency companies to acquire a license from MAS to adjust to anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules. Singapore’s new laws has been praised for offering regulatory readability on the rising asset class and business, and will probably lure corporations within the house into organising store within the metropolis state.
Singapore Fintech Report 2021: Overview of MAS’ funds modernisation efforts
Within the funds house, Singapore continued to modernize its fee infrastructure in 2020, with a primary space of focus being interoperability and real-time transactions.
MAS mentioned in November 2020, that ranging from February 2021, eligible non-bank monetary establishments in Singapore will have direct access to PayNow and FAST, the nation’s retail fee platforms, by a brand new API fee gateway.
From a buyer’s perspective, which means e-wallet customers will quickly be capable to make funds transfers between financial institution accounts and throughout completely different e-wallets. Presently, most e-wallets can solely be topped up through credit score or debit playing cards, and funds can’t be transferred between e-wallets.
Singapore has additionally been working with neighboring nations to attach retail fee infrastructures. In December 2020, MAS announced that the linkage between Singapore and Thailand’s nationwide quicker fee methods will formally go dwell in mid-2021. The undertaking, which has been within the works for 3 years, will join Singapore’s PayNow system with Thailand’s PayPrompt to make cross-border funds cheaper and quicker.
MAS managing director Ravi Menon has mentioned that the regulator was focused on working with different central banks within the area to increase the linkage throughout Southeast Asia.