Singapore to provide a conducive fintech environment

To enable both financial institutions and fintech startups in the republic to innovate, compete and collaborate.

By Kareyst Lin
Nov. 14, 2016

Singapore's strategy towards the digitisation of financial services is not to choose between financial institutions and new fintech players, but to provide conditions for both to innovate, compete and collaborate.

The aim is to create a fintech ecosystem where innovation thrives, said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), at the launch of Marvelstone Group's  new fintech innovation space LATTICE80 on 10 November 2016.

The ecosystem in mind comprises of the following: 

1.     Innovation centres of local financial institutions

2.     The fintech startup scene

3.     Institutes of research and higher learning

4.     The venture capital (VC)/private equity (PE) community of investors, and

5.     Connectivity to regional markets.

Singapore is currently home to more than 300 fintech startups, focused on each segment of the value chain. These range from providing consumers more seamless payments services to offering institutions enhanced, automated fraud monitoring.

So far,more than 20 global banks and insurance companies have set up innovation labs and research centres in Singapore.

MAS is working with the industry to facilitate greater collaboration. For example, it is encouraging the development of open Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) among financial institutions to enable efficient data sharing.

A*STAR's research institutes are partnering financial institutions on data analytics and mobile technology projects. Singapore's polytechnics and universities have also updated their curriculum and internship programmes to help their students get the hang of fintech.

Interest in VC is also growing, with some of the most active VC investors in Asian fintech being based here in Singapore.

In addition, there is a growing network of cooperation agreements connecting Singapore to other fintech centres in Australia, India, Korea and the United Kingdom (U.K.).

LATTICE80 to help nurture promising fintech startups

LATTICE80 is an important addition to the local fintech ecosystem, said Tharman.  

It offers a conducive physical space dedicated to the infrastructural needs of fintech startups. It also reduces costs for startups, and gives them convenient access to data centre and other services.

Two examples of fintech startups taking up residence in LATTICE80 are Percipient and Sparks Systems.

Percipient is a Singapore startup that has developed a digital solution for the State Bank of India. Its big data technology allows for efficient management of the bank's database of over 50 million accounts, translating into large potential cost savings.

Sparks Systems builds next generation trading platforms for hedge funds, banks, financial institutions and other high volume institutional participants in the foreign exchange market.

The innovation village also promotes collaboration and co-creation. In addition, it helps to bring startups together with VC and other investors.

Further MAS initiatives to grow VC

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