When it comes to fintech, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is one of world’s most forward thinking organisations.
The agency not only enables local fintech startups to thrive and prosper, but reaches out globally, signing deals with its equivalent local authorities all over the world, from Australia, to the Caribbean, to neighbouring countries in South East Asia – as well as the Financial Conduct Authority in London – with the purpose of collaborating, sharing technologies, and comparing regulatory regimes.
The MAS is also taking responsibility for organising Singapore’s second annual Fintech Festival, which is taking place throughout this week. Last year’s event drew in 13,00 participants from 60 countries globally.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech officer at MAS has declared that “This year’s festival will be brighter, bigger, better”, and this being Singapore, there’s no doubt the conference will have been double-ringed in the calendars of the “fin-tech-erati” – so what can we expect to see and hear about? Here’s a quick guide from The Money Cloud.
Innovation Lab Crawl
On Monday, attendees were invited to visit a collection of more than 20 Innovation Labs hosted by major global tech, finance and IT companies, including Accenture, Allianz, Visa and Oracle.
The Labs were staged in different locations around Singapore and tackled innovations ranging from open banking and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), to working alongside fintech startups on disruptive solutions, and speakers included representatives from the likes of Ant Financial, Microsoft, JP Morgan, IBM and Paypal.
Oracle invited 2 finalists from the Fintech Awards, Ernit, a “smart piggy bank”, and SnapCheck, to work with its Open API Platform to create new solutions targeted at the financial industry.
Fintech Awards Night
Tomorrow, jointly hosted by the MAS and the Association of Banks in Singapore, Fintech Awards Night will celebrate some of the best innovative solutions implemented by startups, financial institutions and tech companies.
10 selected winners will be announced at the Awards night, whittled down from 30 finalists selected by a panel of experts, from an initial pool of 309 entrants. MAS chief Mohanty has already commented on the improvement in “the quality and variety of submissions”, this year, whilst emphasising that the sustained interest in the Awards “reflects the growth and evolution of the Singapore Fintech eco-system.” Right on both counts.
Doubtless, the winners on the night will be at a distinct advantage when it comes to securing funding, marketing their products and pushing towards the full commercialisation of their startup companies.
Hackcelerator KPMG Digital Village
The KPMG Digital Village has helped 20 startups, who won through from a pool of more than 580 entrants from more than 40 countries, complete a 12-week accelerator program cum hackathon, working with corporates, investors, partners and regulators.
It is anticipated that each member of the cohort will present a fully functioning prototype of their solutions at the Demo Day.
The conference will be held at the Singapore Expo and combines the focus of three distinct elements; a Regtech Forum, Tech Risk Conference, and Fintech conference; into a multi-track agenda. Topics under the microscope include data analytics, cybersecurity, risk, apps, financing, and the regulatory ecosystem, as well as analysis of the latest developments across both developing and emerging markets.
Deals, deals, deals!
This year, on Friday, the Investor Summit has been nicknamed “Deal Day”, and is described as an attempt to “improve the quantity and quality of FinTech investment deals in Singapore.”
Sponsored by Ernst & Young, more than 1,000 startups will be able to deliver their Elevator pitches to 400+ investors with apparently as much as $5 billion available for investment.
There will be no shortage of VCs and the investment arms of major financial corporates. Nomura, Orange Growth Capital, Ingenico Group, Chartered Investment Managers, the list is a long one.
The Deal Day is the culmination of a lengthy selection / assessment process that began in July, and has included initial submission consideration, matchmaking, and independent consultation for both startups and investors across the entire investment process.
The Deal Day itself takes place at the Ritz Carlton, and it’s by invitation only. For the lucky startups that made it all the way through the process, this will surely feel like the Golden ticket.
Singapore’s authorities have thrown a lot of weight behind the fintech industry – conferences such as this are the perfect opportunity for global investors to line up, and place their bets.
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