Updated: Jan 28
Approximately 60,000 professionals from around the world attended the Singapore FinTech Festival. The 5-day event was held entirely online Dec. 7 to 11, with a 24-hour agenda designed to accommodate a massive global audience.
Participants included major FinTech ecosystem players from financial services, technology, innovation sectors all over the world. The show attracted FinTech advocates as well as legions of FinTech curious. High-profile speakers included government officials, regulators and established well-known executives.
Following are some highlights from diverse and content-rich agenda:
According to the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat, Pandemic has increased the inequalities in many societies. We must take a more inclusive approach in our global recovery plans and sustain the spirit of working together globally to overcome this crisis.
Singapore has served as global financial hub by investing in innovation and work in collaboration with Asia and Singapore. Singapore has just issued 4 digital bank licenses which will strengthen Singapore’s financial sector for the digital economy.
There are unique opportunities arising for startups and SMEs to collaborate and create digitalization solutions.
SME accounts for 90% of business worldwide and 50% of global employment. Singapore is helping SMEs to be more digitalized to adapt the new normal. For instance, Singapore is helping SMEs to adopt enterprise IT solutions for invoicing and payments. They are also helping SMEs to connect with consumer platforms globally to expand their market. The utilize the digital solution to connect the traditional business and the rest of the world market is a great way for SMEs to access a much larger ecosystem of suppliers and buyers.
Public and private sector collaboration in terms of research and development in innovation has been the tradition. Singapore government will continue to invest 1% of GDP in innovation to deepen the tech ecosystem, fintech ecosystem, etc. and are finalizing the plans for the next 5 years.
During the conference, the Deputy prime minister has announced the Asian institute of digital Finance, the first institute to be hosted by the National University of Singapore and backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore’s national research foundation.
Additionally, to address the limitation of varied blockchain solution developments, Singapore launched blockchain innovation program to expand the research to the needs of industry challenge and looking into scalability and interoperability of blockchain solutions.
Besides innovation, Singapore is also strengthening global cooperation. Through the open innovation network, Singapore has organized varied programs for startups all over the world to address common industry challenges. In Asia Pacific, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership was signed in Nov by 15 member states, including Singapore. This is the biggest trade agreement in history. There are greater global collaboration opportunities to harmonize the standards and empower greater participation in the digital economy.
Finally, Singapore has also made great progress in technology governance. In 2019, Singapore released the AI government framework, which provides guidelines on how to address ethical and governance issues. Strong governance can not only apply to how technologies use but also to how data is shared. Another great development out of this is Singapore also launched the Singapore financial data exchange on the first day of the conference. This is the world’s first public digital infrastructure that allows the person to sign in using his national digital identity and provide consent to obtain the financial information from different financial institutions and government agency.
When being asked why Citi chose Singapore as their largest wealth hub globally in one of the leadership sessions during the conference, the upcoming first female CEO of Citi in history, Jane Fraser said, “Singapore is a hub of innovation and a great role model of reinventing itself. “
Additional information about the conference is available at: Singapore FinTech Festival
Partner at LYSTAR GROUP
Tracy Lai provides strategic and business development solutions to executives, and entrepreneur. Her professional experience includes work at Fortune 500 companies including Intel and RBS, and startups. Her expertise covers business development, risk management, project management and investor relations, in Financial Services, FinTech, Innovation, Technology and Education. As management consultant and FinTech advisor, she holds multiple senior roles with focus on cross border and cross industry collaboration, including projects in US, Asia and Europe.