Singapore Fintech Festival 2021: What to Expect and Top Sessions to Attend

Singapore Fintech Festival 2021: What to Expect and Top Sessions to Attend

by November 8, 2021

The world’s largest fintech festival is coming back from November 08 to 12, 2021 to explore some of the hottest trends in the fintech space ranging from embedded finance and decentralized finance (DeFi), to sustainable finance and greener artificial intelligence (AI).

This year’s Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF), organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in partnership with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and in collaboration with Constellar (formerly known as SingEx-Sphere Holdings), will run under the theme “Web 3.0” and will take place as hybrid digital and physical event.

The first three days of SFF 2021 will feature a hybrid conference and exhibition, which will be followed on November 11 and 12 by global satellite events and industry events held online and at physical locations around the world.

Like previous editions, SFF 2021 will bring together policymakers, government officials and industry leaders to discuss emerging trends and pressing issues. In particular, this year’s edition will explore how Web 3.0 and key technological advances will power the future of financial services, delving deep into structural drivers including embedded finance, DeFi, digital currencies, the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the design of financial services, and digital infrastructures.

Conference key themes and speakers

On November 08, the first day of the conference, Balaji Srinivasan, former CTO of Coinbase and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), will discuss decentralized financial products and their potential impact on the market. Later on, a panel comprising top executives from BNY Mellon and Microsoft will explore the Web 3.0 market infrastructure and ecosystem transformation. At midday, C-level executives from Rapyd, Grab Financial Group and NETs will delve into the future of payments technologies.

In the afternoon, the Key Global Trends Panel will be split into four sessions tackling embedded finance, DeFi, next-gen payments infrastructure and next-gen market infrastructure. These sessions will feature Dhivya Suryadevara, CFO of Stripe; Dr Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya; H.E. Serey Chea, assistant governor of the National Bank of Cambodia; and Jos Dijsselhof, CEO of SIX Group Services.

On November 09, Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, will give a presentation on the future of money, finance and the Internet, which will be followed by a fireside chat featuring Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum; and Raoul Pal, co-founder and CEO of Real Vision, and focusing on building the value exchange layer of the Internet, as well as a roundtable on the building block of Web 3.0, featuring top executives from IBM Asia-Pacific (APAC), Accenture, Ava Labs, ST Telemedia Cloud and Firework.

SFF Speakers

Later in the morning, five sessions part of the Foundational Tech Firesides will discuss cutting-edge technologies including distributed ledger technology (DLT), responsible AI, the Internet-of-Things (IoT), 5G and quantum computing. These sessions will feature Gavin Wood, co-founder of Polkadot and Ethereum; Dr Marian Croak from Google; Derrick Loi from the Ant Group; Chuck Robbins from Cisco; and Ilyas Khan from Cambridge Quantum.

In the afternoon, Dr Lachlan McCalman, chief practitioner at Gradient Institute; Mohan Kankanhalli, a professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS); and Shameek Kundu, head of financial services at Truera, will discuss building and embedding responsible AI.

Later on, Olivier Klein, chief technologist of Amazon Web Services’ APAC and Japan operations; and Han Kwee Juan, DBS Bank’s group head of strategy and planning, will delve into deploying 5G/IoT solutions in financial services.

On November 10, the last day of the conference and exhibition, the Sustainable Finance Impact Series will comprise four sessions covering impact investing, impact financing, impact insurance and impact measurement. Speakers will include top executives representing ADM Capital, Lombard Odier, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Allianz, STACS, Swiss Re, the Singapore Ministry of Sustainability and Environment, and more.

Later that day, a panel discussion featuring Sabrina Yijie Peng from the Ant Group, Bill Borden from Microsoft, and Kristina Kloberdanz from Mastercard, will delve into how innovation can help meet the sustainability agenda.

Global satellite events and other events

On November 11, SME Day will present a specially curated program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with practical lectures covering green finance, digitalization, digital tools, business e-payments, e-commerce platforms, financing, and more.

The day will also see roundtables covering data, digital identity, digital finance, green finance, fintech in Asia, and more.

On both November 11 and 12, Oxygen by APIX will provide a platform for financial institutions, fintechs and tech enthusiasts to access curated masterclasses, panels, podcasts and research content from industry experts. Topics covered will include the impact of COVID-19 on women’s economy, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and open innovation.

Throughout the last two days of SFF 2021, global satellite events will also be held from around the world including World Fintech Festivals in Sydney, the Philippines, Cambodia, Japan, India, Nigeria, the Nordics and Budapest.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, MAS Singapore Hungary fintech

Sopnendu Mohanty

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore  (MAS), said,

“This year, SFF has taken an unconventional approach in bringing a diverse set of changemakers to our Web 3.0 agenda. As a result, new stakeholders will shape this year’s SFF  discussions, alongside impact-makers from central banks, policymakers and finance professionals. Further, as part of our inclusion efforts, we are democratising the unique and  valuable content into a signature knowledge certification programme and a special SME day with  an upskilling programme.”