Top 10 Stories from Singapore Fintech Festival 2021

Top 10 Stories from Singapore Fintech Festival 2021

by November 12, 2021

The 6th edition of the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) took place this week as a hybrid event combining both digital and physical elements aimed at bringing together the largest crowd of fintech experts, policymakers and key stakeholders.

The week-long SFF 2021 featured more than 350 sessions, over 700 speakers, over 260 exhibitors, and 14 international pavilions. The event was streamed ‘live’ to over 60,000 participants, including representation from more than 7,000 companies, government agencies, educational institutions and organizations from over 130 countries.

Like previous years, SFF 2021 was the opportunity for some of the world’s largest tech firms, banks, fintech leaders and regulators to announce their latest products and initiatives.

Singapore, the Philippines to link real-time payment systems

Singapore and the Philippines Ink Deal for QR Cross-Border Payments Linkage

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) signed an enhanced Fintech Cooperation Agreement on November 08, 2021 to facilitate interoperable payments between Singapore and the Philippines. In particular, the agreement seeks to link both countries’ real-time and QR payment systems to provide instant and low-cost cross-border payments.

SGFinDex enters second phase

SGFinDex’s Rolls Out Its Second Phase Featuring Investment Holdings Data

The Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex), a public digital infrastructure, entered its second phase on November 08, enabling users to view their investments on one platform.

SGFinDex aims to consolidate financial data from multiple sources including banks and government agencies in one place. The Central Depository (CDP)’s participation in SGFinDex expands the range of financial information that individuals can retrieve from participating banks and government agencies.

Since its inception in December 2020, SGFinDex has recorded over 150,000 unique users sign ups, 290,000 bank accounts linked and 620,000 data retrievals made.

Singapore ramps up AI investment, launches new programs

Singapore Rolls Out 2 New AI Programmes, Sets Aside S$180 Million More for Research

Singapore is setting aside an additionally S$180 million to accelerate fundamental and translational artificial intelligence (AI) research on top of the S$500 million that has been committed so far, In particular, the city-state seeks to explore resource-efficient AI.

Additionally, Singapore launched two national AI programs targeting the finance and government sectors: NovA!, an industry-wide AI platform for financial risk insights generation which is a collaboration between Singapore-based banks and local fintech firms, and the National AI Programme in Government, which seeks to improve public sector service delivery in several ways, by understanding the pain points better to serve the citizens.

Fintech Regulatory Sandbox gets an upgrade

MAS’ Fintech Regulatory Sandbox framework is being upgraded with three enhancements: the expansion of eligibility criteria to include early adopters of technology innovation, streamlined application for financial support and grant program, and enrollment of eligible applications in the Deal Fridays deal-making program.

The upgraded Sandbox Plus will take effect on January 01, 2022.

Winners of the Global Veritas Challenge 2021 announced

The three winners of the inaugural Global Veritas Challenge 2021 were announced on November 09, recognized for their innovative and responsible AI solutions.

Cylynx won the Risk, Compliance and Fraud Monitoring challenge with a solution that integrates fairness into AIDA model development and live production monitoring for fraud detection. Visa won the Product Marketing challenge with a toolkit for financial institutions to enhance the fairness of their marketing practices.And TruEra and Demyst won the Credit Scoring and Profiling challenge with a solution that mitigates the effects of bias in credit scoring due to biases in training data or issues with the AI and data analytics (AIDA) model.

Project Greenprint announces four digital platforms

Four digital plans are being piloted under Project Greenprint, an initiative by MAS focusing on delivering quality data on sustainability.

The Greenprint Common Disclosure Portal is being developed in partnership with the Singapore Exchange and seeks to simplify the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure process. The Greenprint Data Orchestrator aims to aggregate sustainability data from multiple data sources, including major ESG data providers, utilities providers, and the Common Disclosure Portal, to enable data insights. The Greenprint ESG Registry, in partnership with Hashstacs, is a blockchain-based registry that records and maintains the provenance of ESG certifications. And the Greenprint Marketplace, in partnership with API Exchange (APIX), connects green technology providers in Singapore and stakeholders in the broader region.

MAS explores retail CBDC opportunity

MAS is exploring the potential of a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC). The initiative, called Project Orchid, will focus on the technology infrastructure and technical competencies needed to issue a digital Singapore dollar.

During SFF 2021, MAS also announced the winners of the Global CBDC Challenge, recognizing them for their innovative retail CBDC solutions.

CBDCgo, by ConsenSys and Visa, provides integration and coexistence with existing systems, along with security and accessibility. The Atomic CBDC solution, by Criteo and Intel, is a digital currency platform safeguarded by hardware-based security. It supports anonymity and privacy for small transactions and offers traceability for large transactions. And G+D Filia, by Giesecke+Devrient advance52, provides a means of payment that is inclusive and enables participation in the digital economy without a smartphone or a bank account.

Global fintech registry to go live on December 01

ChekFIN, a global fintech registry, will go live on December 01, 2021, allowing financial institutions to easily and conveniently identify fintech companies for collaboration and development opportunities.

ChekFIN is being developed by the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN), in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group Fintech Control Tower (BCG FCT) and Temasek-founded Affinidi.

Crypto-linked Mastercard payments cards coming to Asia

Amber Group from Hong Kong, Bitkub from Thailand and CoinJar from Australia will soon be launching crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards in their respective markets.

This is being done through Mastercard’s Crypto Card Program, which aims to support participating fintech companies by reducing barriers to entry as well as allow the payment network to be involved in the emerging cryptocurrency and digital asset space.

“As interest and attention surges from all quarters, [cryptocurrencies’] real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative,” said Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Mastercard.

“In collaboration with these partners that adhere to the same core principles that Mastercard does – that any digital currency must offer stability, regulatory compliance and consumer protection – Mastercard is expanding what’s possible with cryptocurrencies to give people even greater choice and flexibility in how they pay.”

World’s First Digital Trade Financing Pilot Completed

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) have successfully concluded the world’s first cross-border digital trade financing pilot of its kind.

This enables trading counterparties and transacting banks to validate documents digitally and securely even when they are on different trade finance platforms, and allows such documents to be exchanged with another party in real-time.