Written by Erling Hesselberg, Vice President – Crayon Group
Introducing FinTech in Singapore
Singapore has for many years been considered a small country with massive potential. Technology is now prominent in Singapore, where the Singapore Government continues to utilise technology to improve all aspects of daily living, for example, through the Smart Nation initiative.
According to the Business Times, investments in Fintech in Singapore almost doubled in 2019 from 2018. Accenture recorded that Fintech deals in Singapore rose from 52% to 108%, with funds being pushed towards payment start-ups and InsurTech investments. Today, Singapore is the fifth biggest FinTech market behind India, China, Australia and South Korea.
Singapore has everything going for it to become a global superpower from a finance and development perspective. While, Singapore is a business-pro environment, the country is also an open country that is always welcomes new opportunities and new innovations. Singapore is also one of the top four financial centres. In 2015, Singapore launched a new initiative, namely the the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) scheme. The scheme was the key trigger for Singapore becoming a “smart financial centre”, with an open-for-business attitude.
FinTech Investment In Singapore
Investing in FinTech is a consistent effort for Singapore, in line with their dedication to commit to international partnerships to promote better foreign business coming to, and from Singapore. The initiatives werea highly attractive proposition for Fintech companies, who, along with the Singapore government, signed an agreement with the Bank of International Settlements as a banking innovation hub in Singapore.
The country is now well known for its diverse FinTech ecosystems and environments, and the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) has pushed forward for further investments to develop the FinTech sector over the next five years, focusing on aa diverse start-up ecosystem. In particular, the government is keen on expanding its Artificial Intelligence research.
Direct foreign investment has always been evident in Singapore, and the value of this investment has risen, mainly due to FinTech investment. Singapore now has many overseas technology firms in Singapore. One in two multi-nationals have their Asia headquarters in Singapore. The number of Nordic FinTech firms has had a stable rise in number, and in investments.
Rapid Growth Of FinTech In Singapore
The large investments in FinTech from Singapore hashad massive impact, resulting and evolving into Singapore being the fastest-growing market in the FinTech sector. Singapore is touted to be the investment hub for FinTech, due to its ultra-high-speed internet infrastructure, high concentration of banking, insurance and asset management. Currently, Singapore ranks as one of the top 5 FinTech markets globally, based on funds raised. Investors continue to see a lot of potential.
Alongside these facts, the financial structure of the country, such as low tax thresholds, tax incentives, strong policy, and the regulations and the identification of finance professionals helped massively to grow the FinTech sector in Singapore.
Projecting The Future Of FinTech Post Covid-19
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has attempted to reduce the impact on FinTech innovation during the Covid-19 pandemic, by implementing support care packages for managing cash flow , pursuing a growth strategy. Although, the pandemic has forced Asia’s financial institutions to review it’s operational channels, by digital channels to continue financial operations, formally known as “socially-distant” banking operations.
It is becoming likely that Asia’s financial institutions will continueahead with digitised services that encourage contactless e-payments and cash flow management online. The scope of digital financial services is still very large, and is expected to thrive post Covid-19. An article from Devi Discourse outlines the standing of FinTech companies being well equipped to continue to serve the digital demand of consumers, providing that secure contactless financial methods are now being pressed ahead with.
Therefore, going fully digital isn’t expected to deter future FinTech business, although there is an expectation for data and finance spaces to focus on a digital stream that complies in tightening regulations, to further protect their consumers. Within an investment of $135.7 billion being invested in FinTech in 2019, it is expected that more investment in FinTech will be prominent.
Innovation Through Collaboration
With a smaller population than many countries, considering the population of under 6 million people, Singapore is one of the global leaders for innovation. Global partnerships have played a key role in building Singapore to become a start-up hub. With government-supported connections and established markets globally in countries such as Germany, Korea and Australia, Singapore’s business environment thrives on strong local and global communities and corporations that seek new innovations. With the introduction of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network, Singapore welcomes co-creation and information exchanges for worldwide innovations, and new connections from all over the world. The network will ensure that any Singapore-based start-ups are accessible to reach European markets, so that all wealth managers and investors can actively invest in Singapore-based initiatives
Norwegian Business Association Singapore (NBAS)
The Norwegian Business Association Singapore (NBAS) provides a forum and meeting place for Norwegian companies, their executives and employees in Singapore to network, discuss ideas, exchange experience, and expand their knowledge base about business related issues.
Founded in 1993, NBAS is a major contributor to the Norwegian community in Singapore and organises a diverse range of events through the year, individually or in partnership with the other players in Team Norway. Team Norway consists of NBAS, The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Singapore and Innovation Norway.
Close to 200 Norwegian companies are established in Singapore. These companies represent one of the highest concentrations of Norwegian business interests in any city in the world outside Norway.
NBAS encourages all newcomers, as well as already established Norwegian companies, to become members. The strength of our association, and the added value for our members, is all about having a broad range of businesses represented and a variety of experiences to be shared. Join us today to network, learn, and share!
NBAS is collaborating with upcoming artists in Singapore and Norway to showcase their work, while we get a creative take on our graphic profile. In December 2020, NBAS will be featuring Steve Lawler. More information about him and his works can be found here http://www.mojokoworld.com/