Next week marks the fourth edition of Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF), the world’s largest platform for the global FinTech community. The week-long event is set to bring together tens of thousands of participants representing top global financial institutions, fintech unicorns, policy makers, investors, and academia to explore the latest trends in the digital finance world.
In the past 12 months, the news agenda has been dominated by major trends and developments in this sector, ranging from the backbone of payment infrastructure, to how banks and financial organisations are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to better cater to client needs. For example, the conversation about how financial services providers have been using AI in the fight against fraud has gained significant traction. 2019 also saw increased discussion of digital banking – what the new digital banks will look like and how incumbents should respond. With Singapore thriving as an international hub at the forefront of FinTech innovation, this year’s SFF will have just as much to discuss and explore, if not even more.
After all, the sector is continuing to heat up – a positive indicator of its future growth potential. In October, Accenture reported FinTech investments in Singapore climbed to 69% to US$1 billion in the first nine months of 2019. Fundraising to support the scaling up of challenger and collaborative FinTech is on the rise. It’s not just the local startups financing global growth from Singapore but several global fintech companies have also raised sizeable funds to fuel their expansion into Asia.
As we look forward to another big series of interwoven suite of events covering the myriad of industries in the FinTech ecosystem, what were the some of the key takeaways from last year’s Festival that set the current stage for discussion?
Singapore is a distinguished economy because of its unwavering commitment to leverage technologies for the greater good of its people. This involves a multi-pronged approach that considers people, identity, payments, data governance, applied research and platforms for innovation. All are critical components of a successful FinTech ecosystem – a framework in which financial services and technologies are built around people’s lives and their needs.
Emerging technologies will continue to disrupt our day-to-day, so what new opportunities lie beyond the horizon? At this year’s Festival, expect to hear new ideas relating to the future of market infrastructure, banking, capital markets and insurance that will all contribute to building a more dynamic society.
ASEAN has a growing appetite for intra-regional cross-border commerce, but are very diverse in terms of their needs, circumstances, and policy positions with regards to FinTech. What they do share across the region however, is a general openness and willingness to engage with the industry – a promising foundation for technology and innovation to flourish in 2020 and beyond.
In the payments space, a fundamental shift towards collaboration and partnership between FinTechs and financial institutions is crucial. Cross-border payment interoperability by opening up new corridors is the next step in the digitisation of the ASEAN economy. With cross-border payment interoperability comes the acceleration of the flow of people and trade, taking society and economy to much greater heights. This is why building synergies between FinTechs and financial institutions is key.
Throughout 2019, Liquid Group has progressively introduced a series of partnerships with key players to spearhead the adoption of cross-border QR payments across multiple corridors originating from Singapore to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, and most recently, Thailand.[OPRG1]
Now in its fourth year, the Festival has been a melting pot of creativity and ideas where attendees can be inspired by visionaries and thought leadership executives at the helm of driving the financial ecosystem forward.