Fintech in Singapore
A Giant Player Out of a Small Nation
A financial and technology hub, Singapore is well-positioned to lead FinTech growth along with other global players. It might be one of the smallest countries in Asia, but it constantly ranks among the top in GDP per capita, education and ease of doing business throughout the globe. Geography notwithstanding, Singapore leverages further on its strengths to drive and build a world-class Fintech ecosystem.
1) Government support and regulation
Singapore’s strong government has led the country to its economic success and has recognized opportunities within the FinTech space early on. In 2016, it committed S$225M to develop Fintech-related projects and initiatives such as the Smart Nation Initiative Regulatory Sandbox, Fintech Office, MAS Innovation Lab, to name a few. FinTech events such as the Singapore Fintech Festival help to energize the local and global community by bringing in new opportunities for collaboration. In last year’s Investor Summit, organized by the MAS and The Association of Banks in Singapore, up to US$2 billion funds was made available for Fintech start-ups.
At the same time, Singapore strives to maintain its international reputation for sound legislations and regulations for businesses, ensuring that foreign and local firms can easily and efficiently set up operations within the city-state.
Singapore’s Fintech ecosystem is largely driven by its advanced technological infrastructure. Its high network connectivity ensured high mobile adoption throughout the population. This eventually translated to a high level of access to bank services, a requirement for a financially mature nation. As of 2014, Singapore had the highest level of bank penetration among ASEAN countries at nearly 100%. When we launched LATTICE80 in Nov 2016, Singapore’s Fintech landscape comprised of over 1,200 financial institutions, more than 2,000 startups and 300 Fintech startups. Since then, this ecosystem has grown and matured in number (now over 400 Fintech startups in LATTICE80 FintechDB) and experience.
3) Passion for Innovation
Singapore continues to reinvent itself in pursuit of growth as a nation and as a community. In its Smart Nation initiative, the government enjoins its citizens in its drive for “pervasive adoption of digital and smart technologies”, ultimately meant to empower and enrich individual lives. At the heart of this culture of innovation is a passion to evolve with the times and remain globally competitive. And where passion meets possibility, as suggested by its aspirational tagline, Singapore can definitely be the place.