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SFF GREEN SHOOTS SERIES: LEADING THROUGH A CRISIS: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH RAVI MENON

Aug 13, 2020

On 13 August 2020, we were delighted to be joined by Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, on this Green Shoots Exclusive. Highlights from the session included enhancements on the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) scheme, and his perspectives on how leaders in the financial sector are leading through this crisis. Discussion areas: 

  • The new normal in financial services, and how leaders are responding
  • FSTI 2.0 imperatives in the present and future landscape of fast-forwarded technological changes
  • Milestones and success stories from FSTI 1.0

Resources

  • Speech: "Powering the Next Stage of Singapore FinTech" here
  • Media release: MAS Commits S$250 Million to Accelerate Innovation and Technology Adoption in Financial Sector here
  • Infographic: FSTI 2.0 here
  • SFF x SWITCH 2020 returns on 7-11 December. More here
  • Watch a replay of the session on our YouTube channel here. Do follow us for more videos!
  • Want more? Check out upcoming Green Shoots sessions on our SFF website here.

Let us get through this together and be stronger, when the green shoots start to appear.


Session Q&A
Question: MAS’ great support to POCs and concept-led innovations in Singapore is very remarkable. On a question of growth and scalability, are there plans to support these innovators to effectively scale their business model across borders in ASEAN/Asia in cost effective ways (especially in regards to licences, etc)?

Response: Yes, MAS has signed 33 bilateral FinTech MOUs with other countries to help the FinTechs access these markets. More details can be found on our website: https://www.mas.gov.sg/development/fintech/fintech-cooperation-agreements.


Question: Will there be any fast track for the FSTI POC grant?

Response: Yes, the finalists of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator would be fast tracked for FSTI POC grant. Please refer to our website for more information: https://www.fintechfestival.sg/global-fintech-hackcelerator.


Question: Will the open banking API be available to entrepreneurs? 

Response: Yes, it is available to entrepreneurs. You can visit https://www.mas.gov.sg/development/fintech/financial-industry-api-register or participate in https://apixplatform.com/landing.


Question: I read recently that there are still 30+ different digital payment options in SG (from 40+ a year ago if not mistaken). While options for customers is good, this is also confusing and a contention for limited resources in SG. Are there plans to help consolidate the digital payment solutions to say 3-4 major ones just like consolidation of banks in the past?

Response: MAS has rolled out the SGQR initiative to combines multiple payment QR codes into a single SGQR label, making QR payments simple for both consumers and merchants in a market where there are multiple digital payment solutions. More details can be found on our website: https://www.mas.gov.sg/development/e-payments/sgqr.


Question: This is a great initiative by MAS. Congrats on the continued success. My question is: How can a company apply for funding for AIDA Grant? What are the criteria for applicants? Where can we obtain more information?

Response: You can refer to our website for more details: https://www.mas.gov.sg/schemes-and-initiatives/Artificial-Intelligence-and-Data-Analytics-AIDA-Grant.


Question: Project Ubin has been in the works for the past 2+ years I believe? What are the challenges in commercializing this - it seems to be taking some time to progress from conceptualization to adoption

Response: Project Ubin was an experimental project with the industry to better understand the blockchain space, which was a nascent technology when we first started. In the final phase, we have seen that technical challenges are well understood and most have been resolved. The industry is now working towards commercialising the learnings from the project. Do take a look at the media release on Phase 5, and what some of our project partners are saying, on the commercialisation opportunity. More here: https://www.mas.gov.sg/news/media-releases/2020/project-ubin-fifth-and-final-phase-highlights-commercial-potential-paving-way-towards-live-adoption.


Question: Are there any Blockchain FinTech project grants like AIDA?

ResponseThere is no specific "blockchain" grant. However, blockchain projects may be eligible under institutional-level project grants. More details are on our website: https://www.mas.gov.sg/schemes-and-initiatives/fsti-scheme


Question: How is MAS working with other Financial regulators in the region to help FinTechs in Singapore scale up regionally?

ResponseMAS has signed 33 bilateral fintech MOUs with other financial regulators to help FinTechs access these markets. More details can be found on our website: https://www.mas.gov.sg/development/fintech/fintech-cooperation-agreements.


Question: Is there an Innovation Lab for us to integrate Background Checks platform + KYC AML platform?

Response: We would recommend that you to reach out to the Association of Banks in Singapore.


Question: Our main focus as a company is to train and develop the young high educated talent pool of Singapore in order to deepen the local talent pool. How does MAS work together with companies that like to contribute to the goals for the coming years?

Response: You may be interested in the 100% funding support for internship salaries, under this initiative: https://singaporefintech.org/mas-sfa-amtd/.


Question: Similar to the great course, AI for Financial services, is MAS planning on supporting courses for financial professionals to upskill for Fintech capabilities?

Response: Yes, you can refer to more details on IBF's website: https://www.ibf.org.sg/programmes/Pages/IBF-FTS.aspx.


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Registration is open for SFF 2020 on 7-11 December! Tickets start from SGD 75, get yours here!