So everyone has been gushing over the fintech industry and at Tech Collective, we’ve noticed this too. We’ve not explored the fintech industry in depth before, so we thought it might be time. Then a joint report from The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) came into our mailbox saying that Singapore and London rank as the best fintech hubs in the world.

This was fate, so we decided to explore the industry a little more and try to understand the overall fintech industry in the region and the rest of the world.

Who are the top 5 fintech companies in the region?

What is fintech?

white smartphone turned on

Well, simply put, it is financial technology or financial services that use innovative technology. These include, but are not limited to, internet money transfer services provided by banks such as P2P services, financial services offered by start-ups at a lower cost through digital means and alternative payment channels provided by technology companies like mobile wallets and cashless payment options.

The truth is that there is no firm rule on how to define a service as fintech and what the balance should be between technology and financial services. As long as a service has both components it can be referred to as fintech.

What is a Fintech Hub

Any industry, Fintech included, is most effective when innovators, investors, and regulators can interact and learn from each other. As a result, fintech hubs form around specific geographical locations, where key elements like the market opportunity, qualified talent, capital, supportive regulation, and strong government support, come together to make it a conducive market.

The report highlights that both London and Singapore have benefitted from having all the key elements that support fintech innovation in a single location, as well as mature and successful financial services sectors which provide strong foundations for fintech. No hub can operate in isolation, and the characteristics of the fintech hubs in London and Singapore emphasise the importance of strong links with other hubs.

Why Singapore?

San Marina Bay, Singapore

The report highlights how London and Singapore implement detailed measures to reflect local differences.

Why Asia is leading the fintech race

Singapore puts a stronger emphasis on collaboration between startups and larger companies like banks and financial institutions and often acts as a springboard to new markets across Southeast Asia.

Despite being one of the smallest countries in the region, Singapore is a global powerhouse in commerce, finance, and transport.

In less than two years, Singapore FinTech Association is fast growing into one of the largest FinTech organisations in the world hundreds of member organisations and international partnerships. Though the report also shares that the industry is still in relatively early stages of development, so there is still a long way to grow.