Thanks to the government’s digital transformation strategy, massive investment, and the ecosystem of brilliant business innovators, fintech in Singapore is booming. According to the Singapore Fintech Report 2021, the country has nearly half of the fintech companies in Southeast Asia despite being smaller than the other members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

The report results from a partnership between Fintech News Network and Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, and their research shows that Singapore ranks number one globally for digital readiness. This result includes metrics such as being first in investment and human capital and second in meeting basic needs and having a conducive startup environment. 

Additionally, the country ranks fourth globally for the ease of doing business and having a soaring tech adoption rate. Finally, the tiny Island-nation has built the required infrastructure to support the financial technology (fintech) businesses and their vendors. 

In 2020, the country had 430 startups operating in the sector, increasing fintech events in the region. As the pandemic hit, fintech events online became the trend. Many adopted a hybrid model of combining smaller local events and streaming them live to accommodate those who could not attend in person. 

Singapore’s government has been enticing foreign technology companies to move to the country by offering lower taxation, tech infrastructure investment and high internet and mobile phone usage. With a population of over 5.7 million, it is astonishing that the country has 5.2 million active internet users. Moreover, smartphone penetration stands at 90%, with mobile internet use being at 92%.

Growth of ePayments and other fintech innovations

Since 2014, ePayments in Singapore have been rising because of initiatives, such as fast and secure electronic fund transfers, unified point-of-sale (POS) systems and mobile money transactions. There are now better cross-border payment facilities and activities than before. Furthermore, current innovations have made it easier for eWallets to connect with banks and vice versa.

Even so, payments only make up 16% of the fintech scene. Blockchain and cryptocurrency at 19%, wealthtech at 14%, regtech at 11% and lending at 9% dominate the rest. The smaller breakdowns include insurtech at 7%, artificial intelligence, big data and crowdfunding at 5% and other banking options at less than 4%.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently finished reviewing the 14 eligible applications in the digital banking race. Four fully digital companies now have the license to serve millennials, gig workers and other types of businesses. These include Grab Singtel and SEA as full digital banks, with Ant Financial and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management, Greenland and Linklogis as digital wholesale banks.

Upcoming fintech events in Singapore

Fintech and Paytech Connect Asia, October 5 – 7, 2021

The Fintech and Paytech Connect Asia summit has brought together digital and fintech experts, CEOs, merchants, financial institutions, and innovators for over seven years. More than 500 people gather to discuss industry trends and solutions for long-term success.

The event runs from October 5th to 7th and will involve discussions, workshops and case studies. The chosen fintech speakers will provide actionable steps to deliver results for businesses. Sign up for a free ticket.

Tech in Asia Conference 2021, October 12 – 14, 2021

Due to the global attention Southeast Asia’s tech scene attracts, the Tech in Asia Conference will discuss the industry’s opportunities. The event brings together startup founders and investors to network and learn about business in the region.

The conference takes place from October 12th to the 14th. Sign up for exhibits and live speeches for the first two days, with the final day focussing on building connections in-person and virtually. 

Block By Block: How Blockchain is driving ROI in global business, October 19, 2021, 08:00 (SGT)

The unexpected impact of blockchain worldwide is creating a need for additional information on its ever-evolving usage. It is bringing much investment returns to industries such as insurance, banking and finance and securities trading to examine. This is a one day webinar presented by Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner, Blockchain Founders Fund.

Join the event on October 19th at 8 am (Singapore time) for the 60 minutes run or watch the video afterwards.

Singapore Fintech Festival 2021, November 08 – 12, 2021

From October 8th until the 12th, join the unique hybrid event known as the Singapore Fintech Festival. It aims to advance fintech in the digital economy by combining the skillsets of the public and private sectors. It is an annual event organised by MAS and will bring in over 60,000 online and in-person participants.

For those in attendance, the event will involve meetings, digital content and networking sessions. 

As every business understands the need to grow digitally, they should attend fintech events or register for fintech events online to gain a deeper understanding of the changing financial technology landscape. Staying up to date with fundamental regulatory changes to fintech in Singapore will help ASEAN companies manage payment services, cross-border transactions and digital assets, essential in this new digital world.