14 take-aways from Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) 2020

Posted by Sudhir Mehria December 29 2020

Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) 2020 was a 5 days long gathering of FinTech experts that comprised more than 600 sessions, 1,400 speakers, more than 1,000 exhibitors, 27 foreign pavilions and more than 60,000 attendees representing more than 7,000 multinational corporations from more than 130 countries.

Like everything in 2020, SFF was special in showcasing a special hybrid format incorporating a 24-hour internet network with satellite events around the world.

Four in Five Fintech Firms in ASEAN Set on Expanding Despite COVID-19

Despite the uncertainty triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, 4 out of 5 fintech companies in ASEAN will continue to follow their growth plans in the next two years, according to the UOB, PwC and Singapore Fintech Association surveys.

Optimism derives from the rapid trend of digital adoption across ASEAN in the aftermath of the pandemic, with more than 40 million new Internet users this year. 70% of the ASEAN population is currently using the Internet, and this is projected to continue to rise over the next decade as digital resources such as online markets become commonplace.FinTech Chart

UNDP is extending its alliance with MAS to support small and medium-sized businesses grow their digital capabilities

The collaboration will offer creative financial and technical platforms for small and medium-sized businesses to help them efficiently manage data and more easily access funding strategies. It will also generate new prospects for small and medium-sized companies, including FinTech's, to extend to emerging countries across the UNDP's global network of 170 offices.

SMEs drive growth in the developing world, and strong, digitally-linked SMEs are crucial to the world’s recovery from the pandemic. We are thrilled to partner with MAS to help prototype and scale innovative financial solutions across the developing world,said Bradley Busetto , Director of the UNDP Global Centre Singapore.

Mastercard Alliance helps you to tailor your wearables to safe payment devices. 

MatchMove cardholders will now add their Mastercard to this payment chip by putting the wearable or attachment on the Bluetooth-connected system created by Tappy Technologies. After installing the Tappy software and following the in-app instructions, the MatchMove Mastercard will be plugged into the protected payment chip of the wearable via Bluetooth via the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES).

MAS and Ministry of Health Developing Data Sharing Platform for Faster Insurance Claims

The person often faces doubt regarding the sum of his or her statements when coping with his or her medical problems. Hospitals tend to have access to several databases to request or supply information to various insurers, and what is worse is that some of the procedures are also paper-based.

In acknowledgement of these concerns, Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Singapore Monetary Authority, said that they are collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Integrated Health Information Systems to establish a new technology portal for patient consent exchange of data.

This is accomplished in partnership with the insurance and healthcare industry in the hope of providing more effective claims management experience, reducing redundant claims, manual mistakes and processing time.

For Financial Services Three  Big Customer Engagement Drivers

In financial services, the increasing number of Fintech start-ups and the late-to-game technological attention of incumbents has contributed to some of the most extreme competition from any sector. Banks are pouring multi-billion dollar infrastructure investments into digital development program, while Fintech brands are rushing to create more goods.

Three big prospects for financial services brands

  1. Demonstrate Value Beyond the Transaction
  2. Differentiated Loyalty and Rewards
  3. Communication and Education

Microsoft and IDC Joint Report Investigate Innovation Culture in the Finance Sector

Despite the difficulties and disruptions of COVID-19, the regional Financial Services Industry (FSI) has continued to move forward and increase the speed of digitization in reference to the pandemic, as per a joint report by Microsoft and IDC.

Unveiling the FSI results of the Innovation Culture Report in accordance with Singapore Fintech Festival 2020, Microsoft and IDC found that more than 6 out of 10 (66%) FSI corporations are driving the digitization of their enterprises. This figure is 86% higher among FSI participants, companies with the most advanced culture of innovation, describing their capacity to accelerate sustainable innovation.

Holding 10% Stake DBS Launches Crypto Services With SGX 

DBS has revealed that it will establish a crypto exchange with Singapore Exchange (SGX) owning a 10% stake, allowing investors to tap into a fully integrated digital asset tokenization, trading and retention ecosystem. 

With DBS Digital Exchange, DBS will exploit blockchain technologies to provide an infrastructure for funding through asset tokenization and secondary trading of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

This includes Security Token Offerings, a managed marketplace for the issuing and exchange of digital tokens backed by financial assets, such as stock of unlisted firms, bonds and private equity funds.

Loh Boon Chye, CEO of SGX, said,
“We are excited to apply our strengths in market infrastructure and risk management to this venture. There are significant opportunities to bring trust and efficiency in price discovery to the global digital assets space. We look forward to working closely with DBS to advance Singapore’s standing as a multi-asset international financial center.”

Visa Expands Partnership With Snowdrop to unveil Location-Enriched Services in APAC

Many customers are puzzled when analyzing their card purchases. They also do not know the name of the vendor, or they do not recall when the transaction took place. By using Snowdrop's Merchant Reconciliation System (MRS) along with the Google Maps App, these banks will easily transform ambiguous transactions into simple trade names and display a sign on a map where the transactions actually occurred.

“We turn confusion into clarity. And that builds consumer confidence.” says Ken Hart, CEO and founder of London-based Snowdrop Solutions.

Thailand and Singapore to allow cross-border transactions using mobile numbers only in 2021

Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Singapore Monetary Authority (MAS) reported that the regulator has made substantial progress in connecting Singapore and Thailand's national payment systems; PayNow and PromptPay, respectively. 


The Singapore Monetary Authority and the Bank of Thailand embarked on this venture three years ago, and it is planned that by mid-2021, anyone registered with PayNow or PromptPay would be able to transfer money from Singapore to Thailand or vice versa, using only their mobile numbers. Ravi Menon said that this would be stable, immediate and competitive at any time of the day.

Bill Gates In SFF 2020

"Once we get the vaccines out on a broad basis, I'm optimistic that we will resume the - growth that we had before. So I'm not trying to be negative. But yes, we are not going to be as far along, say by 2030. "Our goal is to get these vaccines out as much as possible within 2021, so that even in the developing countries the pandemic is over by some time in 2022," said Mr. Bill Gates who heads the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife. On healthcare, Mr. Gates said his foundation is working with pharmaceutical companies and governments in developing countries with the goal to deliver as many Covid-19 vaccines as possible through next year.

Pine Labs and Mastercard are aiming to broaden 'Pay Later' Solution in South East Asia

Mastercard data indicates that 43% of customers in the country would be able to increase spending by at least 15% if they had to pay in increments. This will provide customers with the versatility of zero-interest instalments on payments, extend business for traders and bind Banks, FinTech, payment gateways and product manufacturers to an increasingly growing alternative to funding. Card-linked instalments are common on credit cards throughout South East Asia, but this approach is even wider by allowing instalments cross debit cards, credit cards, and bank accounts through in-store and online traders.

The ‘pay later’ option gives consumers the flexibility to manage their cash flow better by offering them the choice to pay in instalments at the point of sale. For merchants, being able to offer instalments at checkout directly influences consumer buying behavior that leads to an increase in the average ticket size, reduces cart abandonment and results in higher sales,” said Sandeep Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Products and Innovation, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.


Singaporeans can now navigate all of their financial information under one roof with SGFinDex.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) launched the Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex) which will allow Singaporeans to simplify their financial details in order to make financial planning more efficient.

The Singapore Financial Data Exchange(SGFinDex) claims to be the world's first public digital infrastructure to use a national digital identity and a standardized online consent mechanism to allow people to access, via apps, their financial information kept through government departments and financial institutions.

Swiss’ SIX and SBI Digital Asset Holdings Plan for Singapore’s Digital Asset Exchange

SIX Digital Exchange, a Swiss-based digital asset end-to-end portal, and SBI Digital Asset Holdings (SBI) announced plans for the Singapore-based digital asset exchange to go live by 2022.

The planned undertaking is expected to formalize Singapore operations in 2021, with the goal of introducing successful offers on the market by 2022 or sooner, with international access to the respective Swiss, Japanese and other collaborations to be pursued. This is subject to regulatory approval by the Singapore Monetary Authority.

Rely Secures S$100 Million Capital From Goldbell to Extend Pay Later Services

Singapore-based Fintech startup Rely reported that it has acquired a facility from Polaris, the strategic collaboration arm of Goldbell Financial Services, to manage transactions of up to S$100 million. This will allow them to extend their Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services to new traders in Singapore.

After collecting an undisclosed figure of seven in the Pre-Series A round with Goldbell Financial Services and the Octava Foundation last year, Rely's latest S$100 million potential is an expansion of its target of expanding operations and establishing alliances with major retailers in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.

Commenting on the recent developments in the FinTech Space, Nischal Tanna, Founder and Group CEO, TransformHub mentioned, "while COVID is a big threat to Quality of Life, the recent technological developments owing to restrictions has lead to a non-reversible change in Consumer Behavior across Asia. There is a significant surge in active internet users and more so, transacting ones across different age groups. There is a need for service providers like banks, financial institutions to firm up their infrastructure, technology, application and be future ready. And the future is now, much sooner than everyone expected." 


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