Capital Markets Insights

6 Critical Takeaways from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Fintech Festival

After coming back from experiencing the amazing Singapore FinTech Festival organized by MAS (Central Bank of Singapore), we have been able to sit back and think about some of the great developments occurring in Singapore and SE Asia’s fintech scene.

Fintech is thriving in Asia. The Singapore FinTech Festival had over 11,000 participants from over 50 countries, making it one of the largest of its kind. MAS made a statement with this event in both the scale and professionalism it was organized, while also awarding over S$1 million to startups for innovative FinTech solutions that have been implemented.

The growing movement in fintech has rapidly changed the financial landscape, especially in Asia. With more and more companies using ‘the cloud’ for their services, it’s only a matter of time before we see other countries follow suit with Labs, Accelerators, Launchpads, and other programs to push innovation to new heights.

Below are some of our key takeaways from the event:

Banks are interested in FinTech.

Anil Arora (CEO, Yodlee), Stephen Bird (CEO, Global Consumer Banking, Citigroup), Andy Maguire (Group Managing Director, Group COO, HSBC Holdings), and Professor Eugene Kandel (CEO, Startup Nation) sat on a panel at Day 1 of the MAS Fintech Festival and discussed strategies on how to move their businesses forward. One thing agreed upon was there was not a single strategy that would work for all firms.

At Katipult, a large component of our implementation strategy for customers is to understand how our software can eliminate pain points in their operations, and automate business processes to allow for scalability. Many firms we speak to underestimate what’s actually required to successfully launch and implement software that is at the core of their business. Our approach is to determine exactly how their company require our software and then configure a system that best fits their model to generate the highest ROI possible.


Katipult Team in Singapore Katipult Team in Singapore


The biggest challenge may be migrating from legacy systems.

Each business is unique and each country has its own securities regulations that further complicate the global fintech landscape. There are very real global implications of fintech including cross border money flows and access to capital/ investment opportunities outside traditional borders. Products and services need to mature and ensure they can be configured and customized to meet the diverse and changing needs.

It takes a community to raise a fintech start-up.

While innovation may allow new firms to compete against larger, more established players, the majority of fintech companies need the support of the industry, the government, and the investment community to commercialize their opportunities.

Regulatory compliance remains a challenge.

Many countries have pushed back on new legislation related to investment crowdfunding and P2P lending, citing fraud and other investor risks. The reality is that this shift to the digital space cannot be ignored or stopped and regulators, banks, and other recognizable firms need to assist in making the industry flourish with greater transparency and efficiency. Private capital markets are plagued with inefficiencies and regulatory hurdles in which fintech can be the answer.

Fintech isn’t disruption. Its industry evolution.

All firms in the finance sector are going to be impacted by fintech. While new entrants will emerge and displace inferior services and products, strong businesses will adapt to these changes and improve their businesses as a result of technology available.


Read an article: "New Licensing Regime Outlined for Singapore Crowdfunding."