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Cambodia, Singapore In X-Border FinTech Pact

The central banks of Singapore and Cambodia have struck a pact to work together on FinTech development. Elsewhere, the Federal Reserve may take a closer look at community bank and FinTech collaborations.

Cross-border FinTech efforts have seen increasing participation from central banks and monetary authorities.

Among the most recent headlines, in Asia this past week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the National Bank of Cambodia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), that Business Times said will boost partnerships on FinTech and financial services innovation. The banks have also agreed to share data on emerging markets. The MOU dictates that the banks will train FinTech startups with an eye on cross-border transactions.

Deputy Managing Director of MAS Jacqueline Loh said the relationship demonstrates a FinTech that may extend to other countries in the ASEAN region.

“This will also allow us to share experiences and information related to FinTech … and reap the benefits of the new innovation in financial technology, enhance payment systems and promote financial inclusion,” said National Bank of Singapore Deputy Governor Neav Chanthana of the partnership.

As reported, Singapore has been working on other cross-border initiatives as well. In one example, the Singapore FinTech Association inked a pact with FinTech Australia to further the development of FinTech across those nations.

The Cambodia front has also forged an alliance with Kookmin Bank, based in South Korea, focused on digital transactions, with an emphasis on mobile transactions (through Pi Pay, a mobile payment company).

The Fed And FinTech Firms

Elsewhere, Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman said last week, as reported in ABA Banking Journal, that outsourced risk management guidance may need to be reworked, as complex regulations have been hindering community banks’ efforts to embrace innovation. Bowman remarked at an event, held at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, that the Fed could foster collaborative action between those smaller banks and FinTech firms.

“I think supervisors need to recognize and be thoughtful about how we might affect the way banks consider innovation,” said Bowman. “In particular, I think it’s important that we fulfill our responsibilities to ensure safety and soundness of banks and consumer protection, while also creating a regulatory framework that does not hinder the integration of responsible innovation into the strategic direction that a bank opts to pursue.”

In reference to outsourcing risk, she said management of that risk “appropriately reflects the present-day business realities of the banks we supervise.” According to the publication, the Federal Reserve is eyeing ways to engage more frequently with industry participants on innovation outside the purview of the outsourced risk process.

Separately, in India, API infrastructure firm Setu said last week that it had raised $3.5 million in Seed funding from Lightspeed India Partners, with participation from Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund. The money will be used to build engineering staff. The FinTech, reported YourStory, works with financial institutions to enable account creation and manage payments.

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