To help FinTech startups, banks, and institutions exchange expertise, financial firms formed the Fintech Cooperation Committee in Singapore. Approximately 60 financial institutions became a part of the committee, including insurance companies, banks and asset management firms, The Straits Times reported.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Global Market chaired the committee’s first session on Wednesday (Jan. 23). At the meeting, members of the committee gave the go-ahead for a work plan as well as merchant quick-response (QR) code specifications for mobile payments. Asian Financial Cooperation Association (AFCA) Secretary-General Yang Zaiping said the committee’s formation was designed for openness and collaboration, among other goals.
The official also noted that Asia pulled ahead of the U.S. for FinTech deals backed by venture funding, as the region counted six of 29 FinTech unicorns around the world and took in over $10 billion in funding. He also said, according to the paper, “Singapore, with its friendly regulatory framework for fintech, plays a key role in the global fintech market.”
The FinTech scene in Singapore, for instance, is booming: In 2017, funding for the burgeoning sector in the country reached almost a billion dollars at $983.6 million that year. Hong Kong, at the time, only saw $596.8 million in funding. Singapore overtook Hong Kong in FinTech funding in 2016. In that year, the country’s FinTech startups took in $310.5 million, while Hong Kong’s FinTech startups only saw $191.2 million.
When it comes to other metrics, Singapore boasts a $52,960 gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in addition to very good access to the internet as well as strong infrastructure such as fiber optics within its border. The country’s mobile subscription penetration is over 100 percent, which ASEAN Briefing has noted are “factors that are key for FinTech growth.” Among the startups in Singapore’s burgeoning FinTech scene is InstaReM, which seeks to use online and mobile platforms to disrupt the traditional cross-border remittances business.