The Australia Treasury and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have signed an Australia-Singapore FinTech Bridge Agreement to strengthen cooperation between the fintech ecosystems of both countries.
The Australian fintech industry is estimated to grow from an AU$250million industry in 2015 to an AU$4billion industry by 2021. Meanwhile, the Singapore fintech ecosystem is now home to about 1,400 fintechs, with equity funding growing to $3.9billion in 2021.
The FinTech Bridge will support both fintech ecosystems now and in the future, with both committed to strengthening cooperation and collaboration on emerging issues on fintech policy and regulation, and to better support the cross-border growth of the fintech industry.
It builds on the overarching framework for digital economy cooperation under the 2020 Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) to deepen collaboration between the fintech ecosystems of both countries.
Discussions to develop the FinTech Bridge began in June last year when Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The Australia-Singapore FinTech Bridge sets out a framework for both authorities to:
- deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on fintech to facilitate trade, investment and ecosystem development in the fintech sector;
- support the mutual establishment of fintechs looking to expand in each other’s markets, and to encourage fintechs to use the facilities and assistance available to explore new business opportunities and reduce barriers to entry;
- build on current engagements  to strengthen linkages between Australia and Singapore for policy officials, regulators, and industry groups; and to work together to share fintech expertise and encourage the development of new opportunities; and
- explore joint innovation projects on emerging issues in fintech to help the industry navigate through a constantly evolving space, to share information on emerging market trends, and to learn from the experiences in each jurisdiction. This includes collaboration in areas such as blockchain and distributed ledger technology, digital identities, cross-border data connectivity, data portability, and the application of fintech to promote sustainable finance.
It was also recently announced that FinTech Australia has signed up seven new major corporate partners, including technology giant Oracle. Its ecosystem partnership programme helps companies collaborate with the fintech sector and foster relationships with its key players.
FinTech Australia’s head of strategic partnerships Rehan D’Almeida, said: “The ecosystem programme plays an instrumental role in allowing us to support the fintech industry. This is the biggest burst of growth that it has seen since its inception, and that demonstrates an escalating interest from other companies in Australia’s fintech sector.”
“Given the programme is growing and still retaining members, we’re pleased to say that it is having the intended aim of better integrating more companies with the fintech community. We welcome ii-A, Oracle Australia, WNS, BSI Group, Latimer Partners, Probe CX and Jumio Corporation to the programme and look forward to working with each company in seeing it gain further insight and connections in one of the fastest growing sectors of Australia’s startup economy.”