The Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) is the world’s largest and most inclusive fintech festival that brings together heads of state, financial and technology leaders, fintech founders, policymakers, investors and multilateral agencies. This year the festival will be running on 7-11 December with a unique hybrid format, combining a 24-hour online event with 30 hyper-local physical events in fintech hubs around the world.
With an array of hyper-local and dedicated events, still, the main draw for Day 4 was a renewed focus on its hyper-local events. To further that aim, here The Fintech Times brings you some of the regional highlights from across the week.
On Wednesday, the UK held its own online summit and in Beyond the FinTech Bridge: Collaboration in Action the conversation included: Lord Grimstone of Boscobel – Minister for Investment, UK Department for International Trade, Senator the Hon Jane Hume – Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Australian Government and Dr Janil Puthucheary – Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore.
The impact of COVID-19 was one of the most talked-about factors with Lord Grimstone adding, “The pandemic has acted as a significant break on globalisation in many sectors, although technology and communication services have been notable exceptions. and the logistics of managing cross border supply chains have become more complex because of efforts to contain the virus that now, of course, include sporadic implementation of localised lockdowns. Because of this, the outlook for recovery and growth post-COVID-19 is still highly uncertain.
“One issue that has been brought into focus is the impact of business on the society and environment in which it operates. London is Europe’s undisputed financial capital. While our central geographic location between local time zones allows UK firms to engage with Asia in the morning and the United States in the afternoon.
“English is the credited language of International Business. English law is used to underpin the majority of global contracts and the UK’s competitive tax regime helps set us apart. We have one of the world’s most highly skilled and well-educated workforces and a liberalised business-friendly environment. And we’re working to build a new UK, a UK that is truly international in its focus, a global Britain, with a world-class economy. Fit for the Future.”
Earlier in the week, it was the turn of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – the only global satellite event partner in the Middle East for Singapore Fintech Festival 2020, to host their own physical event. A rarity as business travel still recovers from the global pandemic. Here, industry players discussed market opportunities and future trends across verticals like venture capital & funding as well as payments and money services.
The main panel discussion was the Q&A: Payments and Money Services moderated by Christian Kunz, Head of Group Strategy and Innovation, DIFC Authority. Together with panellists Daumantas Grigaravicius, Country Manager UAE, Ebury, Sebastian Reis, EVP Global e-commerce, Checkout.com, Sander Maertens, Head of Middle East, Adyen and Rinki Singhvi, Strategy & Operations, Mamo Pay; together they discussed topics which looked at the MENASA Landscape and its payment opportunities alongside COVID and acceleration towards a cashless society. The discussion also took into account market opportunities and future trends.
Over in Japan, So Inc. played host to the World FinTech Festival (WFF) in Tokyo, which was held for the first time during the 7-8 December 2020as part of the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) 2020. So Inc. was selected as the Global Satellite Event partner of SFF to host the WFF in Tokyo. This was a by-invitation-only digital event that highlighted sustainable FinTech content specific to Japan exclusive networking access for attendees to industry thought leaders and sponsors of the WFF in Tokyo.
Feel like you’ve missed out on Singapore Fintech Festival 2020? Just in case, here are our top 5 quotes from the festival so far:
- Martha Sazon
President and CEO, Mynt and Chairman, EMoney Association of the Philippines
“Safety protocols and limited mobility during the pandemic have changed the conventions of financial transactions, paving the way for a frictionless, cashless future.”
- Mark Gorriceta
Managing Partner of Gorriceta, Africa, Cauton, and Saavedra.
“We also have some of the highest internet penetration, and when we combine these with the changes happening we can see the Philippines is at par with some of the most prominent fintech markets. We’re at the forefront of these emerging technologies.”
- Robertson “Dick” Chiang
“Studies have shown that about 80-90% of people have already adapted to online living. The country currently has 159% mobile penetration and only in the last month, 76% of adult internet users did at least one online purchase, and 66% bought items using a mobile device.
- Rajan Uttamchandani
Chairman and CEO, Esquire Financing
“49% unemployment rate really affects this sector and they don’t have the liquidity buffer large corps have. This is a sacrificial year to help the economy bounce back. It’s not about profitability but providing a helping hand to the segment that needs it most: SMEs and micros.”
- Jallain Manrique
“Having a people-first mindset is important to be a resilient organization. So I think it revolves around that area. Technology will just follow. Necessity is a mother of innovation. If there is a need then the tech will provide that.”
Finally; also today, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the results of the 2020 MAS Global FinTech Innovation Challenge. Under the theme of “Building Resilience, Seizing Opportunities, Emerging Stronger”, three winners for the Global FinTech Hackcelerator and twelve winners for the FinTech Awards have been selected for their solutions that address the challenges faced by the financial industry due to the COVID19 pandemic and climate change. Both awards were handed out today at the Singapore FinTech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) 2020.