All throughout this week we have been covering the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF). Now in its 6th year, the festival was broadcasted to a global audience from, as well as featuring a number of in-person talks and sessions.
Laying claim to the title of the world’s largest fintech event, this week has provided a unique opportunity for the global FinTech, innovation and business communities to connect, collaborate and network, thanks, in part, to its size – more than 350 sessions, over 700 speakers, over 260 exhibitors, and 14 international pavilions, with another 60,000 streaming the event ‘live’.
After three busy days of in-person sessions, SFF 2021 had a change of pace for the final two days, switching to a hybrid event that explored some of the more interesting niches in the Fintech space.
These sessions covered a mixture of topics, and included the ‘Elevandi Forums’ and the ‘Innovation Lab Crawl’. Below we have highlighted some of the most interesting panels that took place over these two days, and the companies and individuals that took part in them.
Session Highlights from the Rest of SFF 2021
Blockchain Association Singapore and 80RR Fintech
Blockchain Association Singapore selected Friday’s event as the location for its annual conference, SG Blockchain Day 2021. The purpose of this event was to foster deeper social engagements among global blockchain professionals and corporates, while further enhancing the vibrancy of the local blockchain ecosystem. In the past, Blockchain Day 2021 has attracted attention from numerous global blockchain leaders and industry players, and this year was no different.
This event formed part of this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival Innovation Lab Crawl, with Chia Hock Lai, Co-Chairman of Blockchain Association Singapore, in the role of lead speaker.
The FinLab’s annual Lab Crawl took place across both of the final days of the SFF 2021, with the theme for this year being “Forging Businesses Ahead”. The FinLab showcase consisted of three areas: Scaling businesses through tech, building green and sustainable businesses and strengthening connectivity with the ecosystem.
HSBC Lab Crawl
As an international bank with a global network, HSBC digital solutions aim to help SMEs, FinTechs, governments, and MNCs to conduct business across borders. This year, the innovative solutions featured in their Lab Crawl addressed business pain points ranging from receivables reconciliation to liquidity management.
Additionally, they also took time to explore how Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and tokenisation fuel innovation to create completely new asset classes and networks.
Singapore’s Data Trust Ecosystem of The Future
The rapidly growing digital economy presents a generational opportunity to propel the world into a better future. But the digital revolution can only succeed if there is digital trust. Singapore recognises this challenge and is taking on the mantle of leadership. This session was a deep dive into Singapore’s rapidly growing data sharing ecosystems, practical use cases experienced by panellists, and challenges faced along the way. Speakers on this panel represented companies such as MAS, PwC, IMDA, DBS, OCBC Bank, UOB, and Demyst.
The audience was given an insight into how trusted, lawful data sharing can be achieved and how it can lead to positive outcomes for customers, businesses and society. As the handbook and IMDA Data Trust Framework and ABS Data Sharing Handbook bring together legal, technology/cyber risk, data management and privacy considerations under one roof, the audience was able to listen to practical tips for them to share or acquire data responsibly, and to accelerate their data journey.
Enabling Borderless Digital Identity: A local lens that provides global acceptance
The digital revolution is radically transforming the way we live and work. The session covered the role of digital identity in the development of digital infrastructure, also exploring nascent trends in different countries and how different identity networks can interoperate.
Speakers on this panel joining in with the discussion included, Jonathan Thorpe, GM, Digital Transformation Agency, Australia; Dominic Chan, Director, National Digital Identity, Govtech, Singapore; Boonsun Prasitsumrit, CEO, National Digital Identity, Thailand; Karthik Ramanathan, Senior Vice President, Cyber & Intelligence, Mastercard; Sarah Clark, Senior Vice President, Digital Identity, Mastercard.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) announced the award winners of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator at the Singapore FinTech Festival.
The theme for this year’s Global FinTech Hackcelerator is “Harnessing Technology to Power Green Finance”. The winners of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator were selected at Demo Day, held during SFF on 8 November 2021, where 20 finalists pitched their innovations to an international industry panel. After submissions, 3 winners were chosen.
- Descartes Insurance Asia Pte Ltd, France. Descartes Insurance’s winning solution processes data from satellite imagery, IoT, radars and sensors of partners to provide insurance coverage on natural catastrophic events with guaranteed and predetermined payouts, which would be disbursed within a few days of the event.
- RootAnt Global Pte Ltd and Global Initiatives Communications Pte Ltd, Singapore. RootAnt and Global Initiatives’ solution incorporates sustainability elements onto a digital platform to assess the sustainability preparedness of SMEs suppliers in the value chain, and empower them to raise green financing from banks.
- YOUKI GmbH, Germany. YOUKI’s WATTIFY tokenises renewable energy assets into investment products with a smaller ticket size to increase its accessibility to a wider pool of investors. It also facilitates the onboarding of investors in a manner conforming to regulations and matches investors with appropriate investment opportunities.
The top three winners will receive S$50,000 each in prize money.
Circle, a global internet finance firm that provides internet-based payments and financial infrastructure to businesses of all sizes, plans to establish a regional hub in the Singapore market, initiate the application process to obtain applicable Singapore licenses and registrations and launched a new venture initiative dubbed Circle Ventures as part of a series of announcements made at the annual Singapore Fintech Festival.
“You cannot build an always-on, global internet finance business without considering Singapore as a hub,” said Dante Disparte, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Global Head of Policy. “The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been an extraordinary regulatory partner as we have looked to expand our business horizons and invest in the Singaporean market.”
Regional expansion into Singapore will form a key part of Circle’s global expansion plans, including hiring a regional leadership team based in Singapore. Also, the principal operator of USD Coin (USDC), a fully reserved dollar digital currency, Circle is looking for partners to experiment in stablecoin innovations in the Singapore market as part of a Lighthouse Project with MAS observing and guiding project design.
“MAS has always been at the forefront of fintech innovation,” said Jeremy Allaire, Co-founder and CEO of Circle. “We are honoured to work with MAS and look forward to collaborating with Singaporean businesses on our innovation initiatives.”
And… That’s a Wrap
October and November have been a very busy couple of months when it comes to fintech events – emphasising the global nature of fintech, and the demand and interest that this industry is capable of generating.
Events such as the Singapore Fintech Festival, which take place primarily on-site, with in-person sessions and panels and a large audience, look here to stay in the coming future, as the fintech events space and the wider industry itself look to return to some sense of normality.