Singapore, which has some 400 Fintech startups and more than 100 financial institutions, is more ambitious than ever to conquer the world fintech crown . The Fintech Festival, sponsored by the government, is in its second year, this time bigger and better than the previous one.
This event, which runs from November 13 to 17, welcomes participants from the small island state. I've been fortunate to be invited as a member of the media to attend the largest meeting of all actors in the fintech ecosystem: startups, investors, financial institutions, companies and government agencies .
It's always been in Singapore Photo credit: Lucia Ziyuan
Covering everything related to financial technology We are seeing high-level speakers and government officials making appearances at the event.It is impossible to account for all the details, but I will do my best to highlight What is remarkable in this article
The festival was an indoor event that took three exhibition halls at the Singapore Expo. arrival, the arena of the event was already buzzing with delegates of all kinds of nationalities slamming into every imaginable accents. Immediately hailed by huge booths from festival sponsors: Deloitte, Prudential and KPMG among others.
Stands of sponsors like Deloitte occupy the majority of the real estate of exhibition
Compared to other events in fintech that I attended, the kiosks of this festival were much more creative and attractive new technologies exhibited. Deloitte, for example, introduced its voice and sound recognition technology to mitigate risk. PayNow – the largest peer-to-peer payment network in Singapore – has exposed how money can be moved instantly with just the recipient's phone number with an experiential showcase.
The events of the week are not lacking. The festival breaks down into three main types of events and many small segments that take place simultaneously. There were so many things every minute at every corner of the room that we can easily be restrained by FOMO. As I headed for an intriguing conference on the open book, at the same time there is another exciting and exciting conference on the fintech happening on a different stage.
Although crowded floors are a bit difficult to navigate. Many events taking place simultaneously, with the help of the official application of the event, I was able to plan and bookmark the events that interested me in the event. ;advanced. Even the lectures I attended were a full hall – people were standing around these one – hour talks. The enthusiasm of the crowd was incredible.
Application of the SFF event Image Source: Google Playstore
There were also several workstations and lounges for relaxing and chatting. I even bought a prepackaged customizable salad from a vending machine using contactless payment and I thought of the famous contract. Nick Szabo's intelligent as the analogy of a vending machine .. a time of fintech.
cashless payment at the salad machine. Photo credit: Lucia Ziyuan
Fintech Sandbox – a top-down approach to innovation
As an official host, the presence of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) occupies an important place overall an event. The ambition of the government agency to adopt a top-down approach to innovation was emphasized – there is even a dedicated fintech branch within the organization called 'Fintech and' group. Innovation".
More specifically, MAS is known for its daring experiences. in the fintech regulatory sandbox. If you have not heard of it, the Fintech Sandbox is where MAS gives the go-ahead for testing new products or solutions in a controlled environment in cases where these new ideas would not have occurred. not escaped the scrutiny of regulators.
At the festival, MAS Sandbox came to life with a sandbox scene built literally with real sand. In a speech by Ong Ye Kung, Minister of Education and Defense Minister, we had a glimpse of what could be a structured liberal regulatory framework for financial innovation.
Sandbox literally made of sand as an open scene Photo credit: lucia ziyuan
Mr. Ong cited the example of PolicyPal, the first MAS Fintech Sandbox graduate and now a licensed insurance broker after testing his solution in the sandbox with a limited number of users, added that MAS will "further relax regulatory limits for sandbox cases where the risks do not prevail.This would even mean a bigger playground for advanced fintech innovators.
Other Innovation Initiatives led by MAS include a partnership with MIT Media Lab in key areas, including Distributed Ledger technology, the global Hackcelerator program and MAS Fintech Awards for which projects in Singapore and abroad have been rewarded with a generous pr ix in cash.
Although there is still a lot Regarding the emerging fintechs such as ICO and AI bots, we have l & # 39; impression, following lectures and speeches, that fintech are now evolving with a more "adult" attitude. traditional section, apparently "indiscriminate" like RegTech and Insurtech. On the other hand, the attitudes of advanced technology manufacturers to regulation are loosening. Fewer people talk about disruption, and the many mid-range Fintech companies are looking for an alignment of interest with regulators and financial institutions.
At a roundtable titled "Alternative Payments: Beyond Hype", Brad Garlinghouse of Ripple, Taavet Hinrikus of Transferwise and Tim Grant of DrumG sat down to talk about altcoins and more. When asked if the company was going to be cashless, all said that the fiat would not go away anytime soon. Speaking of the role of the financial institution in fintech innovation, all three have expressed positive feelings for working with regulators. Taavet Hinrikus said, "technology entrepreneurs are improving their relationships with entrepreneurs. It turns out that the regulators are listening to you. Brad Garlinghouse went a step further by saying that it's "important that the industry be proactive and talk to regulators."
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, break altcoin hype for the public Photo credit: Lucia Ziyuan
And the rulers In a speech on financial inclusion made by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands during the festival, her majesty gave 9 tips for the successful inclusion of fintech: data privacy, cybersecurity, digital culture, financial literacy, digital identification, connectivity, interoperability, fair competition and physical infrastructure.You must agree that these are very point on the ideas.
And governments go out of their way to compete for innovative solutions. At the closing conference of Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, we saw the government's efforts to position Tokyo as a desirable destination for financial innovation, such as financial rewards and advertisements, as a promotional outdoor advertisement.
More than 30,000 participants, more than 100 nationalities – this year's fintech festival is set to be the biggest event of recent history. It is promising to see such growth and shared enthusiasm in this industry. There is no doubt that fintech will continue to make big waves in 2018.
But we also left with more questions than answers. Despite the globally shared language in fintech, there is no commonly accepted approach to fintech innovation because the regulatory environment in each country is very different. What does this mean for financial inclusion on the scale? What would true interoperability look like, especially on the Blockchain? What does it mean for innovators to work with regulators on infrastructure construction, and how?
Perhaps at the speed we are going forward with technology, we will see the answers come out at the next fintech festival.