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Singapore, HK vie for top fintech spot via initiatives

Singapore, HK vie for top fintech spot via initiatives

On Wednesday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the opening of a fintech innovation lab. 

The purpose-built facility, known as Looking Glass @ MAS, is located within the MAS Building.

The lab will allow MAS to experiment fintech solutions with financial institutions, start-ups, and technology vendors; facilitate consultations for start-ups by industry experts on areas of interest such as legal, regulation, and business-related matters; and provide a venue for relevant training sessions and networking activities for the fintech community.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, said, 'MAS has been encouraging financial institutions to anchor their innovation labs in Singapore.

'Today, we are pleased to open our own FinTech Innovation Lab, underscoring MAS’ commitment to promoting a culture of innovation in the financial sector.'

The announcement came three days after eight fintech start-ups began a 12-month mentorship program in Hong Kong in the third annual FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific.

Launched by Accenture in Hong Kong in June 2014, the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific is a collaboration between Accenture and leading financial institutions.

The twelve principle financial institutions include BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Maybank, Morgan Stanley and UBS.

In addition, supporting banks include: China CITIC Bank International, China Construction Bank (Asia), Macquarie, Nomura, Standard Chartered, Siam Commercial Bank, Societe Generale, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG).

The start-ups participating in this year’s lab have developed a range of innovations – from wealth management solutions that are precisely oriented to customers’ investment intents, know your customer (KYC) services that leverage blockchain technology and a fraud prevention program using algorithms based in Chinese-characters to help financial institutions flag risk.

Hong Kong and Singapore are vying to be Asia Pacific's top fintech innovation hub, with Singapore launching multiple initiatives this year, including a new FinTech & Innovation Group and a regulatory sandbox for fintech experiments, to compete with Hong Kong's well-established fintech ecosystem.

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