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Powering Singapore’s Financial Innovation

The Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 3.0), which has been updated, will receive up to S$150 million over three years from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). FSTI 3.0 doubles down on MAS’ commitment to foster a thriving technological ecosystem for the financial sector while supporting initiatives that leverage cutting-edge technologies or have a regional nexus to boost and accelerate innovation.

Enhancement of the Centre of Excellence track – Formerly known as the Innovation Labs track, the corporate venture capital (CVC) firms will now be eligible for grant financing, which will cover up to 50% of their eligible costs up to a maximum of S$2 million per project.

The investment will allow CVCs to provide significant mentoring and assistance to help start-ups scale and establish robust and viable business models, which is crucial given the importance of CVCs in finding and fostering the next generation of start-ups.

Innovation Acceleration Track – MAS is aware of the value of working in tandem with the market to support cutting-edge FinTech solutions resulting from cutting-edge technology like Web 3.0. MAS will hold open calls for the application of cutting-edge technologies in business use cases. The grant money will be made available to support the commercialisation and testing phases.

The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) FinTech track aims to accelerate the adoption of ESG fintech solutions by supporting the development and deployment of projects that address the financial sector’s ESG data, reporting, and analytics needs, with funding support of up to 50% of qualifying expenses, capped at S$500,000 per project.

FSTI 3.0 will continue to assist the adoption and development of new capabilities in crucial fields including regulation technology (RegTech) and artificial intelligence and data analytics (AIDA). MAS will concentrate on encouraging AIDA implementation in smaller financial institutions and assisting institutions that are less digitally advanced in their search for RegTech solutions.

The strength of AIDA rests in its capacity to quickly digest enormous amounts of financial data, allowing financial professionals to make better informed and fact-based decisions. The accuracy and depth of decision-making processes are being improved by this data-driven approach, from risk assessment to investment strategy development.

The management of risk is crucial for financial companies. These institutions can react quickly to market changes and avoid potential threats thanks to AIDA’s real-time analysis, which spots trends, abnormalities, and potential threats. AIDA simultaneously opens new investment prospects, enabling businesses to investigate and seize undiscovered potential.

Besides, financial institutions’ main fronts in the war on fraud are detection and prevention. The watchful algorithms in AIDA can quickly spot unusual transaction patterns, efficiently identifying and stopping potential fraud. This proactive approach protects the institution and its clients against financial misdeeds. Further, to expand the Singaporean FinTech talent pool, candidates will also be expected to invest resources in talent development across all tracks.

According to Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of MAS, the Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) has given out S$340 million since 2015 as part of the FSTI initiative to encourage the financial sector’s use of technology and innovation.

SGFinDex, Project Orchid’s Purpose Bound Money, Project Veritas’ Responsible AI, green and sustainable finance through Project Greenprint, and large payment initiatives such as the cross-border payment linkage with Thailand are among the transformative technology projects that MAS has piloted with the industry.

Notably, FSTI 1.0 and 2.0 aided in the strengthening of the digital capabilities of financial institutions that serviced them and their customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With FSTI 3.0, MAS hopes to continue working with the industry to develop purposeful financial innovation.


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