Fintech deal with Malaysia, new training programme and award finalists named in busy day for S'pore fintech

SINGAPORE - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) have signed an agreement to foster closer cooperation on financial technology (fintech) and innovation in financial services.

The agreement, signed by MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty and SC's executive director of innovation, digital and strategy, Mr Chin Wei Min, establishes a strategic framework for both regulators to assist innovative businesses to better understand the regulatory regime in each jurisdiction, and provide support through the application and authorisation process.

Both regulators will also consider participating in joint innovation projects related to technologies such as blockchain and distributed ledgers.

Mr Mohanty said the agreement marks another step towards strengthening cross-border efforts to promote innovation in neighbouring jurisdictions.

"I foresee it creating new opportunities for fintech firms in Singapore and Malaysia looking to venture into each other's markets. We look forward to greater knowledge exchange and deeper financial cooperation with SC to nurture a vibrant regional fintech ecosystem in Asean."

The agreement was just one of several fintech-related happenings in Singapore on Friday, which also saw the MAS announcing the 20 finalists of its 2017 Global FinTech Hackcelerator and 30 finalists for the FinTech Awards.

In May, the MAS published a catalogue of 100 so-called "problem statements" gathered from the financial industry. These described problems or issues related to finance which could potentially be solved by technology.

It received 580 submissions from over 40 countries, out of which 20 were shortlisted for the hackcelerator by a panel of industry judges.

The entries were evaluated on relevance, competitive advantage, revenue, scalability, business stage and team experience.

The hackcelerator, which the MAS introduced last year, provides a platform for the finalists to work with industry mentors to convert their proposals into market-ready solutions by the time of the Singapore FinTech Festival, taking place in November.

The teams will undergo a 12-week programme, led by KPMG Digital Village, during which they will work with corporate leaders, investors, partners and regulators.

The teams will present a working prototype of their solutions at the FinTech Festival.

Meanwhile, 30 companies were shortlisted for the FinTech Awards, comprising the MAS FinTech Awards and ABS Global FinTech Award, which recognise innovative fintech solutions that have been implemented by start-ups, financial institution and technology companies.

Up to 10 winners will be selected and awarded at the FinTech Awards Night, part of the FinTech Festival.

Separately, DBS Bank has partnered the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to create the first fintech training programme under the Government's TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative.

The programme will groom young professionals skilled in agile development, development operations, information security and data analytics for the financial services sector.

DBS is the first bank to partner with IMDA to train over 85 young professionals in these technology skills, under TeSA's Company-Led Training (CLT) programme.

This collaboration comprises the launch of the new DBS Skills Enhancement and Education (Seed) Programme and the ongoing DBS Business Analytics Graduate Immersion Programme (BAGIP).

The 12-month DBS Seed Programme is open to diploma or degree-holders who have graduated in information technology or science, technology, engineering, mathematics-related disciplines for less than three years.

Trainees will join the bank's technology & operations department and will gain exposure and experience through on-the-job training and assigned projects while being mentored by senior technology managers at DBS.

The DBS BAGIP, launched in 2013, is a 12-month accelerated programme that focuses on developing core analytical skills essential to business growth. In the last two to three years, more than 30 young professionals have been trained.