Plans for smart finance sector

Plans are afoot to develop a smart financial sector as Singapore continues to move towards becoming a smart nation in the next five years, said a leading regulatory official.

Mr Roy Teo, who heads the technology innovation laboratory at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said the power of financial technology, or fintech, can be more than about financial services alone, and that will play a part in the smart nation initiative. "If fintech companies can look beyond that (financial services), it could be an interesting proposition. Examples would be from transport to housing to health.

"We are in a good position, whereas other places would be focusing on fintech alone."

Mr Teo was speaking at a panel talk at a Citibank event last Friday in the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. The bank held a demo day for its programme known as Citi Mobile Challenge. This aims to explore digital banking solutions across mobile apps and devices.

The demo day featured 15 top solutions from countries including Singapore and the United States. Some solutions involved mobile payment and crowd sourcing.

Singapore Press Holdings independent director Tan Chin Hwee told the audience that an ecosystem among banks and other players, such as telecommunications companies, should be created here, as it would encourage the growth of fintech.

Citibank has its own innovation lab in Changi Business Park, where ideas such as reactivating or deactivating a credit card by SMS were created.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2015, with the headline 'Plans for smart finance sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe