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MAS chief: Fintech is key to the future

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Innovation, collaboration needed for tailored, invisible financial sector

The vision of a financial sector where a person can get an instant and complete picture of where they stand with regard to cash, tax and other money- related matters was outlined by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director yesterday.

Mr Ravi Menon said such a new world would mean a person would have a personal financial dashboard that pulls data from their banks, insurers and brokers.

It would also contain tax liabilities and mortgages and provide advice based on milestones in that person's life.

"This is the financial sector we want to create, customised (to) our needs, invisible to our eyes, and an absolute delight," said Mr Menon.

He told the Singapore FinTech Festival that creating such a future meant marshalling necessary ingredients such as common standards, inclusive collaboration and a free flow of ideas, knowledge and people.

"Innovation and technology are key to realising this future, but they are not enough," Mr Menon added.

What is necessary is to grow a fintech, or financial technology, ecosystem that includes platforms for innovation and good data governance standards.

One initiative involved the MAS working with the Infocomm Media Development Authority to roll out a global marketplace for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Business sans Borders, as it is called, aims to connect SMEs on a platform where they can explore collaborative ways to digitise their business processes and lower costs, said Mr Menon.

"It will (also) allow solution providers to more effectively reach out to SMEs (that) tend to be highly dispersed and sometimes hard to reach," he added.

The initiative will start with a proof-of-concept next year with features such as a sandbox where start-ups and established players can experiment.

Another feature is an artificial intelligence engine that matches suppliers with buyers for products and services across the region.

The MAS has been trying to reap the benefits of technology by working with the industry to develop principles to guide data usage in financial services. These were released yesterday.

And the MAS and the Singapore Exchange said in a joint release on Sunday that they have developed delivery versus payment (DvP) capabilities to settle tokenised assets across different blockchain platforms.

DvP is a settlement procedure where securities and money are exchanged at the same time so the delivery of securities occurs only if payment is made.

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BUSINESS & FINANCE