SFA and Oliver Wyman launch report titled, ‘Singapore FinTech Landscape 2020 and Beyond’

Dec 9, 2020

  • Report was launched by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry on the sidelines of Singapore FinTech Festival 2020
  • Singapore is Asia’s highest-ranking FinTech city; more than 40 per cent of South East Asia FinTechs are based in Singapore
  • While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a fall in overall FinTech funding in Asia (particularly in China and India), the funding landscape in Singapore has been less volatile. Despite an initial decline in funding, Singapore’s FinTech investments rebounded in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) raised S$100,000 for National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) U Care Fund under the FinTech for Good initiative.

Singapore, 9 December 2020 – Jointly authored by Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) and Oliver Wyman, the ‘Singapore FinTech Landscape 2020 and Beyond’ Report highlights Singapore’s evolution as a centre for FinTech innovation over the past five years and forecasts the upcoming trends expected in the next five years. The report was launched yesterday by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, at FinTech For Good 2020, organised as part of the Singapore FinTech Festival 2020.

At the event, SFA recognised the contributions of its individual and corporate members, who collectively donated S$100,000 to the NTUC-U Care Fund, under the FinTech for Good initiative. Led by SFA, in partnership with NTUC, the initiative lends support to various initiatives under the U Care Fund, which provides financial assistance to lower-income NTUC union members and their families. This is the first time SFA and U Care Fund have come together for such an initiative.

‘Singapore FinTech Landscape 2020 And Beyond’: Key Findings

The FinTech community in Singapore has grown rapidly in the last five years together with the adoption of FinTech by traditional Financial Institutions, as they have sought means to innovate and transform. FinTech funding has risen steadily to fuel this growth.

  • Interestingly, in 2020, Singapore has demonstrated resilience amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite an initial decline in funding (49 per cent decline in Q1 2020 vs. Q4 2019), Singapore’s FinTech investments have since rebounded to US$278mn in Q2 2020, more than thrice the investments in Q1 2020. Investors are recognising the opportunities existing in Southeast Asia.

  • We continue to see FinTechs invest in areas of financial inclusion (Payments, Lending, etc.). The diversity of FinTechs and their business models in Singapore has also broadened significantly with emerging sub-sectors such as RegTech and Data Analytics. More importantly, FinTechs are leveraging on Singapore as a launchpad into the rest of Southeast Asia – providing an opportunity to access more than 650mn people in the region.

Singapore has a strong ecosystem of players who recognise the benefits that FinTechs can bring. The key enablers that have contributed to Singapore’s success include innovation focused investors, a close-knit network of corporates, banks and partners, as well as progressive government and industry associations.

  • Private-sector funding has been important for the growth of Singapore’s FinTech ecosystem. From 2015 to 2019, approximately 65 per cent of the FinTech funding in Southeast Asia was directed to businesses in Singapore, close to four times more than the funding received by the next-largest market. While there are fewer local funds focused on later-stage investments, as the sector progresses, Singapore FinTechs will increasingly gain access and be connected to a wider pool of global investors.

  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has embraced digital innovation, being one of the first markets in the region to launch various initiatives such as the Electronics Transaction Act and a unified digital identity. This further extends to include relevant industry associations having a conscious view to support FinTechs such as through the Startup SG Programme by Enterprise Singapore and the FinTech Talent Programme by SFA. Singapore’s openness to digital initiatives across both the public and private sectors allows business models and workflows to be incubated and tested here in a way that would not be feasible elsewhere.

  • Having a strong network of partners further reinforces Singapore’s proposition as an ideal hotbed for B2B FinTechs to test their ideas. FinTechs in Singapore are focussed on a multi-country strategy with a strong appetite for overseas expansion. From SFA-OW FinTech survey 2020, 95 per cent of FinTechs have plans to expand overseas. A key challenge that many FinTechs face when expanding abroad is the heterogenous regulatory environment. Recognising this, there has been more emphasis on creating a coordinated approach for the region in recent years through cross-border collaborations.

The FinTech industry’s growth trajectory has been impressive to date. To establish Singapore as a regional FinTech hub that stays on the path to be a global hub, key factors that have contributed to Singapore’s success to date need to be continuously adapted to stay relevant.

The full report can be accessed here.

Quotes

Mr Chia Hock Lai, President, SFA
This is a challenging time for many and it is our honour and privilege that SFA is able to kickstart this initiative alongside NTUC-U Care to assist those in need. We are deeply humbled by the amount of support and donations we have received from both individuals and corporate donors. This is a strong testament to the robust and resilient FinTech ecosystem in Singapore. We strongly believe Singapore is poised to come out of the pandemic stronger and once again, strengthen its position as the leading FinTech hub and financial centre in ASEAN.

Mr Ben Balzer, Partner, Corporate Finance & Advisory Head in APAC, Oliver Wyman
Singapore’s FinTech sector has made significant strides over the last five years. The proactive and open philosophy demonstrated by the government, and collective efforts from ecosystem players have built strong resilience in the sector even in the face of a pandemic. Moreover, the digital acceleration brought about by Covid-19 will further drive business demand in FinTechs. Looking ahead, Singapore FinTechs are set for success as the region progresses with a common shared goal of broadening financial inclusion.

Mr Zainal Sapari, NTUC Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Care and Share Department
NTUC is deeply appreciative of the support by Singapore Fintech Association and its corporate members to NTUC-U Care Fund, standing in solidarity with workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With their contribution, we will be able to extend the support for these workers to tide through these difficult times and find opportunities to uplift themselves through subsidised training programmes. This is made possible thanks to the generous contribution received and we look forward to a closer working relationship in future too.

About Singapore FinTech Association (SFA)
The SFA is a cross-industry and non-profit organisation. Its purpose is to support the development of the FinTech industry in Singapore, and to facilitate collaboration among the participants and stakeholders of the FinTech ecosystem in Singapore. The SFA is a member-based organisation with over 850+ members. It represents the full range of stakeholders in the FinTech industry, from early-stage innovative companies to large financial players and service providers.

To further its purpose, the SFA also partners with institutions and associations from Singapore and globally to cooperate on initiatives relating to the FinTech industry. The SFA has signed over 60 international Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 40 countries and is the first U Associate organisation to be affiliated with National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). Through their FinTech Talent (FT) Programme, launched in 2017, over 300 professionals have been trained in FinTech, including blockchain & cryptocurrency, cybersecurity and regulation.

About Oliver Wyman
Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 60 cities across 29 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 5,000 professionals around the world who work with clients to optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a business of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE:MMC]. For more information, visit oliverwyman.com. Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman.

About NTUC-U Care Fund
The NTUC-U Care Fund was established in 2009 to consolidate the Labour Movement’s fundraising efforts to better the welfare of lower-income union members and their families. Through the collective efforts of the NTUC-affiliated unions, associations and social enterprises, together with management and tripartite partners, $23.2 million was raised in 2009 to help workers affected by the economic downturn. Since its inception, the NTUC-U Care Fund has strived to make a difference in the lives of its lower-income members and their families by helping them to lessen their financial burden.