Singapore, Australia Look To Aid Fintech Partnership

Singapore, Australia Look To Aid Fintech Partnership
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Recently Singapore and Australia announced that they are looking to collaborate in Fintech to show support for their local ecosystem. They will form a framework to develop better bilateral cooperation and for joint innovation projects.

In a joint statement published on Wednesday, Australia Treasury and Monetary Authority said that the recent Australia-Singapore FinTech Bridge Agreement would clear the way for stronger bilateral cooperation in Fintech by making it much more robust.

The industry regulators would look to enable trade and investment in their respective Fintech sectors and enhance ties between policy officials, industry groups, and regulators.

They will also try to support the establishment of Fintech companies in each other’s markets, where these industries would be able to tap accessible facilities and benefit from them to create new market opportunities and decrease barriers to entry.

Additionally, the Fintech agreement would explore joint innovation projects in developing areas, such as digital identities, blockchain, cross-border data connectivity, and sustainable finance.

Work to deepen the two countries collaboration in Fintech commenced last June when Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The discussion was followed by launching a digital economy agreement between both countries two years back.

Going into detail on the significance of the Fintech Bridge Agreement, the two industry regulators said in their joint statement that the bilateral agreement toughened policies and supported the cross-border growth of the industries.

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Referring to the figures from FinTech Australia, they observed that there were more than 700 Fintech companies located Down Under where the sector was expected to expand from AU$250 million ($186.48 million) in 2015 to AU$4 billion ($2.98 billion) in 2021.

Around 1,400 fintech companies with 40 innovation labs were also based in Singapore.

According to KMPG’s Pulse of FinTech report, Investments in the city-state’s Fintech sector increased 47% year on year to hit $3.94 billion in 2021. Blockchain and crypto ranked in most of the funds, raising $1.48 billion across 82 deals.

Singapore and Australia are amongst four central banks presently collaborating to improve and test a common platform on which they can process cross-border digital payments. According to the announcement made last September, the initiative wishes to bypass the need for intermediaries and, hence, reduce the time and cost of such transactions.

Working with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) innovation hub in Singapore, the four central banks are considering building prototypes of shared platforms using multiple central bank digital currencies. The vision is to permit financial institutions to transact directly with each other in digital currencies issued by the respective central bank.

The central banks of Malaysia and South Africa are also taking part in this initiative.

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