The Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) is an annual fintech event organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, held in conjunction with the Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology (SWITCH). It is the largest annual fintech festival in the world.
Singapore Fintech Festival 2020 took place recently from December 7 and 11, 2020. The event brought together key decision-makers, investors and delegates from global financial institutions and technology firms to discuss the latest technologies, trends and advancements within the fintech industry — centered on businesses activities to boost sales cycles, discover partnerships and generate investments.
Due to travel restrictions and social distancing measures, this year’s Singapore Fintech Festival 2020 featured a hybrid digital and physical experience. The event allowed a small number of people to attend sessions and activities in-person at key physical locations around the world, as well as enabled participants to engage virtually with government leaders, business leaders, speakers, and representatives of leading fintech companies through an interactive “ONLINE CITY.”
The ONLINE CITY was a digital location where business leaders and representatives of fintech companies shared and engaged with online participants, as well as scheduled 1-1 meetings with their potential partners.
Over the entire week of Singapore Fintech Festival 2020, a number leading speakers live-streamed their speeches and presentations online, across different time zones – whereby participants worldwide watched the online presentation of keynote speakers from different regions sharing their perspectives on useful topics. Speakers in this year Singapore Fintech Festival 2020 included top leaders from Microsoft, Citi, Mastercard, Blackrock, Accenture, Standard Chartered, Bank of International Settlements, HSBC, Nasdaq, Paypal and Visa, as well as senior government officials from Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, and more.
This year’s Singapore Fintech Festival 2020 also brought together a number of well known sponsors, including: AMTD, Mastercard, Microsoft, Prudential, Accenture, UOB Bank, OCB Life Group, OCBC Bank, PayPal, VISA, and many more.
“We are excited and honored to be involved with this year’s Singapore Fintech Festival 2020 as one of the Gold Sponsors. We are using this event as a springboard to introduce and showcase our new technology products to both existing and potential partners in the region and globally.” said Kenn Smith, Advisor of OCB Life Group.
Sponsors and Exhibitors showcased their technologies in key innovation domains such as FinTech; Blockchain, 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Smart Cities and Urban Solutions; Healthcare and Biomedical Sciences; Trade and Connectivity.
One particular topic that created much interest amongst participants this year was the Digital Economy. A number of experts at the event discussed about the emergence of central bank digital currencies, digital banks, inter-operability of traditional and digital currency payments, and in particular, the revolutionary impact of Blockchain, AI and 5G on financial services.
One of the biggest news was PayPal launching a new service enabling its customers to transact in cryptocurrency after being granted a first-of-its-kind conditional Bitlicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services. This new service of PayPal, which is expected to be launched in early 2021, would make cryptocurrency a funding source across its network of 26 million merchants worldwide. Meanwhile, another major player in the financial services sector, VISA, announced its partnership with USDC, a digital currency of Circle Internet Financial. Another major news that grabbed the headlines during the Singapore Fintech Festival week was the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announcing on 4th December 2020 that it had awarded four Digital Bank license to the Grab-Singtel consortium, Ant Group, Seagroup (Garena, Shopee, Foody, etc), as well as a consortium consortium comprising Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management. The Digital Banks would be able to provide customers with services such as opening accounts, deposits as well as issuing debit and credit cards, but they would not have a physical presence and all banking services will be done online. This would liberalize the financial sector with cost-efficient banking services.
The migration toward a Digital Economy is accelerating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as increased adoption of new technologies. The recent Singapore Fintech Festival 2020 had provided a platform that helped to empower innovation, connectivity, and sharing of the latest trends in fintech.