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Japan Jumps Aboard Singapore’s FinTech Train

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank and financial regulator, has now entered a FinTech partnership with its Japanese counterpart, the Financial Services Agency (FSA). The move sees the two countries to establish a FinTech cooperation framework.

Announced yesterday, the financial regulators from the two major Asian economic hubs have fundamentally reduced the barriers for entry of FinTech companies in their countries enter each other’s markets.

“Technology and innovation remain key enablers of financial sector growth in Singapore and Japan,” stated MAS Fintech chief Sopnendu Mohanty. “The setting up of the framework is a great opportunity for the FinTech ecosystems in Singapore and Japan, and enhances the already strong financial and economic cooperation between the two countries.”

With the establishment of the framework, industry startups and companies from the two countries will also gain advice from the two regulatory bodies about operating in their jurisdictions. Such advice will also help companies work toward obtaining the required licenses to operate  in the two countries.

Notably, the cooperative framework will also lead to regulators sharing information of financial services innovations from each other’s markets.

Shunsuke Shirakawa, the Vice Commissioner for International Affairs at Japan’s FSA, stated:

We are delighted to establish this Co-operation Framework with MAS, which is actively promoting FinTech based on its Smart Financial Centre Vision. We believe that this Framework strengthens the relationship between FSA and MAS and promotes innovation in our respective markets.

Meanwhile, Japan’s partnership with Singapore comes within days after the FSA inked a similar agreement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom, commonly seen as the world’s leading space for FinTech development.

Singapore, Asia’s Fintech Hub

The advent toward embracing Fintech development locally has seen a number of countries partner with Singapore’s central bank, evidently seen as a pioneer in developing use-cases of financial technology and, in particular, blockchain innovation. In under six months, the south Indian government of Andhra Pradesh, the central bank of South Korea and the financial regulator of Abu Dhabi have all signed FinTech cooperation pacts with Singapore’s MAS. Japan’s financial regulator joins the growing list.

The island nation’s geographical proximity makes it a global hub for travelers and trade. The country’s traditional technology-forward agenda has seen the likes of technology giant IBM and New York-based industry startup R3 establish blockchain-exclusive labs in the country.

This Fintech agenda is spearheaded by the MAS, the first publicly-known effort of a central bank to develop and test a blockchain inter-bank payments platform. First revealed in November last year, the MAS completed its blockchain payments pilot, with successful results last week.

Singapore will also host the “Blockchain for Finance” fintech conference in June this year, an event where a number of notable Asian banking giants are expected to showcase their uses cases for blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the financial services sector.

Speaking to CCN.com, Dean Murphy, director of the Fintech Network, the operator, and organizer of the conference, stated of the upcoming Singapore event:

Following a sell-out conference in London last October, FinTech Network is taking BFC to Singapore to encourage the Asia Pacific market to discuss blockchain proofs of concepts and use cases that could fundamentally change the way the financial services sector does business. In financial services, there are many use cases for DLT in existence and in development which will form the core of discussions at the conference this year.

Featured image from Shutterstock.