Singapore and South Korea Come Together for Fintech

Singapore FinTech Festival

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank, has collaborated with yet another Asian country, within days of partnering with an Indian state government over exploring and developing blockchain technology and Fintech.

The primary monetary authority in Singapore and the Korean Financial Services Commission (KFSC) – an authority of the same stature in South Korea – will cooperate over Fintech, exploring joint innovation projects with a focus on big data and mobile payments.

“This agreement lays the groundwork for deeper FinTech collaboration between Singapore and South Korea,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief Fintech officer of Singapore’s central bank.

The two central regulators and authorities will collaborate on common interests in the Fintech space, discussing upcoming trends and notably, how the ever-increasing plausibility of a Fintech revolution would impact or change the current regulatory landscape.

The agreement was a necessary step for South Korea’s foray into understanding and developing Fintech applications, as the government relaxes its own regulations in the industry as a means to fostering it for the better.

Furthermore, the South Korean government has also promised to fully support venture capital firms to finance startups in the Fintech industry.

During a recent Seoul forum, financial Services Commission chairman Yim Jong-yong stated:

With the advent of fintech and ICT-based firms, once-exclusive financial services are evolving into new types of services. As capital markets have large potential in innovation and change, the government will make sure that start-ups with creative ideas get enough venture capital.


Seoul is likely to see an increasing number of Fintech startups.

Following its pact with Singapore, Hoon Choi, director of the Banking and Insurance Bureau at KFSC stated:

Although Korea is a relative newcomer in Fintech, it is growing at a rapid pace based on its excellent IT and online financial infrastructure, under the Government’s Fintech policy.


The Singaporean central bank also signed a similar cooperative agreement over Fintech with the government of Andhra Pradesh, a southern state in India. While digital payments is a common field of interest for Singapore with both countries, its cooperation with the Indian state’s government is notable for a pointed focus on bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain.

Singapore is quickly joining London as one of the primary global Fintech hubs. Several companies including IBM and R3 have established blockchain- and Fintech-centric research centers in the technologically-forward country. Known for its endeavor to pioneer or stay at the forefront of new innovation (the world’s first ever public trials of self-driving cars happened in Singapore recently, for instance), Singapore has also taken a friendly stance toward bitcoin and sees the presence of several bitcoin exchanges including U.S.-based Coinbase.

 Images from Shutterstock.

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