Singapore, India to boost fintech collaboration

The two Asian countries, which already have partnered on cross-border payment services, will create a joint working group to explore opportunities for further collaboration in fintech.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Singapore and India have signed an agreement to explore opportunities for further collaboration in fintech services.

India's Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said they would set up a joint working group to be co-chaired by the latter's deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh and India Department of Financial Services' additional secretary Ravi Mital.

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The working group also would comprise representatives of key stakeholders from both countries, including India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Reserve Bank of India, Stock Exchange of India, as well as Singapore's Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Enterprise Singapore, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Organisations from both countries previously had partnered to offer fintech services, in particular, in the payment segment. Payment services provider Network for Electronic Transfers of Singapore (Nets) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) established a cross-border payment connection to support real-time fund transfer between accounts in both countries.

Both organisations also were working to create a payment connection to allow Nets cardholders to make payments at any RuPay merchant in India as well as RuPay cardholders to make payments at Nets terminals in Singapore.

Nets and NPCI also were assessing the possible use of India's national mobile wallet, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), to make payments at Nets terminals.

Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of the Republic of India to Singapore, said: "A digital revolution, anchored on the biometric identity of a billion plus people, is sweeping through India. It has prompted financial inclusion, digital payments, and innovation on an extraordinary scale.

"Singapore, a global financial hub, has emerged as a leading centre for fintech. Our partnership will not only support our two nations' progress in fintech, but also help drive our international competitiveness and success in this area," Ashraf said.

Singapore banked a record high of US$229.1 million in fintech funding last year, which saw two of the top 10 deals in Asia inked in the city-state. In addition, a development lab was opened in February 2016 to provide a platform for startups, technology vendors, and financial institutions to test out new fintech tools.

MAS in February this year also inked an agreement with India's Government of Maharashtra (GoM) to jointly participate in fintech projects such as blockchain and mobile payments, as well as establish a fintech marketplace. The partnership would include jointly developed educational programmes and discussions on regulatory models to drive innovation in the sector.

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