Fintech Awards, CBDC challenge winners announced during Singapore Fintech Festival

Singapore Fintech Festival

Financial institutions, fintechs and solution providers were recognised for innovative technology which promotes inclusion and sustainable development in the latest Singapore fintech awards.

Winners were announced during the annual Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) in November by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA).

There were three winners in the Global FinTech Hackcelerator under this year’s green finance theme. Each receive S$50,000 each in prize money.

Descartes Insurance Asia’s winning solution processes data from satellite imagery, IoT, radars and sensors of partners to provide catastrophe insurance with guaranteed and pre-determined payouts; Singapore’s RootAnt and Global Initiatives’ BANCO solution incorporates sustainability elements onto a digital platform to assess sustainability preparedness of SME suppliers in the value chain, and Germany-based YOUKI’s WATTIFY solution tokenises renewable energy assets into investment products with a smaller ticket size to increase its accessibility to a wider pool of investors.

The SFF Global FinTech Awards for 2021 focused on projects and solutions supporting recovery from the pandemic, and recognised 49 winners across 12 award categories.

The top prize in the Singapore Fintech category went to GoalsMapper for its real-time financial planning tool, second place went to payments fintech Aleta Planet for its AP-1 digital solution which facilitates easier cross-border payments with China, and in third place was Brick, for its financial data Application Programming Interface (API).

The top ASEAN Fintech award went to ShuttleOne Network, an operating system for digital finance using blockchain and decentralised finance, while Asia Wealth Platform won the best Singapore Financial Institution for its StashAway wealth management solutions.

Two new awards were made as part of MAS moves to encourage Singaporeans to use e-payments instead of physical currency notes for gift giving.  DBS Bank won the Most Innovative Bank E-Gifting Solution and Singtel Dash for Most Innovative Wallet E-Gifting Solution.

MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty congratulated all award winners for their innovative projects which are transforming financial industry practices.

“In particular, the winning entries from financial institutions, fintechs and technology providers displayed strong potential to enhance the growth and resilience of the financial sector as economies recover from the pandemic,” he said in a statement0.

The MAS also announced winners of the Global Central Bank Digital Currency Challenge (Global CBDC Challenge) which aimed to identify retail CBDC solutions which increase payment efficiency, promote financial inclusion and support broader digitalisation in the economy.

The winning three teams were Consensys and Visa for their CBDCgo digital currency which provides integration and coexistence with existing systems; Criteo’s Atomic CBDC platform that is safeguarded by hardware-based security; and Giesecke+Devrient’s G+D Filia which enables participation in the digital economy without a smartphone or a bank account.

The Global CBDC Challenge was held in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN Capital Development Fund, UN High Commission for Refugees, UN Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The MAS is now using the competition as a springboard for researching its own retail CBDC project.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon said although there is not a strong or urgent case for a Singapore retail CBDC right now, there could be potential benefits from innovative retail CBDC solutions in future.

“MAS is therefore embarking on Project Orchid – to build the technology infrastructure and technical competencies necessary to issue a digital Singapore dollar should Singapore decide to do so in future,” he said in a speech at the Fintech Festival.

“MAS will pursue Project Orchid in close partnership with the private sector, building on the rich findings from the Global CBDC Challenge that MAS launched earlier this year.”