MAS announces $150m boost to fintech scheme

As part of its Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 3.0), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has pledged SGD$150 million over three years to support projects driving innovation within the region.

The scheme’s main focuses lie in key development and adoption areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and regulation technology (regtech), supporting smaller and “less digitally mature” firms to scale up and form part of Singapore’s fintech hub.

“Since 2015, the Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) has awarded $340 million as part of the FSTI programme to drive the adoption of technology and innovation in the financial sector,” Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, said.

“Transformative technology projects that MAS has piloted with the industry include SGFinDex, Project Orchid’s Purpose Bound Money, Project Veritas’ Responsible AI, green and sustainable finance through Project Greenprint, as well as large payment initiatives such as the cross-border payment linkage with Thailand.

“Notably, FSTI 1.0 and 2.0 helped strengthen the digital capabilities of financial institutions which served them and their customers through the COVID pandemic. With FSTI 3.0, we look forward to continued collaboration with the industry to advance purposeful financial innovation.”

FSTI 3.0 will work along three key pathways:

  • Enhanced Centre of Excellence, where grant funding will be expanded to allow corporate venture capital (CVC) entities to identify, nurture and mentor the next generation of start-ups;
  • Innovation Acceleration, where industry partnerships are prioritised to support developments and use cases; and
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) FinTech, where projects involving ESG data, reporting and analytics are highlighted and supported.