Singapore signs fintech cooperation pact with the Americas


Singapore’s Monetary Authority has inked a cooperative agreement on fintech with the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas, strengthening ties between Singapore and Latin America’s burgeoning fintech markets.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) provides a framework for fintech cooperation between Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and ASBA, the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas.

ASBA is a transnational association of Central, South American and Caribbean central banks, extending from South American powerhouses, Brazil and Argentina, to the island nations of Aruba and The Bahamas.

The framework aims to further cooperation on joint innovation projects, such as blockchain and big data, the release said.

The agreement will also provide a channel for discussion on areas of mutual interest, such as emerging fintech trends and innovative financial services, providing a launch pad to “accelerate the growth of fintech… through increased collaboration and exchanges between our respective fintech ecosystems,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS.

Rudy Araujo, Secretary General, ASBA, commented on the increasing influence of fintechs and financial services challenger within the financial ecosystem of both regions, “characterised by … ample competition, transparency, sound risk management, and client-centeredness.”

Araujo said the agreement with MAS will support the “development of a regulatory and supervisory framework that, while supporting financial stability, [also] nurtures innovation, and promotes market transparency and proper conduct.”

Central and South America are burgeoning – yet largely untapped – markets for the banking and fintech industries.

While entrepreneurs remain lively across the region, the traditional banking sector has limited reach. Nearly half of the population (49 per cent) in Latin America and the Caribbean remains ‘unbanked’, with access to neither a bank account, credit card nor deposited savings.

Mobile penetration rates throughout Latin America remain buoyant, however, set to increase by 50 per cent by 2020, presenting a clear opening for fintech startups.