"Asia's Digital Transformation"- Remarks by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the GIC Institutional Investors Roundtable on 31 October 2018

Published date31 October 2018
Publication titleASEAN Tribune

31 October 2018 (Monetary Authority of Singapore) Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I thank GIC for the invitation and am pleased to meet all of you.

Why FinTech?

About three-and-a-half years ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made a momentous decision - to promote an innovative and dynamic financial sector by working with the industry to harness the power of technology.

We saw that technology was transforming the way people live their lives, the way companies deliver products and services, and the way cities work and connect.

Meanwhile, the financial industry globally was facing the headwinds of slower economic growth, tighter regulation, and keen competition from non-financial technology players.

Technology presented an opportunity to inject new dynamism and new growth in financial services.

It was an opportunity to increase efficiency in an industry that had some of the most archaic practices around - just think of interbank payments and settlements.

It was an opportunity to manage risks better: financial institutions were pouring ever more resources into compliance and risk management - and still getting into trouble.

Most of all, it was an opportunity to improve people's lives

to bring financial services to the unbanked and uninsured in Asia;

to help a growing middle class plan its finances more holistically and efficiently;

to help enterprises raise money, make payments, and tap new markets.

In short: to maintain its position as one of the top financial centres in the world, Singapore must embrace FinTech - harnessing its benefits, managing its risks.

Thus began Singapore's FinTech journey. And by FinTech, I mean two things:

encourage and support financial institutions to experiment and harness technology; and

promote non-financial FinTech players to provide competition and inject innovation so that the ecosystem as a whole benefits.

MAS takes an even-handed approach, allowing competition between financial institutions and non-financial FinTech players as well as facilitating collaboration among them.

And of course, doing all this with a keen eye on managing the risks associated with technology - safeguarding financial stability and maintaining public confidence.

MAS and the financial industry are not doing this in a vacuum, but within the larger context of Singapore's Smart Nation agenda - to build a digital economy and society for higher productivity and more gracious living.

Asia's Digital Transformation

Singapore's Smart Nation drive is itself playing...

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