The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Australia Treasury signed, on 13 April, the Australia-Singapore FinTech Bridge Agreement to strengthen cooperation between the FinTech ecosystems of both countries.
The FinTech Bridge aims to build on the overarching framework for digital economy cooperation under the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) to deepen collaboration between the FinTech ecosystems of both countries. Discussions were initiated last June, when Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The FinTech Bridge sets out a framework for both authorities to:
- Deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on FinTech, to facilitate trade, investment and ecosystem development in the FinTech sector.
- Support the mutual establishment of FinTechs looking to expand in each other’s markets, and to encourage FinTechs to use the facilities and assistance available to explore new business opportunities and reduce barriers to entry.
- Build on current engagements to strengthen linkages between Australia and Singapore for policy officials, regulators, and industry groups; and to work together to share FinTech expertise and encourage the development of new opportunities.
- Explore joint innovation projects on emerging issues in FinTech to help the industry navigate through a constantly evolving space, to share information on emerging market trends, and to learn from the experiences in each jurisdiction. This includes collaboration in areas such as blockchain and distributed ledger technology, digital identities, cross-border data connectivity, data portability, and the application of FinTech to promote sustainable finance.
A bilateral FinTech Bridge is intended to allow like-minded jurisdictions like Australia and Singapore to strengthen cooperation and collaboration on emerging issues on FinTech policy and regulation, and to better support the cross-border growth of the FinTech industry.
Both countries are world leaders in the FinTech industry, consistently ranking in the top 10 in global FinTech rankings. Both offer a stable regulatory environment, with policies that encourage innovation, whilst maintaining market stability.
With over 700 FinTech companies, Australia has one of the world’s most dynamic FinTech industries. The Australian FinTech industry is estimated to have grown from an AUD250 million industry in 2015 to an AUD4 billion industry in 2021.
The Singapore FinTech ecosystem has also grown exponentially in a short span of time. The city state is now home to about 1,400 FinTechs offering a wide range of solutions, as well over 40 innovation labs. Equity funding for Singapore FinTechs reached a five-year high of USD3.9 billion in 2021.