Evolution of Fintech Landscape in Singapore

by Kin Lim Lee
23 Nov 2019

“Singapore’s fintech journey is about innovation, inclusion and inspiration. Everything we do in fintech must always have a larger purpose — to improve the lives of individuals, to build a more dynamic economy, to promote a more inclusive society,” says Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Mr. Ravi Menon during Singapore FinTech Festival 2018.

If you have not realized by now, Singapore continues to be a leading fintech hub as a prominent leading financial center in the Southeast Asian region, given its supportive startup and fintech ecosystem.

As the financial sector is an integral part of Singapore's ambition to be a smart nation, MAS — Singapore’s central bank — has launched several initiatives to support fintechs, including helping banks create an industry-wide platform for compliance checks.

Comparison of FinTech adoption in six markets from 2015 to 2019. Source: EY Global FinTech Adoption Index 2019

With the conducive Singapore ecosystem, fintech regulation, and funding landscape coupled with the strong government support, Singapore's fintech adoption rate among Singapore consumers almost tripled to 67 percent in two years, putting Singapore ahead of the global and Asia-Pacific average global rate of 64 percent and 63 percent, respectively.


Fintech Investments in Singapore

When it comes to the investment perspective of the fintech landscape in Singapore, the startup funding landscape in Singapore comprises angel investment, venture capital (VC), corporate venture divisions and government entities.

Total investment activity (VC, PE and M&A) in fintech in Singapore from 2014 to 2019. Source: Pulse of Fintech H1 2019 by KPMG International (Global Analysis of Investment in Fintech)

Nevertheless, the Asia-Pacific fintech ecosystem is now confirmed to be undergoing a significant downturn in volume, which has been largely due to the dramatic slide in early-stage VC tallies — and Singapore is no exception. 

It is likely that overall geopolitical pressures and ongoing economic issues have given many investors, especially foreign ones, pause. Despite the fact that Singapore is experiencing a downturn in terms of fintech investments, the only question that remains is how temporary it is.