What Makes Singapore One of The World's Top Fintech Hubs?

The two regions are interesting to explore because they have many of the same strengths, but also very different circumstances

learn more about Nidhi Singh

By Nidhi Singh • Nov 1, 2018

Pexels

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The fintech industry is growing immensely and rapidly, all thanks to the overwhelming influence of digital technology. Many countries are exploring ways to prove their leadership in this sector but guess who is leading the race? A joint report from The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) says that London and Singapore are excellent hubs for fintech activity. It further notes that these regions are interesting to explore because they have many of the same strengths, but also very different circumstances, providing a richer picture of fintech development around the world.

The Defining Elements of a Fintech Hub

Fintech is most effective when innovators, investors and regulators can interact, build networks and learn from each other. As a result, the development of fintech solutions is generally concentrated in specific geographical locations, or "hubs', where five key elements co-exist and work together – markets, talent, capital, progressive regulation and strong government support.

Both London and Singapore benefit from having all of these elements in a single location, as well as mature and successful financial services sectors which provide strong foundations for fintech. However, no hub operates in isolation, and there is a need to draw on markets and global talent, and develop strong links with other hubs, says the report.

Regional Strategies

While the five core elements of innovation are common, there are also many differences between fintech markets. Therefore, businesses, regulators and governments need to adapt and tailor their fintech strategies to meet the particular needs of the country.

The report highlights how London and Singapore show the importance of tailoring detailed measures to reflect local differences.

Singapore, for example, puts a stronger emphasis on collaboration between start-ups and the established sector and acts as a gateway to new markets across Southeast Asia. By contrast, in London, there is more of a push for start-ups to disrupt the incumbents and more focus on the challenges of scaling up fintech businesses, it adds.

Overview of the Singapore Market

In addition, the report provides an overview of the fintech industry in Singapore.

Despite its small population, Singapore's geographical position has given it strategic importance and enabled it to thrive as a global commerce, finance and transport hub. It was rated in the March 2018 Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) as having the fourth most competitive financial sector in the world, providing a full spectrum of services.

While Singapore is the largest hub in Southeast Asia, the industry is still in relatively early stages of development, the report finds. In less than two years, Singapore FinTech Association has grown into one of the largest FinTech associations in the world with more than 300 corporate members and international partnerships in more than 30 countries.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

Related Topics

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Money & Finance

4 Trends All BFSI Professionals Need to Be Prepared to Tackle in 2023 and Beyond

We must take stock of the banking, financial services and insurance industry (BFSI) landscape as it stands now before we can decide which path we want to take throughout the year.

Business News

VP Exposes Vendor's Leaked Sexist Conversation, Earns Praise From Barbara Corcoran and Thousands of Others

Whitney Sharpe was on a call with a potential vendor when a screenshot of an inappropriate Slack conversation was accidentally shared with her.

Career

60 Second Business Tips: 3 Ways to Boost Confidence

Business development consultant Terry Rice on silencing self-doubt.