When it comes to fintech, Singapore is undoubtedly a world leader. A recent report suggested that only London is ahead of the Lion City, with Singapore ranking ahead of the likes of New York, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Sydney and Zurich.
This standing puts the city state in a great position to capitalize on the benefits to be had from this rapidly growing industry. Global investment in fintech, for example, was $8.2 billion in the third quarter of 2017 alone.
There’s no sense that Singapore is sitting still either. At the end of 2017 it played host to the Festival of Finance – the world’s biggest fintech event – and at that meeting the central bank announced 11 new fintech initiatives to drive growth, including a new industry-wide platform to help with compliance checks. The new measures followed a fortnight on from an announcement of 1,000 new fintech jobs being created.
Singapore has its eyes on the prize, but what is the scale of that prize? To understand the drive to invest in fintech, and the opportunity posed, it pays to look at the many ways in which this is expected to grow in 2018.
Ten ways fintech will grow in 2018
In its ‘Fintech Pulse’ report, KPMG identified ten predictions for the market for 2018. It identified:
- That the scale and scope of AI use will grow
- Investment in regtech will increase
- Providers will come closer together to collaborate
- Online mortgage technology will grow
- Potential for an increase in blockchain use
- Open banking to spread worldwide
- New challenger banks will continue to spring up
- Bigger investment in insuretech, such as telematics for insurance
- Mature companies to broaden their offering
- Closer relations to emerge between fintech firms and tech giants
Each of KPMG’s ten points shows why the potential for growth is so large – and how far the fintech industry could push progress this year. It’s certainly no exaggeration to say that we could see progress on each of those ten points – although it’s also worth stressing that this growth won’t just be confined to this calendar year either. Countries such as the UAE are spending the next two years pushing ahead with a technological revolution to embrace cashless payments, for example.
One thing is clear, however, fintech sits at the heart of a whole web of potential changes – each of them with the capacity to capture financial growth. Being a market leader in fintech means more than just being a leader for financial services – although clearly this is important for places such as Singapore – but it also means being able to be a pioneer when it comes to blockchain and AI too.
Given the range of different avenues for growth – and the fact that banks, central banks, governments, financial services firms, tech start-ups and others are all involved in this – we can see that developments in fintech could well be key to unlocking wider economic growth. The results of which will be felt everywhere from the forex market to the pockets of individual consumers. However you choose to measure it – adoption, money, reputation – significant growth is inevitable for fintech in 2018.