Digital Bank Licensing in Singapore: 2020 and Beyond

Editor’s Note: This article is the fourth part of a four-part series that takes a closer look at the landscape of Digital Bank Licensing in Singapore. Read the previous article here.  

Once MAS announces the successful applicants in for digital full bank (DFB) digital wholesale bank (DWB) licences in June 2020, expect the winds of change to gather up speed. As it is, MAS already envisions a “Smart Financial Center” for Singapore with a vibrant fintech ecosystem and a dynamic regulatory environment that lets it thrive.

The overall market condition provides a conducive environment to make it happen:

singapore economy snapshot

Source: EY – Banking in Asia Pacific 2019

 

While digital banking has already been making headway in regions such as North America and Europe, and while places in Asia such as Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong have all introduced digital banking licences in the past 12 months or so, Singapore’s entry into the fray paints an unusually exciting future for all stakeholders.

“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.”

Here’s why: Singapore’s stature in the global community, in terms of its business competitiveness, regulatory environment and political stability, presents a significant opportunity to shake things up – for the better. As we head into the digital future, the combination of disruptive banking innovations and firm foundational infrastructure by the government, can only produce the best outcome for the banks, the economy, and most importantly, the millions of average consumers and small businesses that stand to benefit the most,

In the words of Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS: “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.”

***

This article is the fourth part of a four-part series that takes a closer look at the landscape of Digital Bank Licensing in Singapore. Here are the links the complete series:

Part 1: The Real Score

Part 2: The Contenders

Part 3: The Incumbents

Part 4: 2020 and Beyond

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