MAS Launches SGD125 Million Financial Package for FinTech Firms and Financial Institutions to Strengthen Long-Term Operational Capabilities
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced a financial package worth $88.3 million (SGD 125 million) to help the FinTech and financial services sectors to sustain as well as to drive growth amidst the current business climate involving Covid-19.
The announced package will provide help to financial institutions and FinTech firms to place themselves in better positions for stronger growth when the outbreak of novel coronavirus recedes and everything comes back to normalcy.
The support program is being backed by the Financial Sector Development (FSD) Fund and focuses on encouraging FinTech and financing firms to support workforce training as well as to enhance their access to virtual/digital platforms and other tools in order to strengthen their digitalization and operational capabilities, as reported by the MAS.
Supporting Workforce Training
MAS is planning to launch a Training Allowance program to encourage FinTech and financial services to develop the operational capabilities of their workforce. The program will also be made accessible for providing support to citizens of Singapore as well as permanent residents.
The grant program will aid the Jobs Support Scheme, which was announced as part of the solidarity and resilience budgets, by giving allowances to those who will complete training courses that are officially recognized by the institute of Banking and Finance (IBF), at the following rates:
- $7.06 (SGD 10) per hour for individuals that are not being sponsored by any firm
- $10.58 (SGD 15) per hour for individuals sponsored by financial services and FinTech firms.
IBF and MAS are expected to increase subsidies for Permanent Residents and Singapore Citizens that are interested in attending relevant training courses accredited by the IBF. The subsidy will also be provided to individuals employed by FinTech firms. The subsidies will be provided to individuals and firms in advance so that to help them in alleviating cash flow difficulties, if any. Currently, there are 400+ IBF recognized training courses that are accessible on various e-learning sites/ channels and there are plans to expand such offerings to satisfy the provide an opportunity to train and develop one’s capabilities and skills especially under the existing scenario involving social distancing due to Covid-19.
Strengthening Digitalization and Operational Resilience
MAS is planning to set up a new Digital Acceleration Grant program to accelerate the process of digitalization in smaller financial institutions and FinTech firms. The grant program will provide help to these firms in adopting as well as increasing the use of digital platforms and tools to strengthen their operational capabilities, risk management, process efficiency, and communication with customers.
The Digital Acceleration support program will have two categories:
- The first category is named Institution Project Track, and it will provide support to firms in using and adopting digital platforms/solutions, by meeting 80 per cent of their qualifying expenses. The maximum amount of qualifying expenses the grant scheme can support is $84,711 (SGD 120,000) per firm.
- The second category is the Industry Pilot Track, and it will provide support to collaborations between three or more smaller financial institutions to customize digital solutions to be used within their firms, by funding 80 per cent of their qualifying expenses. The maximum amount of qualifying expenses the grant scheme can support is $70,593 (SGD 100,000) per firm.
Enhancing Access of FinTech Firms’ to Digital Platforms and Other Related Tools
MAS is planning to provide all FinTech firms operating in Singapore with free access for six months to an online global marketplace named API Exchange (APIX). Through APIX, financial services and FinTech firms can integrate, interact and test solutions using a cloud-based architecture.
MAS is also planning to collaborate with the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) for setting up a new framework for digital self-assessment for MAS Outsourcing and Technology Risk Managment Guidelines hosted on APIX. The self-assessment will help FinTech firms in providing assurance to financial institutions regarding the quality and reliability of their digital solutions.