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Singapore offers $70M to aid the fintech industry during COVID-19

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Singapore has allocated SG$125 million ($70.89 million) to assist its financial services industry (FSI) and fintech firms enhance their digital capabilities and drive their deployment of digital tools. The funds also will offer financial support for workforce training and labor costs.

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the pckage was designed to allow these businesses to improve their digital infrastructure during the global economic plunge and guide them to tap potential growth surge when the Coronavirus situation gets eased. 

The SG$125 million package focuses on three elements consisting of workforce training and manpower costs, digitalization and operational resilience, and fintech sector’s access to digital platforms and tools. 

According to the MAS, the package would include a new Training Allowance Grant directed at empowering FSI and fintech companies to use the existing spare time in business activity to train and enhance the skillsets of their employees. A Digital Acceleration Grant also would be provided to assist smaller FSI and fintech firms to embrace digital tools to reinforce their operational resilience, process efficiency, risk management, and customer service.

The grant would cover 80% of the allowed expenses incurred in the adoption of digital tools, valued at SG$120,000 per organization, over the duration of the scheme. It also would co-fund 80% of allowed expenses, valued at SG$100,000 per organization per project, when at least three smaller FSI firms collaboratively personalize digital tools for deployment within their organization. The funding period was set to be two years from the implementation of the rule.

Additionally, all Singapore-based fintech companies would have free access to an online global marketplace and sandbox for sales and alliances for over six months. The marketplace, API Exchange (APIX), would allow fintech and FSI companies to integrate and test applications via a cloud-based platform. 

MAS added that it will also collaborate with the Singapore FinTech Association to establish a new digital self-assessment framework, to be hosted on APIX, to aid fintech companies to assess the quality of their software against the MAS’ Outsourcing and TRM (Technology Risk Management) Guidelines.