SINGAPORE'S PayNow system, which allows individuals to transfer money to each other using just a mobile number, will soon be linked to Thailand’s version of the same system, PromptPay.
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon said at the Singapore Fintech Festival yesterday that this is one of several moves Singapore is taking to further its Smart Nation agenda.
The MAS and the Bank of Thailand have agreed to work together to link PayNow and PromptPay, he said. When ready, people in Singapore and Thailand will be able to send money to each other using just mobile phone numbers.
In another move to build Singapore’s international fintech links, the MAS and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will enter a research and development collaboration in fintech.
This will enable local fintech talents to work alongside world-class researchers at the MIT Media Lab to come up with solutions to real-world issues, Menon said.
They will run pilots using distributed ledger technology, cryptography, quantum computing and big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
To further encourage experimentation and collaboration, Menon said a fintech innovation hub will be launched at 80 Robinson Road.
The building now houses Lattice80, a fintech “innovation village” that occupies two floors.
The whole building, with 100,000 square feet, will now become a fintech hub, and renamed 80RR.
The MAS is also launching a S$27 million Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Grant. This is part of the S$225 million (Bt656 million) Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme.
The new grant will support the adoption of AI and data analytics in financial institutions.
It will also be used to help professionals in the financial sector to gain new skills.
Menon also announced various other initiatives that the MAS is working on to improve capabilities in areas such as trade finance, cybersecurity and data collection from financial institutions.
For example, the MAS and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority will jointly develop a Global Trade Connectivity Network, a cross-border platform for trade finance using distributed ledger technology.
The platform will enable the transfer of digital documents and data across borders, starting with the Singapore-Hong Kong trade corridor. This is expected to go live in early 2019.
The week-long Singapore Fintech Festival attracted 25,000 participants from over 100 countries, making it the world’s largest fintech event.