Saturday, 11 July 2020

Singapore fintech firms to get support from new $4.2 million grant scheme

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore Fintech Association (SFA), AMTD Group and AMTD Foundation (collectively, AMTD) announced the launch of a $4.2 million (SGD 6 million) MAS-SFA-AMTD Fintech Solidarity Grant (the Grant) to support Singapore-based fintech firms amid the challenging business climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Grant will help fintech firms maintain their operations and enable them to continue to innovate and grow. The Grant complements the $88.2 million (SGD 125 million) support package announced by MAS on 8 April 2020 to sustain and strengthen capabilities in the financial services and fintech sectors.

AMTD has provided an initial $1.4 million (SGD 2 million) to support the Singapore fintech ecosystem. MAS will provide an additional $2.8 million (SGD 4 million) from the Financial Sector Development Fund, taking the total grant amount to $4.2 million (SGD 6 million). Applications for the Grant will open on 18 May 2020 and will be available until 31 December 2021. 

The Grant comprises two components:

In addition, the BGG will provide funding for the salaries of undergraduate interns, capped at $705 (SGD 1,000) per month, per intern. This grant will support around 120 interns in the fintech sector, assuming an average internship duration of three to five months. We hope to encourage fintech firms to continue to offer internships and develop the local fintech talent pipeline.

Fintech firms can apply for both BSG and BGG if they fulfil the eligibility criteria for both grants. SFA will administer and review the grant applications. 

SFA’s president Chia Hock Lai said, “Fintech firms are in a great position to seize opportunities presented by the accelerated trend towards digital financing induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Business Sustenance Grant helps fintech firms to plug their short-term financing gaps while the Business Growth Grant enables them to grow and sell through the APIX platform. These will help save jobs while making our fintech firms competitive for the post COVID-19 economic recovery world.”

Meanwhile, MAS’ chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said, “There is a surge in demand in the financial services industry around the region for solutions to address the need for remote digital services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Fintech firms have a great opportunity to step up actively during this period to provide these solutions. The Business Growth Grant will help fintech firms offset their costs. By conducting their POCs on APIX, financial institutions and fintech firms will not need to set up test infrastructure for integration. This will help accelerate project development while still working remotely.”

Calvin Choi, chairman and CEO of AMTD Group, and founder and chairman of AMTD Foundation, added, “As an active financial institution focusing in the Asian region, we see the immediate need for the private sector to foster closer partnership with fintech firms to formulate tailor-made solutions to cater for the increasing demand for digital services and greater opportunities to scale up. This is an important moment in time to overcome challenges while identifying every opportunity and client servicing angle through proactive collaboration with the APIX platform to achieve fintech success and financial institution transformation. The Business Sustenance Grant and the Business Growth Grant provide a holistic solution to ensure sustainability and growth opportunities for fintech firms during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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