The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has teamed up with World Bank Group member IFC to encourage fintech innovation in Asia through the establishment of an Asean Financial Innovation Network (Afin).
Through Afin, IFC and MAS plan to establish a regional network to help financial institutions, fintech firms and regulators address issues of connectivity, local compliance and cross-border compatibility in the region.
The network will also evaluate options to create an industry sandbox to provide a cloud-based testing environment through which banks and fintech players can develop, test and refine digital finance and inclusion tools.
Vivek Pathak, director, East Asia and the Pacific, IFC, says: "The initiative builds on IFC’s efforts to deepen access to finance for underserved segments of the population. In today’s world it is feasible to reach these segments of the population at a fraction of the cost and at a speed that was not feasible earlier.
"New business models resulting from digital transformation of financial services and FinTech adoption in the region can create new markets that will lead to a higher level of prosperity. The end desired state is for financial institutions to be able to embrace innovation and collaboration more easily, and for innovations to spread more easily across the region."