Singapore and India have agreed to greater fintech co-operation with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the department of economic affairs (DEA), the government of India, and the monetary authority of Singapore (MAS).
The signing took place on 2 June, during India prime minister Narendra Modi’s last day of his official visit to Singapore, which sets out to strengthen co-operation in financial innovation between the two countries.
To this end, a joint working group (JWG) will be set up and co-chaired by MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh and India department of financial services (DFS) additional secretary Ravi Mital.
"A digital revolution, anchored on the biometric identity of a billion plus people, is sweeping through India," said H.E. Jawed Ashraf, high commissioner of the Republic of India to Singapore. "It has prompted financial inclusion, digital payments and innovation on an extraordinary scale.
"Singapore, a global financial hub, has emerged as a leading centre for fintech. Our partnership will not only support our two nations’ progress in fintech, but also help drive our international competitiveness and success in this area. The JWG on fintech demonstrates our willingness to seize new opportunities for collaboration."
This is not the first time the two countries have partnered on financial innovation. For example, NETS and national payments corporation of India (NPCI) entered a partnership to establish a cross-border payment linkage between Singapore’s PayNow and India’s Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).
This cross-border linkage aims to facilitate the real-time transfer of funds between the bank accounts in India and Singapore with the intention of supporting trade, tourism and remittance.
Furthermore, NETS and NPCI are also working on a payment linkage that will allow anyone holding a NETS payment card to be able to make payments at any Rupay merchant in India, and conversely for Rupay card users to make NETS acceptance points in Singapore.
“Singapore and India have embarked on a digitalisation journey to harness technology and boost innovation,” said Jacqueline Loh, deputy managing director, MAS. “The Joint Working Group is a testament to our continued collaboration with India, to learn from each other, undertake joint innovation projects, and progress together."
Representatives from India on the JWG will include the DEA, the ministry of electronics and information technology, union identification authority of India, reserve bank of India, stock exchange board of India, insurance regulatory development authority of India, and the ministry of external affairs of India.
Singapore’s agencies represented will include the smart nation and digital government office, government technology agency, enterprise Singapore and ministry of foreign affairs.