FinTech innovation in Singapore: Sustaining growth in uncertain times

This report is jointly published by PwC Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Singapore FinTech Association (SFA).

FinTech innovation has continued to grow and evolve, remaining a powerful force behind economic growth and the creation of solutions for better financial services. Yet, the global environment for FinTechs is uncertain, with increasing pressures for trust and security, as well as a lack of regulatory clarity in areas such as Web 3.0 and artificial intelligence (AI).

FinTech momentum continues to grow globally

The financial technology industry witnessed unprecedented growth over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic propelled this rising sector to greater heights as many countries rushed to transit into cashless societies. In PwC’s 2022 FinTech report, 60% and 35% of respondents in the payments and lending sectors, respectively, reported more than S$10 million in annual revenue.

In order to keep up with society’s insatiable need for FinTech solutions, this sector needs to keep its engines of innovation running despite slowing economic conditions.

  1. Payments: Amount of users expected to reach 5.48 billion by 2027.
  2. Neobanking: Average transaction value per user projected to be US$18,080 in 2023.
  3. Central bank digital currency (CBCD): It is estimated that 114 countries, representing over 95% of global gross domestic product (GDP), have either launched or are considering launching national digital currency for either retail or wholesale purposes.

Southeast Asia: A land of opportunities for FinTech

With emerging economies, an expanding population and growing middle class, Southeast Asia presents a land of opportunities for FinTech. Fintech investments in ASEAN clocked in at US$4.3 billion in the first nine months of 2022 higher than the combined sum from 2018 to 2020. Southeast Asia is enroute to becoming the fourth largest economy by 2030, behind the European Union, United States, and China. This area is blessed with a young and vibrant demographic that is receptive towards technology. The rapid urbanisation of rural areas and fast growth of household incomes drive consumption behaviour. Furthermore, small to medium enterprises (SMEs), the building blocks of emerging economies, remain underserved by traditional finance, leaving gaps to be filled by FinTech innovations. Collectively, these factors position this region to be a fertile ground for FinTech companies to test and grow their products.

Choppy waters: Navigating the way forward

Key trends

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Addressable challenges

The FinTech market is fragmented, each with varying levels of maturity, all attempting to serve regulatory needs across jurisdictions. Partnerships and collaborations can therefore be transformative, bringing players together, driving efficiency and growth throughout the ecosystem.

Resignations by skilled employees and a stream of layoffs in the past year by FinTech firms have created turbulence in the job market. FinTechs need to learn how to work better with the talent they have and invest into training development programmes to develop more specialised talent within their organisations.

Support from government


Startup stage

  • Startup SG equity
  • Startup SG founder

Growth stage

  • Market Readiness Assistance Grant
  • Enterprise Development Grant
  • International Co-Innovation Programme

Scale-up stage

  • International Headquarters Award
  • Enterprise Financing Scheme
  • EDBI Growth IPO Fund

Forward-looking regulation

Cross-border collaboration

Following the rise of the FinTech industry, the parliament passed the Payment Services Act in January 2019 to cover various areas of payment activities including domestic and cross-border money transfer service.

In 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) quickly responded to the growth of digital assets by expanding the Payment Services and Securities Futures Act to cover the scope of digital payment tokens and assets.

Cognizant of the fast evolving FinTech landscape, the MAS also introduced the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox to provide a conducive environment for experimenting on innovative solutions whilst also containing the consequences of failure from the wider financial system.

MAS has partnered with 37 government organisations, including those in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and India.

The Fintech Cooperation Agreement strengthens collaboration among the participating countries through sharing of technological information, referrals, and joint projects.

By doing so, institutions can pool resources in an efficient manner, taking advantage of each country’s strengths while addressing each other’s weaknesses.

Contact us

PwC Singapore

Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB)

Singapore FinTech Association (SFA)

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