You’ve seen the headlines – the world is in the grip of a financial revolution. But what you may not know, is nowhere is this phenomenon more alive than in Singapore.
Two years ago, LU Global was the first Chinese fintech to land on this small island state. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), granted us a capital markets services license, and we were eager to start bringing control back to investors. Over the next two years the fintech market evolved rapidly. Singapore-grown fintech companies like FundedHere and TranSwap have transformed thanks to multi-million dollar rounds of series funding which has enabled them to scale their teams, reach a larger number of customers and drive wide-spread impact.
The roar of the lion city is truly disrupting the status quo and more importantly, levelling the playing field for financial users. While affluent classes have always been well-served by traditional banks, fintech is enabling customers with more convenience and empowering them with more flexibility and control – all via the smartphones in our pockets. What was once seen as bricks-and-mortar distribution strengths is in many ways becoming legacy tiebacks and hefty costs for the banks.
LU Global has been able to overhaul traditional investment processes
At LU Global, Singapore’s fintech scene has allowed us to empower investors by enabling flexible investment opportunities. We’ve been praised for our mobile-friendly solutions that provide shorter tenor lock-in periods coupled with smaller minimum buy-ins of globally renowned investment products.
So as we celebrate National Day, let’s also celebrate how Singapore has helped steer the fintech revolution because without the infrastructure in place, LU Global and many other fintech companies, would not have been able to create the flexible, convenient and agile products that customers really want.
Here’s how Singapore has made it happen:
1. Nation before community, and society above self
In 2014, Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, got the ball rolling with the official announcement of the country’s Smart Nation agenda. In the years that followed, the government proved that Smart Nation was never about flaunting glitzy technology.
Over the years, billions have been dedicated to boost innovation in the financial sector. Grant schemes for R&D are aplenty, with no signs of slowing, and the Singapore government itself has also made rapid progress in applying smart solutions to better service citizens and businesses.
2. A priority for Family, Consensus and Community
Since LU Global went live in Q3 2017, we’ve seen Singapore’s fintech ecosystem flourish into a close-knit community. The formation of the FinTech and Innovation Group (FTIG) was designed to nurture and develop startups and encourage collaboration and open dialogues with financial institutions.
The annual Fintech Festival also plays an integral role in building an inclusive community. In 2018, the festival took up four convention halls at Singapore EXPO, attracting over 40,000 attendees from across the region, double from the previous year. LU Global will, of course, be participating again and we look forward to demonstrating how our technology is making investment more convenient and flexible.
3. Harmony not forgotten
Singapore government has shown that despite their successes, they will continue to build networks, and learn from other countries – the epitome of a successful leader.
Over the years Singapore has forged alliances and worked in harmony to get to the roots of what drives a successful fintech culture. To date, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has signed 31 FinTech Co-operation Agreements with international counterparts including United Kingdom and Australia. The objective is to foster closer cooperation, ensure market access, strengthen cyber-security collaboration and promote innovation.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Singapore has become the preferred gateway into Asia, and banks are now competing / collaborating with fintech companies.
With the rise of fintech and the void left by banks, there’s really no choice for banks but to improvise and innovate. There is massive untapped scope for collaboration between banks and fintech, something which LU Global is avidly working towards. Technology can bring new capabilities to banks by acting as the go-between. For customers it means more agile banking, innovative products, cost reductions, and improved user experiences. Win-win-win.
With support from some of the biggest names in finance, Ping An Group and Lufax, LU Global has enjoyed two incredible years in Singapore. During this time, we were awarded the 2019 Best Fintech App in Asean by Asia Asset Management and we’ve given over 300,000 people across Southeast Asia an app that provides quicker, easier, and more flexible wealth management.
So, next time you hear someone talk about Singapore’s ‘kiasu-ness’, remind them that in Singapore, we are happily kiasu. Why? Because being kiasu is the reason Singapore has such a strong fintech success. It’s why countries across the globe are using Singapore-grown fintech technology, it’s why more and more fintech companies are heading to Singapore’s shores and it’s why LU Global is humbled by our decision to set up shop here. We truly believe Singapore is steering the fintech revolution and we’re so proud to be part of it.
Some parting celebratory words from our CEO, Kit Wong:
“I have no doubt Singapore will continue to grow as a fintech hub. We, at LU Global, are proud to be part of Singapore’s fintech community, we’re grateful for the vibrant fintech ecosystem in this country and we’re thrilled to be able to bring society-changing products and services. So, as we celebrate Singapore’s National Day, together with our 2nd birthday anniversary, I’ve realized this day no longer means something just for Singaporeans; thanks to Singapore’s fintech scene it means something for the world, and that’s something worth celebrating! Happy Birthday Singapore” – Kit Wong, CEO LU Global.