Singapore hands fintech firms fresh grant boost

Singapore-based fintech firms have been handed a boost after a S$6 million (US$4.2 million) grant was launched to help businesses “maintain their operations and enable them to continue to innovate and grow”, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said. The Fintech Solidarity Grant was launched by the MAS, Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) and AMTD Group and AMTD Foundation (AMTD). The grant complements a S$125 million support package for financial institutions and fintech firms amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which was announced by the MAS last month. According to the central bank, the support package “will help to position financial institutions and fintech firms for stronger growth when the threat of Covid-19 recedes and economic activity normalises.”  For the latest tranche of support for Singapore’s fintech ecosystem, AMTD has committed an initial S$2 million while the MAS has provided $S4 million, bringing the total grant amount to S$6 million. Applications for the grant opened on May 18, 2020 and will remain open until December 31, 2021. It is made up of two components including a Business Sustenance Grant (BSG) which would allow eligible firms to receive a one-time grant for up to S$20,000 to cover day-to-day working capital expenditures, such as salaries and rental costs. The second component is a Business Growth Grant (BGG) where firms can receive up to S$40,000 for their first Proof of Concept (POC) with financial institutions on the API Exchange (APIX) platform, and S$10,000 for each subsequent POC, subject to a total cap of $80,000 per firm for the entire duration of the grant, the MAS said in a statement. “There is a surge in demand in the financial services industry around the region for solutions to address the need for remote digital services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at the MAS. “Fintech firms have a great opportunity to step up actively during this period to provide these solutions,” he added. © 2020 funds global asia

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