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FinTech Companies Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide (2024)

best fintech companies singapore

Singapore has emerged as a fintech hub in Asia, especially in the post-pandemic era. The Global Fintech Index 2023 by Findexable and Mambu ranks the country as the 2nd globally for its fintech environment, citing its supportive regulatory framework, access to capital, and talent pool.

Singapore, a favorite destination for successful fintech companies, has embraced 3 crucial factors: regulatory environment, capital accessibility, and talent supply to foster it as a regional financial technology center for Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific.

You will see how Singapore has successfully transformed itself into a thriving technology center, its prominent enterprises, and the challenges it may face in the future. “Singapore has all the ingredients to be a global fintech hub: a supportive government, a strong talent pool, a vibrant startup system.” Chris – CEO of East Ventures

Overview of the Fintech Ecosystem

FinTech, short for financial technology, refers to the integration of technology into offerings by financial services companies to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. 

It encompasses a wide range of applications, from mobile banking and peer-to-peer payment platforms to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. FinTech aims to make financial services more accessible, faster, and cost-effective for both consumers and businesses.

Singapore’s fintech industry thrives on a diverse and collaborative ecosystem. Here are the significant components and players making up the vibrant sector.

Startups

  • More than 1,600 fintechs, including payments, wealth management, insurance, and financial regulation, operated in Singapore in late 2023, according to the Canadian commissioner. They create a vibrant fintech ecosystem in the nation.
  • Multiple successful enterprises: Emerging companies, such as Endowus, StashAwaym Funding Societies, and Grab, have made a strong foothold in the region besides the local market.

Investors

  • Government support: Besides FSDF supporting early-stage setups, the sovereign fund Temasek is significant in funding mature fintech companies and business development.
  • Venture funding upsurge: Ranked fourth in the Global Fintech Index by Findexable and Mambu, Singapore’s fintech industry is booming in the region.

Financial Institutions

  • Cooperation with mainstream institutions: In partnership with traditional banks and insurers, fintechs work with major banks like DBS and OCBC to explore new or underserved markets.
  • Open API initiatives: Besides market development, the inter-sharing of APIs and data helps better serve clients by integrating banks’ systems and FinTechs.

Regulatory Bodies

  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore: The MAS fosters an innovative environment by legislating favorable laws, like Sandboxes and Pilots, favoring and springing fintechs.
  • Singapore FinTech Association (SFA): Besides the Singapore government, the SFA plays an active role in promoting and creating a positive atmosphere beneficial to fintechs.

Innovative Labs, Accelerators, and Incubators

  • Plug and play FinTech: The lab creates channels to help connect startups, corporate partners, and investors.
  • Found8: The organization aims to support early-stage blockchain startups.

New Players and Significant Changes in the Ecosystem

  • ESG fintech: The ESG concept is fusing and gaining traction in the fintech industry, and companies are combining the theme into their products and services.
  • AI and blockchain: Artificial intelligence and blockchain technology make products and services more secure and efficient.

“Despite global challenges, fintech funding in Singapore rose by 22% in 2022, reaching $4.1 billion. This indicates continued investor confidence in the ecosystem’s potential” – KPMG

What is the Best Fintech Company in Singapore?

CompanyBest ForTop Features
AspireMulti-currency payment businesses• Global payments with low fees
• Cash management services
• Invoice streamlining process
EndowusLow-cost and diverse investment investors• Low fees for investors and public pensions
• Multiple investment options
• Customized investment portfolios
GrabClients requiring all-in-one solutions• Multiple services in one platform
• Localization and customization
• Reward programs
ThunesBusinesses with cross-border transactions• Global coverage with multiple payment methods
• Competitive pricing for large volumes
YouTripTravelers needing multi-currency transactions• Various international currencies
• Interbank exchange rates
WiseCost-effective money transfers• Competitive exchange rates
• Real-time mid-market rates
aspire logo

1. Aspire – Best for multi-currency payment businesses

About: Aspire is an all-in-one software platform serving 15,000 SMEs in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. The company aims to provide the best corporate financial solutions to businesses in the market.

Top Features:

  • Global payments: Aspire’s multi-currency accounts of its 19 currencies offer fast international payments with low fees.
  • Cash management services: The fintech tracks cash payment services, such as report issues and expense control. 
  • Invoice streamlining process: Aspire creates, sends, and tracks invoices, streamlining the billing process automatically.

Reviews: 5/9 reviews

“Aspire has been an excellent platform for our early stage business and right from the onboarding process to day to day ease of use, we’ve had a good experience.” Prabh Singh

Endowus logo

2. Endowus – Best for low-cost and diverse investment investors

About: Endowus is a Robo-advisor specializing in AI-driven investment services to retail investors and public pensioners. Its low-cost policy and user-friendly messaging platforms make the investment broker popular in Singapore and other regional emerging markets.

Top Features:

  • Low fees: Endowus offers a fee as low as 0.6% for investors and 0.4% for public pensions, attracting cost-conscious investors.
  • Multiple investment options: Various investment packages are available to investors, including CPF, SRS investment portfolios, Cash Smart portfolios, and Fund Smart portfolios.
  • Customized investment portfolios: The fintech launches tailor-made portfolios based on the client’s risk tolerance level and investment objectives.

Reviews: 5/35

“Endowus onboarding process is seamless and relatively fast. Fund transferred are reflected in a matter of hours within the app.” Lionel Lim

Grab logo

3. Grab — Best for clients requiring all-in-one solutions

About: Grab Financial Group is a parent company that offers integrated digital platforms, including all-around services covering fresh food, grocery, and other deliveries, ride-hailing, and financial services through its subsidiaries. 

Top Features:

  • Multiple services: An all-around digital platform that offers clients travel, financial services, and daily living in one go.
  • Focus on localization and customization: Grab customizes its services based on clients’ tastes and preferences, including local food malls and hawkers. 
  • Reward programs: Clients accumulate points rewarded by purchases to redeem discounts on future consumption.

Reviews: 1/57 reviews

Thunes logo

4. Thunes – Best for businesses dealing with a wide network of cross-border transactions

About: Thunes, a B2B company, offers speedy, secure payment services with its wide network, multi-currencies, and various payment methods.

Top Features:

  • Global coverage: Thunes offers a vast international network of money collection points and multiple payment methods, including e-wallets, bank transfers, cash pickups, and other mobile payments.
  • Competitive pricing and favorable terms for large volumes: The company offers transparent and low pricing plans and customizes fee packages for clients with regular and large volumes.

Reviews: 3/22 reviews

YouTrip logo

5. YouTrip – Best for travelers requiring multi-currency transactions with inter-bank rates

About: YouTrip is a fintech company delivering multi-currency e-wallet and debit card services to customers, allowing customers to exchange currencies at interbank exchange rates with no hidden fees. Besides, clients can use YouTrip’s debit card account to hold and spend internationally.

Top Features:

  • Various international currencies: YouTrip offers up to 10 global currencies in an e-wallet, saving multi-trip travelers without incurring heavy costs. 
  • Interbank exchange rates: Clients can use preferential bank-to-bank exchange rates to save costs.

Reviews: N/A

Wise logo

6. Wise – Best for cost-effective money transfers

About: Wise is an international cross-border money transfer company that offers payment solutions to individuals and businesses.

Top Features:

  • Competitive exchange rates: Wise offers exchange rates lower than traditional banks, saving clients costs and no extra hidden fees.
  • Real-time mid-market rates: The company uses real-time mid-market rates by averaging buy and sell rates on the global currency market, ensuring transparency and equity.

Reviews: 1/84 reviews

Key Technologies Driving FinTech Innovation

“Singapore is well-positioned to be a leading fintech hub in Asia due to its strong regulatory environment, supportive government policies, and access to capital,” said Rebecca – Managing Director at Accenture.

Here are the key technologies pushing fintech to propel innovatively:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Customized personal financial services: Robo Advisors, such as StashAway and Endowus, use AI to profile clients’ risk tolerance and investment requirements to offer efficient and automated services.
  • Fraud detection and risk containment: Major banks like OCBC and UOB use AI algorithms to identify cheat or potential crimes in risk control.

Blockchain

  • Enhanced transparency and security: Trade Trust, a trust finance company in Singapore, uses HyperLedger Fabric – a blockchain platform, to make its documentation secure and transparent, reduce fraud, and streamline business processes.
  • Simplifying payment procedures: DBS, in cooperation with JP Morgan, uses blockchain technology in cross-border payments, leading to faster and low-cost payments.
  • Emerging applications: Enterprises use blockchain technology in cross-border payments, digital identity management, and supply-chain financing.

Big Data

  • Tailor-made services: StashAway, an investment brokerage in Singapore, analyzes big data to create personalized investment products for clients.
  • Applications: Besides innovative products and services, firms use and evaluate big data in credit risk assessment and customer segmentation.

Cybersecurity

  • Fast-Identity-Online (FIDO): The technology, e.g., a two-factor authentication, is widely used in significant institutions to protect from fraud. Notable examples include DBS, OCBC banks, and other non-financials, such as Grab, Singapore Airlines, and government agencies like Singpass.
  • Applications: Threat intelligence sharing, blockchain-based security technology, and quantum-resistant cryptography are emerging to protect against cyber hacks and frauds.

Emerging Technologies

  • OpenFinance (OpenFin): Financial institutions in Singapore use APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to share data and collaborate in promoting businesses to clients.
  • Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): The Project Dunbar, launched by the MAS, aims to study the feasibility of a central digital currency for the nation.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): Financial institutions use advanced technology to connect more devices to offer clients a seamless experience.

“The future of fintech is about collaboration, not competition. We need to work together to build a more inclusive and efficient financial system.” Henri Arslanian, CEO of DBS Bank

Regulatory Environment and Support

The Singapore government applies a technology-agnostic approach, using current financial services laws regulating the fintech industry rather than focusing on uses born by a new technology to protect the users and the public. 

A benefit of the approach is that it creates an atmosphere for fostering innovation while safeguarding consumers’ interests. 

“Singapore is well-positioned to be a global leader in fintech innovation due to its supportive regulatory environment…” Freddy Lim, Partner at McKinsey & Company

Here are the initiatives taken by the government to foster growth:

  • Regulatory sandbox: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) allows new and innovative financial products and services to be tested in a controlled environment to increase the success rate of a later-stage full product launch.
  • Global tech networking: The MAS collaborates with fintech industries worldwide to connect with Singapore FinTechs.
  • Fast-track processes: Another MAS policy is the accelerated licensing of firms with track records to foster fast-paced growth.

Regulations

  • Payment Services Act 2019: The new act embraces Singapore’s fast and successful launch of e-wallets and digital payments.
  • Guidelines on digital payment tokens: A subsequent and timely guideline issue clarifications of cryptocurrencies in the market.

Support Schemes

  • Fintech grants: The Singapore government sets up various schemes funding the research and development of fintech solutions.
  • Innovation Labs: Creative labs establish physical and virtual spaces to promote startup cooperation and development.
  • Talent development programs: The government launches programs to recruit talented workers to fit in fintech firms as soon as possible.

Success Stories and Case Studies

“Singapore has become a breeding ground for innovative fintech companies, disrupting traditional finance and shaping the future of the industry.” – PWC.

The following are 2 examples among numerous successful FinTechs in Singapore:

1. StashAway

StashAway is an online investment brokerage offering Robo-Advisor services to clients. Named the Singapore FinTech Festival winner, the investment startup now has assets of more than USD 1 billion under management.

“StashAway is making wealth management more accessible and affordable for young people in Southeast Asia, a region with low financial literacy rates.” Financial Times

Key Factors of Success

  • Low entry requirements: StashAway’s low minimum investment amounts offer appealing investment opportunities, like mutual funds, to more customers, particularly the young generation.
  • Personalized investment services: The company’s customized investment products use AI algorithms to tailor-make portfolios based on risk tolerance and investment requirements to clients.
  • Transparent strategies: StashAway’s focus on transparent investment strategies and low-cost pricing makes it popular among clients and investors.

Recent Developments

  • New product launch: The fintech keeps offering products of simplified investment options with lower fees.
  • More regional offices: StashAway has expanded its business into Malaysia and Thailand, making its products accessible to more people in the region.
  • Sufficient funding: The Robo-advisor got new funding in 2022, equipping it with more firepower to expand into markets and demographics.

2. Grab

Grab, an integrated and all-around platform, provides your daily living needs, e.g., food, groceries, ride-hailing, other delivery services, travel, and financial services, like insurance and investments, to customers.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Grab, bringing innovative financing solutions to support its continued growth across Southeast Asia.” Regina Lee, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Singapore

Key Factors of Success

  • All-in-one ecosystem: Grab has created an ecological community catering to clients’ all-inclusive needs.
  • Strategic partnership: The fintech company partners with major financial institutions to widen its product range and services.
  • Seamless experience: Grab’s user-friendly and intuitive interface makes clients stay longer and shop more in its pleasant environment.

Recent Developments

  • Acquisition of Malaysia’s “Paylater” in 2022 extends its regional outreach.
  • The official launch of the Micro-loans and insurance services in the Grab app.
  • The first IPO in 2022 for a fintech in Southeast Asia.

FAQs

1. Which Company is Best in FinTech?

The criteria for determining the best fintech depends on 1. User’s requirements, 2. Fees, 3. Features, 4. Security. 5. User experience. The 6 companies mentioned earlier include all those criteria to be the best company.

2. How Many FinTech Companies Are There in Singapore?

More than 1,600 registered fintech companies have been operating in Singapore since Oct 2023.

3. What are the FinTech Trends In Singapore?

2 perspectives:

  • Intense competition: The fintech market will become congested with more locals and foreign players.
  • Changing regulatory environment: The authority will modify current laws and regulations in response to ever-changing technologies like AI and market situations.

4. Why is Singapore Good for FinTech?

FinTech has a favorable footing in Singapore due to government support, a regional finance hub, a technology-friendly population, and a solid digital infrastructure, leading it to become a regional technology hub.

Final Thoughts

The fintech industry in Singapore leads the role in Southeast Asia, behind New York, San Francisco, and London. It has become the region’s technical hub for fintech and other technological companies. Still, it faces fierce competition from its crowded market and regional neighbors.

Key Takeaways

  • Emerging fintech companies in Singapore, such as Grab, StashAway, and Wise, play a significant role in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
  • The fintechs should embrace technological upgrades, such as AI and blockchain advancements.
  • Technological companies may confront higher costs incurred by legal compliance and cost reductions in a crowded market.

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