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Singapore and India set up Joint Working Group to advance in FinTech cooperation

On 2 June, it was announced that India and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to strengthen cooperation in financial innovation between the two countries.

The MoU was signed between the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of India and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

 “Singapore and India have embarked on a digitalisation journey to harness technology and boost innovation. Both countries have a growing and vibrant FinTech ecosystem. The Joint Working Group is a testament of our continued collaboration with India, to learn from each other, undertake joint innovation projects, and progress together,” said Ms Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director of MAS.

The JWG will be co-chaired by MAS Deputy Managing Director Jacqueline Loh and India Department of Financial Services (DFS) Additional Secretary Ravi Mital. The JWG will also include Indian representatives from the DEA, 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, while Singapore will be represented by various agencies will include the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), Government Technology Agency (GovTech), Enterprise Singapore and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the press release, Singapore and India have already achieved good progress in FinTech co-operation. Singapore’s key domestic payment system operator NETS and India’s umbrella organisation for all retail payments National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have entered a partnership to establish a cross-border payment linkage between Singapore’s PayNow and India’s Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). The cross-border linkage will facilitate real-time fund transfer between bank accounts in India and Singapore to support trade, tourism and remittance.

Currently, NETS and NPCI are 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. RuPay is an Indian domestic card scheme that facilitates e-payments. NETS and NPCI are also exploring the use of Indian national mobile payments app, the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app, to pay at NETS merchants.

According to High Commissioner of the Republic of India to Singapore H.E. Mr Jawed Ashraf, a digital revolution, anchored on the biometric identity of a billion plus people, is sweeping through India.

“It has prompted financial inclusion, digital payments and innovation on an extraordinary scale,” he said.

On the India-Singapore collaboration, H.E. Mr Ashraf commented that 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,” he added.

The MOU signing took place during the Official Visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India to Singapore from 31 May to 2 June 2018, and was witnessed by both Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the Republic of Singapore.

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