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.
“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
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
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
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.