The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS
) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have signed a memorandum of cooperation that will see both bodies come together to establish and develop the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN).
The network will look to facilitate broader adoption and development of fintech throughout the region and enhance economic integration.
AFIN will see both IFC and MAS establish a regional network to help insurers and other financial services firms, fintech business and regulators address issues in connectivity, local compliance and cross border compatibility.
“We believe that innovation and digital technology can play a decisive role in enhancing financial access for a wider population,” Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at MAS said.
The new network will also look to develop a sandbox that will provide firms with a cloud-based testing environment designed to help both fintech firms and established businesses refine digital offerings.
“We hope that this platform could also spur discussions amongst participating regulators on cross-border policy harmonisation across ASEAN,” Mohanty continued.
Vivek Pathak, IFC’s director for East Asia & the Pacific, said that the cooperation between the two organisations will help financial services reach underserved communities through the region.
“New business models resulting from digital transformation of financial services and fintech adoption in the region can create new markets that will lead to a higher level of prosperity,” Pathak said.
“The end desired state is for financial institutions to be able to embrace innovation and collaboration more easily, and for innovation to spread more easily across the region.”
IFC, which is a member of the World Bank, has invested US$400m in close to 30 fintech firms and digital financial services providers.
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