28 August 2020

On 13 August 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) announced it will commit S$250 million over the next three years under the enhanced Financial Sector Technology and Innovation scheme (“FSTI 2.0”) to accelerate technology and innovation-driven growth in the financial sector. FSTI 2.0 also aims to strengthen support for large-scale innovation projects and build a stronger pipeline of Singaporean talents in FinTech. FSTI 2.0 will introduce several enhancements to support innovation in the financial sector.

MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon announced the launch of FSTI 2.0 at the “Singapore FinTech Festival: Green Shoots Series”.

The FSTI scheme was introduced by MAS in June 2015 to support the creation of a vibrant ecosystem for innovation in the financial sector. Since 2015 when the original FSTI scheme was launched, over 200 FIs and FinTech firms have tapped the scheme to embark on innovation projects for the financial sector.

The following are the key enhancements under FSTI 2.0:

  • Maximum funding quantum under the Proof-of-Concept (“POC”) Grant to be doubled from S$200,000 to S$400,000, and maximum funding support to be increased from 50% to 70% of qualifying project cost. The higher funding support will enable financial institutions (“FIs”) and FinTech firms to undertake larger-scale POC projects to experiment, develop and deploy innovative solutions, empowered by emerging technologies.
  • New merit-based tiered funding mechanism to replace existing flat 50% funding support of qualifying project cost. A higher level of funding will be allocated to POC projects which demonstrate stronger merits. The level of funding support and quantum cap for each applicant will vary according to the total number of favourable votes awarded by an evaluation panel.
  • Maximum funding quantum to be raised for all qualifying AI projects under the Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (“AIDA”) Grant from S$1 million to S$1.5 million, to provide greater impetus for FIs to implement ground-breaking and innovative AI solutions.
  • New AIDA-Lite track providing half the funding quantum of the AIDA track. With AIDA-Lite, FIs will be able to obtain funding support to adopt proven AI solutions to enhance their operations. 
  • Co-funding of existing innovation labs for new Singaporean hires to encourage the expansion of existing labs and groom Singaporean talent.
  • All new projects under the Financial Institution-Level Projects, Industry-Wide Projects and AIDA Tracks will now qualify for funding support for capability transfer-related training costs. Such training costs include expenses incurred to engage specialists to train the local talent pool, and expenses incurred to send local employees for overseas trainings. These training programmes will help to support workforce transformation in the financial sector and to accelerate skills and knowledge transfer to Singaporean talents.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg: