14 - 18 November 2016 sees the first Fintech Festival breaking the frontiers of technology with innovations from all around the world gathering right here.

Samantha Tay  |  Singapore
Published 2016-11-15 11:12:13

Fintech is a portmanteau of the words ‘financial technology’, and is one of the fastest growing technology sectors on a global scale.

Simple examples of Fintech are the bank smartphone apps that allow us to carry out transactions that otherwise, we would have to visit an ATM / bank for.

In fact, even an ATM is a form of Fintech, albeit much older, having replaced many bank tellers in 2005.

As of yesterday, the world’s largest Fintech event was kicked off right here in Singapore at the, well, Singapore.

Organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the goal of the Festival is to create a space where keys players in the financial sector such as banks and startups can explore new innovations to streamline services in the future.

The event is targeted at startups, technology companies, investors, financial institutions, research institutes or innovation professionals.

But if you ask me, I believe Fintech is a technology that concerns everyone, so there’s no harm in going down just to take a peek.

Singapore FinTech Festival 2016

The Singapore FinTech Festival 2016 is an event that will span multiple zones across the country, depending on what event you’re interested in.

The Festival will see about 11, 000 participants from over 50 countries congregate in Singapore for this inaugural event.

This includes the world’s largest Fintech event, the Lab Crawlm which was held yesterday. During the Lab Crawl, innovation labs opened their labs, bringing visitors into the future with a showcase of Fintech solutions.

Image Credit: fintechfestival
Image Credit: fintechfestival
Image Credit: Eventbrite
LOFT @ Fintech Festival Innovation Lab Crawl by The Lab of Forward Thinking / Image Credit: Eventbrite

One of the prominent names who took part in the Lab Crawl was Singapore’s own DBS bank, who unveiled a new innovation lab – DBS Asia X (DAX) at one-north.

This is in accordance with the bank’s aim to “inculcate start-up mindsets”. The lab will serve as an environment where people can work in collaboration towards further innovation.

Image Credit: bankingtech
Image Credit: bankingtech

The event will also see the Global FinTech Hackcelerator being held today at the Red Dot Museum. In this space, startups from all over the world will be goiing head to head with Singapore’s own. And from the photos already up on Facebook, the teams are geared up and ready to go.

Image Credit: SG FinTech Festival Facebook
Image Credit: SG FinTech Festival Facebook
Image Credit: SG FinTech Festival Facebook

The event is set to kick it up a notch with a massive conference that will be held on 16 and 17 November at Singapore Expo Halls 1 and 2. The conference will see key players such as CEO of Citibank, Stephen Bird, and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Bloomberg LP, Erika Irish Brown, taking the stage.

Conferences tickets are sold out, but you can still get your hands on the exhibition pass here if you want to be part of the celebration at the frontiers of technology.

It is only the second day of the event, but if the “SOLD OUT” headings are any indication, the Singapore Fintech Festival 2016 is already proving to be a massive success.

According to Sopnendu Mohanty, MAS chief Fintech officer, it is hoped that “the festival will foster the thriving Fintech ecosystem in Singapore”. Despite our physically small size, Singapore is rich on innovation, already being home to the innovation labs of some of the world’s strongest players.

Seems like the goal to becoming a world class Fintech hub is not a pipe dream after all.

Featured Image Credit: fintechfestival

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