The Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex), a joint effort by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), aimed at helping Singapore citizens to consolidate their financial information for more effective financial planning, has come into existence.
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Finance Heng Swee Keat, inaugurated the Exchange as he opened the Singapore Fintech Festival and Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology in Singapore.
He said Singapore must ensure that the opportunities from technology and innovation benefit the broad majority of people. “Prior to covid, support for globalization was already waning as the fruits of growth were unevenly distributed between and within countries. Tech and innovation have created tremendous opportunities for businesses which are able to master them, but has exposed the broad middle to sharper competition and disruption,” he said.
He mentioned that Singapore can contribute to global recovery by continuing to invest in innovation and working in collaboration with Asia and the world. He also pointed out that the tech sector continues to be a bright spot for businesses and workers in Singapore and top companies like Google and IBM have stepped up to create jobs and training opportunities. Among other ventures in Singapore is Paypal’s program to help SMEs digitize, Microsoft’s plan to help SMEs gain access to regional markets like Indonesia and Thailand, and the partnership between Trip.com and the Singapore Tourism Board to market Singapore as a destination of choice for travelers.
“Each year, the Singapore government invests about 1% of our GDP on research and development. We are finalizing our plans for the next 5 years and we also continue to deepen our capabilities to keep our tech eco-system vibrant,” he added.
Heng Swee Keat said fintech is one key area where Singapore is growing so that itcan continue to develop as a global financial hub. Singapore, he said has just issued 4 digital bank licenses.
SGFinDex is the world’s first public digital infrastructure to use a national digital identity and centrally managed online consent system to enable individuals to access, through applications, their financial information held across different government agencies and financial institutions. Built on Singapore’s National Digital Identity (SingPass), SGFinDex was developed by the public sector in collaboration with The Association of Banks in Singapore and 7 participating banks.
SGFinDex, individuals can use their SingPass to retrieve their personal financial information (such as deposits, credit cards, loans, and investments) from the participating banks and their financial information (such as HDB loans and CPF balances) from the relevant government agencies. This will help individuals better understand their overall financial health and plan their finances holistically. In the next phase of SGFinDex, individuals will be able to access information on their insurance policies held with insurers and their holdings of stocks at the Central Depository.
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower and GovTech have developed a digital financial planning service, MyMoneySense, that makes use of SGFinDex to provide Singaporeans with an overview of their finances. It will offer trusted, personalised and actionable guidance for more effective and comprehensive financial planning.
Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS, said SGFinDex empowers the individual to consolidate his financial information for a comprehensive view of his portfolio, and use digital tools like MyMoneySense to make better financial decisions.
“SGFinDex is a tangible expression of harnessing digital technology to enhance the financial well-being of Singaporeans,” he added
Ng Chee Khern, Permanent Secretary, SNDGO, said Smart Nation is about using technology to transform and improve lives, and to create new opportunities in an economy powered by digital innovation. The Government can play a role in building the platforms and frameworks for data sharing and digital collaboration, so that companies and public agencies may create new services, and better meet the needs of citizens and businesses and SGFinDex is a case in point, he added.
Samuel Tsien, Chairman, ABS and Group CEO of OCBC Bank, said banks in Singapore have always been at the forefront of digital innovation, creating online products and services that serve our customers well in a seamless and convenient manner. ABS and the 7 participating banks are pleased to have participated in the world’s first public-private partnership in building a public digital infrastructure, that is underpinned by a national digital identity and online consent framework, to help customers manage their finances holistically, he said.