As flagged in a release earlier this week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) have officially launched the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore, marking what the BIS says is its first expansion of its global footprint in 17 years.
The hub will, BIS says, foster innovation and greater collaboration amongst the central banking community globally by enhancing the understanding of financial technology, and aiding development of innovative solutions to benefit and enhance the financial system.
The BIS has also established hub centres in Hong Kong SAR and Switzerland and says together, they will identify and develop in-depth insights into critical trends in technology affecting central banking; develop public goods in the technology space to improve the functioning of the global financial system; and serve as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation.
The Singapore hub will initially focus on two projects; to establish a framework for public digital infrastructures on identity, consent and data sharing; and to create a digital platform connecting regulators and supervisors with digital and technology solution providers.
The BIS says trusted digital identities for individuals and corporates is a foundational public good that supports the development of inclusive digital financial services including payments as well as other transactions in the broader digital economy. On the second project it says central banks can put up regulatory problems and challenges to source solutions from the fintech community. This will help central banks develop innovative solutions and policies for cost-effective regulation and supervision.
“MAS is delighted to partner the BIS in this visionary initiative,” says Ravi Menon, managing director, MAS. “The launch of the Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore is an important milestone for both the BIS and Singapore. It will help connect the global central banking community with the vibrant fintech ecosystem in Singapore and the region. By working together, central banks can help accelerate the adoption of digital technologies that can help to better serve business and individual customers of financial services, especially in a cross-border setting.”
Agustín Carstens, general manager of the BIS, adds, “The BIS, together with its partners, is taking a leading role in coordinating central banks’ innovation efforts. Central banks are approaching the same challenges, from different directions and with different but complementary skills and experiences. The Hub is a central part of this effort and the launch of the Hub Centre in Singapore reflects the impressive work by the MAS on fintech as well as Singapore’s reputation for excellence in innovation.”