The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore Fintech Association (SFA), AMTD Group (NYSE: HKIB; SGX: HKB) and AMTD Foundation have joined in announcing a S$ 6 million “MAS-SFA-AMTD Fintech Solidarity Grant.” The new grant is designed to support Singapore based Fintech firms during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of MAS, explained there is a surge in demand in the financial services industry around the region for solutions to address the need for remote digital services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Fintech firms have a great opportunity to step up activities during this period to provide these solutions.
“The Business Growth Grant will help FinTech firms offset their costs. By conducting their POCs on APIX, financial institutions and FinTech firms will not need to set up test infrastructure for integration. This will help accelerate project development while still working remotely,” said Mohanty.
According to MAS, the Grant complements the S$ 125 million support package announced by MAS on April 8, 2020, to strengthen capabilities in the financial services and Fintech sectors.
AMTD has provided an initial S$ 2 million to support the Singapore Fintech ecosystem and MAS will provide an additional S$ 4 million from the Financial Sector Development Fund, taking the total grant amount to S$6 million.
Applications for the Grant will open on the 18th of May and will be available until December 31, 2021.
The Grant comprises two components:
- S$1.5 million Business Sustenance Grant (BSG). Eligible Singapore-based FinTech firms can receive a one-time grant for up to S$20,000 to cover day-to-day working capital expenditures, such as salaries and rental costs. The short-term assistance will help FinTech firms sustain their operations and retain their employees. The BSG is fully funded by AMTD’s contribution.
- S$4.5 million Business Growth Grant (BGG). Eligible Singapore-based FinTech firms can receive up to S$40,000 for their first Proof of Concept (POC) with financial institutions on the API Exchange (APIX)  platform, and S$10,000 for each subsequent POC, subject to a total cap of $80,000 per firm for the entire duration of the grant. The BGG enables these companies to continue to innovate in partnership with financial institutions and create opportunities for growth. The BGG is jointly supported by AMTD and MAS.
In addition, the BGG will provide funding for the salaries of undergraduate interns, capped at S$1,000/month per intern. This grant will support around 120 interns in the FinTech sector, assuming an average internship duration of 3 to 5 months. We hope to encourage FinTech firms to continue to offer internships and develop the local FinTech talent pipeline.
Individual Fintech firms may apply for both BSG and BGG if they fulfill the eligibility criteria for both grants. SFA will administer and review the grant applications.
Chia Hock Lai, President of the SFA, commented:
“Fintech firms are in a great position to seize opportunities presented by the accelerated trend towards digital financing induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Business Sustenance Grant helps Fintech firms to plug their short term financing gaps while Business Growth Grant enables them to grow and sell through the APIX platform. These will help save jobs while making our Fintech firms competitive for the post COVID-19 economic recovery world.”
Calvin Choi, Chairman and CEO of AMTD Group, and Founder and Chairman of AMTD Foundation, added:
“As an active financial institution focusing in the Asian region, we see the immediate need for the private sector to foster closer partnership with Fintech firms to formulate tailor made solutions to cater for the increasing demand for digital services and greater opportunities to scale up. This is an important moment in time to overcome challenges while identifying every opportunity and client servicing angle through proactive collaboration with the APIX platform to achieve Fintech success and FI transformation. The Business Sustenance Grant and the Business Growth Grant provide a holistic solution to ensure sustainability and growth opportunities for Fintech firms during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
More information about the grant is available on the SFA website.