Singapore Announces New FinTech Fast Track initiative
Last week, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) launched a new financial technology (FinTech) Fast Track initiative that provides an expedited patent application-to-grant process for financial technology innovations. Under this initiative, FinTech patents will be granted to investors in as early as six months, as opposed to the minimum two years for normal applications.
The initiative aims to support the growing demand for FinTech solutions in Singapore, and help FinTech startups bring their innovations to the market more rapidly. It aims to help Singapore’s innovative enterprises to compete effectively through their intellectual property and use these intellectual assets to expand and enter the world’s market. It will also allow startups to efficiently operate within the country’s regulatory policies and financial infrastructure.
According to the IPOS guidelines on FinTech inventions, all technologies that use blockchain to facilitate or improve the security and efficiency of clearing and settlement across borders for transaction and payment falls under the FinTech category. Other sectors eligible for the Fast Track Initiative include insurance technology, electronic payments, investment, security, fraud detection and authentication. Fast Track initiative is also available for an invention involving alternative due diligence, virtual exchanges, and smart contracts.
Singapore is one of the top-ranked FinTech hubs globally, with a world-class infrastructure and connectivity. Ultra-high-speed fiber infrastructure runs across the nation, while mobile subscription penetration exceeds 100 percent – factors that are all key to FinTech growth. Moreover, the country is located among the fast-growing financial markets in Southeast Asia, making it an ideal test bed for FinTech innovators looking to tap regional opportunities.
The new FinTech Fast Track Initiative coupled with these factors will complement the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s S$225 million (US$1.8 million) Financial Sector Technology and Innovation funding scheme (FSTI) to boost FinTech development in Singapore.