Innovation through the Looking Glass for Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has opened its purpose-built fintech innovation lab – known as Looking Glass @ MAS.
MAS says the lab will allow it to experiment with financial institutions, start-ups, and technology vendors. In addition, Looking Glass @ MAS will help consultations between start-ups and industry experts in areas such as legal matters and regulations; and provide a venue for training sessions and networking activities.
Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer, MAS, says it has been “encouraging financial institutions to anchor their innovation labs in Singapore” and that with the new lab it will serve as a “platform for the fintech community to connect, collaborate, and co-create with one another”.
Curiouser and curiouser. MAS says the name “Looking Glass” was inspired by the 1871 classic “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There” by Lewis Carroll. (It seems MAS didn’t read it thoroughly, as its press release got the wrong title and spelled Carroll’s name incorrectly.)
MAS adds: “It represents a glimpse into a different world where innovation is pervasive, and a warm place for its residents to pursue their passion, protected from the old way of doing things.”
Perhaps MAS’s advice to start-ups will also be from the book: “Consider anything, only don’t cry!”
No malice in wonderland
Singapore has established itself as an innovative and dynamic location in the fintech space.
Recently, OCBC Bank said its fintech accelerator programme, the Open Vault, will pilot tests with three start-ups – Fincast, BondIT and CogniCor.
IBM plans to establish the “first” IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore. The firm says this is the first collaboration of its kind with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and MAS.
Banks in Singapore announced they are working together on a new service that will allow users to make payments using Twitter usernames or Facebook IDs.