We are excited to launch Pacific Exchanges, a new podcast from the San Francisco Fed’s Country Analysis Unit. In the months ahead, our analysts will interview experts from the world of economics and finance to explore developing trends in the Asia-Pacific.
The first episode series of Pacific Exchanges examines the development of financial technology—commonly known as “FinTech”—in Asia, assessing how technology impacts the financial system, affects access to finance, and changes the competitive landscape for banks. With experts like the Chief Fintech Officer of Singapore’s central bank, a senior officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation involved in technology-enhanced financial inclusion, and a Stanford University scholar focused on FinTech’s potential for small business lending, we discuss what makes financial technology in Asia so unique and exciting.
In Episode 1, we sat down with Sopnendu Mohanty, the Chief Fintech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). We invited Sopnendu to speak with us about the role of fintech in Singapore’s financial system and the central bank’s approach to encouraging innovation while managing risk.
Singapore is one of Asia’s leading financial centers, a hub of global trade, and a natural place for fintech to take root. The rapid growth of Singapore’s fintech sector has implications for both the financial sector and real economy. The MAS has recently announced a new “regulatory sandbox” approach to encourage existing financial institutions and non-traditional firms to develop fintech solutions in Singapore. The MAS itself has acted as a middleman to bring together banks and startups and has created a “regulatory sandbox” a space for experimenting with new technologies on a small scale without running into regulatory barriers.
As Chief Fintech Officer, Sopnendu is responsible for creating MAS’s development strategies and regulatory policies around technology innovation to “better manage risks, enhance efficiency and strengthen competitiveness in the financial sector.” Prior to joining MAS, he was with Citibank as their Global Head of the Consumer Lab Network and Programs, which included driving innovation programs and managing innovation labs across multiple geographies globally.
Sopnendu has held various roles in technology, finance, productivity, and business development over the past twenty years and he has been awarded four patents in the area of retail distribution of financial services.