In the age where services are becoming increasingly virtual, people are looking into payment solutions that present convenient ways to transact both online and offline. The fintech market is an emerging field that offers consumers the choice to shift to a digital economy.
Fintech startups often find the business landscape in Singapore ideal for business operations as the country is open to innovative solutions to everyday problems. Fintech companies are booming in the country, and Singapore is seeing an increase in fintech app development year on year. In this article, we'll present the way you can open your fintech startup in Singapore.
The Fintech Industry in Singapore - An Overview
Fintech, which stands for Financial Technology, is a relatively new industry that has been gaining traction in the past decade as the era of digital payments approaches. Singapore is Asia's leading hub for fintech activities, and many financial institutions are shifting to online platforms for digital payments, finance management, and even trading.
By 2023, it is estimated that the fintech industry in Singapore will be valued at US$21.46B. There are currently over 1,580 fintech startups in the country, and the number is steadily growing as more businesses venture into digital financial transactions.
Opening and operating a fintech company in Singapore is a lucrative business, and can provide benefits to the company as the country welcomes fintech businesses to incorporate. Fintech companies tend to receive support for their business. Fintech companies can receive tax incentives, and high reputability by incorporating in Singapore.
How to Start a Fintech Company in Singapore
There are no specific licenses required to operate a fintech business, or develop a fintech app. However, there are regulations for startup companies incorporating in Singapore. For one, a fintech company must undergo an incorporation process like any other startup, and must comply with similar requirements pertaining to the nature of their business.
Requirements for a Fintech Startup
There are a couple of requirements that every fintech startup must comply with in order to launch a successful fintech app. Most of these requirements are within standard regulatory requirements set for all companies incorporating in the country.
Because fintech deals with consumer data, however, fintech companies must comply with general data protection regulation to protect the financial data of its consumers. Much like traditional financial service providers, fintech companies must show due diligence when ensuring data security.
This involves an exercise of care when working with app developers, employees, and third-parties that may have access to user data.
How to Start a Fintech Company
The incorporation for financial services companies is a traditionally complicated and tedious process. However, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has relaxed the process for fintech companies and digital financial companies. Here's how to incorporate your fintech company in Singapore:
Step 1: Download Necessary Documents
All the necessary application forms are available through the MAS regulatory sandbox program, which was established specifically for the fintech and banking industries. Here, you can gain access to all the documents needed, as well as the list of supporting documents that you will need to submit with your application.
Step 2: Ensure Compliance with Regulatory Requirements
Ensure your company is in line with the regulations for fintech companies. This may include one or more of the following requirements as these depend on a case-to-case basis. Check whether your fintech startup is required to provide the following details:
- Board composition
- Financial resourcefulness
- Asset maintenance and management
- Financial licenses for individuals
- Company track record
- Minimum viable product and assets
Step 3: Submit Application
Fill out the application that is relevant to your company, and submit the forms together with supporting documents, if any. Pay the incorporation fees, as well as the license fees if your company is applying for supporting licenses.
Step 4: Wait for Approval
Lastly, wait for the status of your company. Approvals take around 21 days to complete, after which all approved fintech companies may conduct their business operations in the country, facilitate digital payment transactions, trade, investments, money management, and more.
Startup the Right Way with WealthBridge
Starting a fintech company takes a lot of effort, and just the incorporation process alone can already be a confusing process for many. Make incorporation simple with WealthBridge, as we tackle the corporate services for you.
Read up on the incorporation guide for different industries through our blog!