Major banks are setting up innovation labs in Singapore
Singapore has established itself as one of Asia's biggest fintech hubs. This year alone, its fintech efforts included launching a marketplace lending committee, fast-tracking fintech patents, and making efforts to boost its AI capabilities. These efforts seem to have paid off, and this week we saw three international banks establishing innovation labs in Singapore.
- The Bank of China. One of the four biggest state-owned commercial banks in China has opened its first fintech innovation lab in Singapore. It will use the lab for research and development, and eventually to showcase its latest technologies to customers. Additionally, it wants to form partnerships with local startups, universities, and the government. Bank of China plans to focus on technologies including AI, blockchain, big data, and cloud technologies.
- Westpac. The Australian bank has launched its innovation hub, dubbed Westpac co.lab, in Singapore. Westpac will use the hub to help Australian fintechs keep track of the Asian market. Additionally, it wants to enhance local partnerships in those areas. This marks Westpac's fourth innovation lab.
- Deutsche Bank. The German Bank has created an innovation lab in Singapore, which aims to develop new wealth management solutions with startups. The bank already has innovation labs in London, New York, Berlin, and Palo Alto. However, this marks the first innovation lab housed within the bank itself.
The number of international players gravitating to Singapore as a hub for innovation underscores the city-state's fintech appeal.Setting up innovation hubs in Singapore will yield benefits for banks and fintechs in their home countries.
But the moves will also help Singapore to further strengthen its fintech reputation and ecosystem alike as it connects to major banking players around the world. Forming these global partnerships will help Singapore stay relevant as these banks expand and innovate further.
We already saw major banks, including China Construction Bank, open offices in Singapore. We expect to see even more to follow suit and establish a connecting point with the city-state.