The Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) joined forces for the first time as SFF x SWITCH. The 5-day event began today, bringing together global innovation and the corporate sector, as well as interested members of the public. SFF x Switch is set to feature over 400 speakers from leaders of technology and finance, as well as facilitate more than 900 exhibitors, and is estimated to host around 60,000 participants from 130 countries. As anticipated, the overarching theme of the inaugural combined conference is sustainability and climate change which was reflected in the content of most of day one’s morning panel discussions.
The day kicked off with Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) presenting a reimagining of the FinTech industry in Singapore, where he highlighted the technology and financial sector's commitment to being change agents and champion a greener and more sustainable ecosystem. These sentiments were reiterated by the Opening Talk: Step-change solutions for a planetary emergency as presented by Pavan Sukdhew, President, WWF International and a screening of ‘A Reason for Hope’ from world-famous wildlife conservationist and academic, Sir David Attenborough.
Moving towards the financial sector, ‘2020: Banking in a New Global Context’ was moderated by Haslinda Amin, TV Anchor and Chief International Correspondent in Southeast Asia for Bloomberg and featured a veritable whos-who of the financial world. The panel included Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Bank; Calvin Choi, Chairman, and CEO, AMTD; Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive, HSBC; John Dugan, Chairman, Citi, and Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS. The discussion focused on the licensing of digital banks and virtual assets trading as well as a focus on education and skill requirements for the future.
To follow, other major banking representatives and institutional leaders shared their digital transformation agenda for 2020 on the Plenary stage at Singapore FinTech Festival. Moderated by Global Financial Services Industry Leader at Deloitte, Bob Contri, Deputy Governor at Central Bank of Nigeria, Aishah Ahmad, CFA, CAIA, Executive Vice President at WeBank, Henry Ma, Chief Executive Officer at TransferWise, Kristo Käärmann, Senior Executive Vice President at BNY Mellon, Roman Regelman.
The morning was rounded off with a ‘Tech Talk: Innovating with AI’ by Amazon’s Chief Economist and VP, Core AI specialist, Pat Bajari, Chief Economist, Amazon and Vice President, Amazon Core AI. Bajari focused on AI optimization for the long term, internal communication and collaboration across various organizational imperatives.
The afternoon opened up to a smorgasbord of FinTech delight, with booths for attendees focused on blockchain, FinTech initiatives, cryptocurrencies and stablecoins from powerful global organizations and mold-breaking start-ups. Blockchain.News was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to book two incredible interviews: the first with Carl Wegner, Managing Director, Head of Asia, R3 on project LionRock and Voltron and the second was with Perianne Boring, Founder and President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce as she reasserted her call for a US National Action Plan for Blockchain. These interviews will be featured on BLockchain.News in the coming week and are sure to pique the interest of those in attendance at SFF x SWITCH.
And that was just day one...