MAS launches SGD6 million grant to help FinTech companies amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched a SGD6 million grant to support Singapore-based FinTech firms amid the challenging business climate caused by the COVID19 pandemic.

Called the MAS-SFA-AMTD FinTech Solidarity Grant, the initiative is a joint effort by MAS, Singapore FinTech Association (SFA), AMTD Group and AMTD Foundation.

It aims to help FinTech firms maintain their operations, and enable them to continue to innovate and grow.

Photo courtesy: Monetary Authority of Singapore
Photo courtesy: Monetary Authority of Singapore

MAS said in a press statement that the grant complements the SGD 125 million support package announced by MAS on April 8 to sustain and strengthen capabilities in the financial services and FinTech sectors.

The Grant comprises two components: a SGD1.5 million Business Sustenance Grant (BSG) and a SGD4.5 million Business Growth Grant (BGG).

Under the BSG, eligible Singapore-based FinTech firms can receive a one-time grant for up to SGD 20,000 to cover day-to-day working capital expenditures, such as salaries and rental costs. The short term assistance will help FinTech firms sustain their operations and retain their employees, MAS said.

Meanwhile, under the BGG, eligible Singapore-based FinTech firms can receive up to SGD 40,000 for their first Proof of Concept (POC) with financial institutions on the API Exchange (APIX) platform, and SGD10,000 for each subsequent POC. The amount is subject to a total cap of SGD80,000 per firm for the entire duration of the grant.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS. Photo courtesy: Twitter@sopnendu
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS. Photo courtesy: Twitter@sopnendu

The BGG enables these companies to continue to innovate in partnership with financial institutions and create opportunities for growth. In addition, it will provide funding for the salaries of undergraduate interns, capped at SGD1,000/month per intern. This grant will support around 120 interns in the FinTech sector, assuming an average internship duration of 3 to 5 months.

FinTech firms can apply for both BSG and BGG if they fulfil the eligibility criteria for both grants, MAS explained. 

“There is a surge in demand in the financial services industry around the region for solutions to address the need for remote digital services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic," said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS.

"FinTech firms have a great opportunity to step up actively during this period to provide these solutions. The Business Growth Grant will help FinTech firms offset their costs. By conducting their POCs on APIX, financial institutions and FinTech firms will not need to set up test infrastructure for integration. This will help accelerate project development while still working remotely.”