An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Singapore’s welcome mat to virtual banks is going beyond its own shores. The island nation wants to become a regional hub for technology firms with advanced data expertise, said Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Doing so would improve banking services at home and in other parts of Southeast Asia, he said. “Singapore wants to be a base for these players as they grow in the region,” Menon, who has led the financial regulator since 2011, said in a recent interview. “And that means anchoring them here at the early stage of their development, and allowing them access to the domestic banking market.

Singapore’s traditional incumbents likeDBS Group Holdings Ltd., Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and United Overseas Bank Ltd. already provide digital services through mobile phones and other channels. Still, more can be done by technology firms, according to Menon. “Some of these other players use a range of other data to make very quick assessments and are able to disburse these loans in a very short space of time,” Menon said. “Those kinds of things are not met adequately or as easily, or it would require tremendous additional cost or effort on the part of traditional banks.” Menon said he expects non-financial firms to work with traditional banks through joint ventures and other combinations. “As with all competition, you will see some consolidation taking place, some creative destruction taking place,” Menon said. “What’s most important for us as policy makers is to make sure that the consumer benefits.” .

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