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Home Business "If we control the Fintech like banks, they will die"

"If we control the Fintech like banks, they will die"

A major global financial center, Singapore has made Fintech, the startups of finance, one of its axes of development, as part of the government program "Smart Nation". The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank of theÉAs an Asian state, is perceived as one of the most advanced regulators on innovation: the Fintech Festival, which it organizes since 2016, has become one of the biggest events in the sector in the world, where Christine Lagarde , IMF, or Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, and more than 40,000 participants. The MAS general manager, Ravi Menon, was in Paris on Tuesday 14 May, invited by the Banque de France to present his vision of innovation in finance.

"If we regulate FinTech as banks, with the capital requirements of Basel 4 (the new global rules of solvency, Ed), they will die," he said bluntly. "We can not not regulate, it would not be safe, but we can not overload regulation either," he said.

Singapore, along with London, is one of the major financial centers to have set up a sandbox, a regulatory sandbox for start-ups. He cited the example in the insurance of a startup analyzing artificial intelligence contracts to verify if customers have risks not covered, believing that it was better to test 300 customers before considering a launch General public. In France, regulators prefer the proportionality approach.

Ravi Menon MAS Singapore Fintech

(The Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ravi Menon, at the Bank of France, Tuesday, May 14. Credit: DC)

Collaboration and interoperability

According to the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, " regulation will be based more and more on the basis of the activity and not on that of the entities In other words not so much about the type of company, its sector, its possible license, but about the activity that it carries out as such.

He referred to the example of payments, where the MAS cut the value chain into six segments and analyzed the activity by risk, with some players never touching the funds but merely forwarding orders.

"The giants of Chinese tech (WeChat, Alibaba and their payment service, Editor's note) are welcome. But we tell them that if they take more than a certain amount of customers' e-wallet, more than $ 800, their activity is collecting deposits. "

He criticized the closed model of payment systems at Alipay: " This is not the right model, we need collaboration and interoperability. In Singapore, the regulator forced banks to sit down and abandon their proprietary electronic wallet solutions in favor of a common PayNow mobile payment solution.

" Let a thousand flowers flourish, that's good, but you need a garden ! "Observed Ravi Menon.

Reciprocity and fair sharing of data

He was critical of the European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) which could open a Gafa Boulevard by forcing banks to open access to customer data.

" If Amazon and other PayPal are allowed to access BNP Paribas account data for example, they will become formidable! Do banks have access to e-commerce data, does it work both ways? This is a question of fair competition rules and reciprocity He said.

The executive chairman of BBVA, Carlos Torres Vila, had also called for a fair sharing of data between all actors, all sectors, including e-commerce and social networks, during a round table at Paris Fintech Forum last January (see the video).

Read also: Payment: the DSP2 directive comes into force, what is it?

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