singapore Fintech Festival
Singapore Fintech Festival.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) unveiled new fintech initiatives as the second edition of the Singapore FinTech Festival began on Monday.

The week-long event comprises of over 25,000 participants from over 100 countries and links banking executives with startups.

"If Singapore is to maintain its position as one of the top financial centers in the world, it must embrace fintech," Menon said. That means "maximizing its benefits, minimizing its risks," MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said in a speech on Tuesday.

The initiatives are the latest in a campaign by the regulator to promote fintech, as it seeks to bolster Singapore's status as a global financial hub.

The MAS has set aside S$225 million ($165 million) for fintech development over five years, nudged banks to collaborate on technology and spearheaded a study on the use of blockchain for cross-border interbank payments.

In the area of retail payments, the MAS and the Bank of Thailand have agreed to work together to link PayNow and Thailand's PromptPay. Both are peer-to-peer payments transfer schemes. This tie-up will enable someone in Singapore to send money instantly and securely to someone in Thailand, and vice versa, using just their mobile phone numbers.

In addition, MAS also announced that it has entered into a research and development (R&D) fintech collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"This will enable our local FinTech talents to work alongside world-class researchers at the MIT Media Lab to come up with technology solutions to real-world use cases," Menon said.