IFC’s Director for East Asia & the Pacific Vivek Pathak (Photo: Flickr)

Singapore (VNA) – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will support Southeast Asian countries to establish and develop the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN).

The plan was stated in a memorandum of cooperation recently signed by IFC and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

Through AFIN, IFC and MAS plan to establish a regional network to help financial institutions, financial technology (FinTech) firms and regulators address issues of connectivity, local compliance and cross border compatibility. 

AFIN will also evaluate options to create an industry “sandbox” to provide a cloud-based testing environment through which banks and FinTech players can develop, test and refine digital finance and inclusion solutions. It is also hoped to spur discussions amongst participating regulators on cross-border policy harmonisation across ASEAN.

Vivek Pathak, IFC’s Director for East Asia & the Pacific, said he hopes new business models resulting from digital transformation of financial services and FinTech adoption in the region can create new markets that will lead to a higher level of prosperity.

The initiative emerged from discussions between IFC, MAS and the ASEAN Bankers Association (ABA) at the 2016 Singapore FinTech Festival.-VNA