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MAS partners UNCDF to drive financial inclusion in Asean

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 10:31

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has sealed a partnership with a United Nations unit to encourage the development and access of digital financial services in Asean.

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has sealed a partnership with a United Nations unit to encourage the development and access of digital financial services in Asean.

The partnership, formed under the auspices of the United Nations Capital Development Fund's (UNCDF) Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) programme, will see MAS work with UNCDF on digitisation of low-tier financial institutions in the region, particularly in extending last-mile distribution of such financial services, the two agencies said in a release dated April 17.

This is expected to help the agencies rapidly digitise the operations of these financial service providers, enabling them to better aid financial access and usage to serve the marginalised population, including women, in these countries.

As the first initiative under the collaboration, MAS will support UNCDF SHIFT's latest Challenge Fund Window. The fund provides co-funding grants for innovative, scalable business models that foster regulated international remittances to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam for women, and concurrently increase adoption and usage of remittance-linked financial products and services in these countries.

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The UNCDF SHIFT Challenge Fund Window that focuses on remittances is open to applicants from April 7 to June 9. Grant awards will be finalised by October 2017.

MAS will host a SHIFT Challenge Fund workshop in Singapore and this collaboration will culminate in the opportunity for selected applicants' project to be showcased at the Singapore FinTech Festival, to be held later this year from Nov 13 to 17.

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