Singapore is rushing to reinvent itself as Asia's financial technology, or fintech, hub to fend off a regulatory threat to its wealth management industry and revive a sluggish economy.
State funding, light-touch regulation and a recent move to allow start-ups to test financial products in a controlled environment have put Singapore ahead of rival Hong Kong to be Asia's fintech hotspot.
Much like Uber, Airbnb and others have harnessed technology and online social networking to disrupt taxi and hotel services, fintech firms are shaking up the traditional banking and financial services industry.
Singapore's fintech drive comes as its role as an offshore private banking center is under threat from a multi-billion-dollar money laundering scandal in neighboring Malaysia, and as Indonesia chases undeclared money parked in the low-tax city state.
Also, Singapore's traditional shipping and manufacturing growth drivers are faltering amid a global economic slowdown and a slump in commodity prices and demand.