SGFinDex, which stands for Singapore Financial Data Exchange, is a new platform from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), supported by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The platform allows you to use your SingPass identity to log in, and aims to let consumers get a better view of their finances. So far, seven banks in Singapore are enrolled in the programme: Citi Singapore Ltd, DBS Bank Ltd, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Ltd, Maybank Singapore Ltd, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd.
Can SGFinDex replace a financial advisor?
You may not need an advisor if your financial situation is relatively straightforward, such as having assets only in Singapore, and with just one property in your name, or none. In this case, you could consolidate your finances with an app (such as Planner Bee!) and proceed to review your plans.
The basics of financial planning involves:
Knowing what you have
Improving your cash flow
Having an emergency fund (here’s our calculator for that)
Outsource your risks with insurance (our insurance needs calculator)
Figure out a goal and invest toward it
Work toward Financial Independence, Retire Early, aka F.I.R.E (our handy retirement calculator)
(Read more: The basics of financial planning here)
BUT. We often find that people have trouble sorting out steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 themselves. This is when it’s time to get a financial advisor to help.
For others, if you don’t want to deal with the research and doing the homework yourself, an advisor will also be able to help recommend products that will suit you. Often, many of us are also too busy to keep abreast of the changes in the industry.
Financial planning is an ongoing process, and not a one-time silver bullet, so an advisor can come in to keep you updated.
I know how much money I have, so why would I need SGFinDex?
Although you might think you know how much money you make and have in the bank, proper financial planning means getting a holistic view into your finances. Also, you need to get a thorough view across different bank accounts and cards you have, in order to identify any unknown leaks in spending or bills.
SGFinDex offers a view across seven participating banks. This will help your financial advisor get a clearer view into your existing finances before they can suggest improvements.
You’ll also be better equipped to discuss big purchases, such as a new home, because you’ll have the information ready to see how to plan your mortgage.
Who do I pick?
There are so many apps to choose from, including Planner Bee, DBS NAV Planner, Moneysense, SGFinDex, Seedly, OCBC’s Your Financial OneView.
SGFinDex touts a centrally managed system, which provides a single place for individuals to access their financial information across financial institutions.
Other existing platforms such as Seedly, Planner Bee and Spendee, also support cross-platform institutions, while filtering your spending automatically into different categories so you can identify your biggest spending areas. While SGFinDex allows you to see your overall ins and outs, it doesn’t allow users to view their transactions by categories.
Overview of what these platforms can do
|Government data: Latest CPF account balance
Past year’s tax bill
Outstanding HDB loan balance
HDB monthly installments
|Syncs Singapore bank data: Savings account balance
Credit card statements
(Transactions are autocategorised)
Syncs bank data from foreign banks
(Transactions are autocategorised)
Syncs insurance policy data
Syncs investment portfolio data
|Security||Users’ personal financial data is encrypted when it is retrieved through SGFinDex. Only the financial planning application/website that the user has authorised to receive the data is able to decrypt it.||All financial account information is retrieved in read-only mode and encrypted so only authorized users can access it.|
|Authentication||SingPass and iBanking login credentials
Users are verified with SingPass before they can connect their bank accounts and retrieve data. User’s identity is verified each time their personal financial data is retrieved.
|User input their ibanking login credentials through the app and this provide consent to the app to retrieve data on their behalf. User’s identity is verified each time their personal financial data is retrieved.|
How do I use SGFinDex?
Head over to MyMoneySense, a platform by the Ministry of Manpower, to retrieve and view your personal financial data from government agencies via MyInfo.
Note that if you would like to use a participating bank’s financial planning application or website, you have to be a customer of that bank first.
Here’s a snapshot of the MyMoneySense portal: