Fintech Singapore http://fintechnews.sg - FintechNewsSG Thu, 20 Jun 2019 11:28:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 15 Fintech Maps Showcasing the State of Fintech in Asia http://fintechnews.sg/31127/fintech/15-fintech-startup-maps-showcasing-the-state-of-fintech-in-asia/ http://fintechnews.sg/31127/fintech/15-fintech-startup-maps-showcasing-the-state-of-fintech-in-asia/#comments Thu, 20 Jun 2019 11:28:25 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31127 On many aspects, Asia is leading the fintech revolution. First, in terms of consumer adoption of fintech products, more than half of adult consumers active online in China and India,

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On many aspects, Asia is leading the fintech revolution. First, in terms of consumer adoption of fintech products, more than half of adult consumers active online in China and India, the two most populous countries in the world, regularly use fintech services.

In China, more than 4 out of 5 respondents said they have used at least one fintech service for mobile money transfer and payments, and more than half reported using one for savings and investments. In India, 47% of respondents said they have used an insurtech product.

In addition to fintech adoption, funding for Asian fintech startups is on the rise and catching up with the historical world leader, the US.

According to a CB Insights report, fintech companies backed by venture capital secured US$39.57 billion across 1,707 deals in 2018 with Asia registering the biggest amount at US$22.65 billion through 516 deals. Asia was followed by the US with 659 deals worth US$11.89 billion.

According to the report, Asia is likely to surpass the US as a center for fintech investment in the near future.

At the end of January 2019, there were 39 fintech unicorns globally. Nine were in Asia, including China’s Tuandaiwang, Lu.com, and Lakala Payment, as well as India’s Policybazaar and Paytm, and South Korea’s Toss.

As Asia quickly rises to become the world’s next fintech powerhouse, the following 15 fintech startups maps, which cover key markets including Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines, will give you a glimpse into the region’s diverse and burgeoning fintech landscape.

 

Singapore Fintech Map (2018)

Fintech-Singapore-Report-Map-16-Aug

 

Source: Fintechnews.sg

Created by: Fintechnews.sg

Last updated: August 2018

 

Hong Kong Fintech Map 2018

Source: http://www.hongkong-fintech.hk/en/why/ecosystem-for-fintech-industry.html

Created by: InvestHK

Last updated: 2019

 

Malaysia Fintech Map (2018)

Source: https://fintechnews.my/17922/editors-pick/fintech-malaysia-report-2018/

Created by: Fintechnews.my

Last updated: July 2018

 

Vietnam Fintech Map 2019

Fintech Startup Vietnam Map 2019

Fintech Startup Vietnam Map 2019

Source: http://fintechnews.sg/31122/vietnam/fintech-vietnam-startup-map-2019/

Created by: Fintechnews.sg

Last updated: June 2019

 

 

Indonesia Fintech Map 2018

Source: http://fintechnews.sg/20712/indonesia/fintech-indonesia-report-2018/

Created by: Fintechnews.sg

Last updated: June 2018

 

Philippines FintechMap 2018

Source: http://fintechnews.sg/25203/philippines/philippines-fintech-report-2018/

Created by: Fintechnews.sg

Last updated: November 2018

Cambodia Fintech Map 2017

Source: http://fintechnews.sg/12603/cambodia/fintech-cambodia-startup-report-map-infographic/

Created by: Fintechnews.sg

Last updated: October 2017

 

Myanmar Fintech Map 2018

Source: https://www.slideshare.net/ChristianKnig1/fintech-myanmar-startup-report-2018

Created by: Fintechnews.sg

Last updated: June 2018

 

China Fintech Map 2018

Source: https://home.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/cn/pdf/zh/2018/12/china-fintech-50-company-report.pdf

Created by: KPMG

Last updated: December 2018

 

South Korea Fintech Map 2017

Source: https://startupall.kr/wp-content/uploads/research/1556927744/Startup%20Map%20190503.pdf

Created by: Startup Alliance

Last updated: November 2017

 

Japan Fintech Map 2017

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/fintech-map-japan-mar%C3%ADlia-assis-breite-/

Created by: Marília Assis Breite

Last updated: September 2017

 

Taiwan Fintech Map 2018

Source: https://medium.com/@blockcamp/

Created by: Jon Jones

Last updated: March 2018

 

India Fintech Map 2018

Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/market-map-fintech-startups-india/

Created by: CB Insights

Last updated: July 2018

 

Pakistan Fintech Map 2018

Source: https://clarity.pk/knowledgebase/payments/list-of-fintech-companies-in-pakistan/

Created by: Clarity.pk

Last updated: July 2018

 

 

Thailand

Source: https://techsauce.co/report/fintech-thailand/

Created by: Techsauce

Last updated: 2016

 

Featured image credit: Freepik

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5 Ecosystems Enablers and B2B Providers for Fintech Startups in Asia http://fintechnews.sg/31242/fintech/5-ecosystems-enablers-and-b2b-providers-for-fintech-startups-in-asia/ http://fintechnews.sg/31242/fintech/5-ecosystems-enablers-and-b2b-providers-for-fintech-startups-in-asia/#comments Tue, 18 Jun 2019 08:58:01 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31242 The platform-based business model has taken hold in the digital economy, and the concept is quickly spreading to banking and financial services. Aided by widespread Internet and mobile access, fintech

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The platform-based business model has taken hold in the digital economy, and the concept is quickly spreading to banking and financial services. Aided by widespread Internet and mobile access, fintech companies and progressive banks have started to make inroads into platform-based banking.

For fintech startups and financial institutions in Southeast Asia looking to provide seamless, user-friendly, digital solutions, the following five companies are offering extensive ecosystems and business-to-business (B2B) solutions that will make your job much easier.

 

Ancileo: Insurance-as-a-service (Insurtech)

If you are a Fintech startup (eg. lending, payment, wallet…), you are likely already working on building your own insurance offering and you also found out that it can be a lengthy and complex process, Ancileo, a Singapore-based insurtech company, makes it a breeze! Combining flexible technology and a global network of top ⅓ insurance partners, they offer turn-key insurance solutions to Fintech players willing to start their own insurance offering.

Ancileo’s insurance Software-as-a-service platform provides plug and play, secure and customizable solutions that enable efficient insurance distribution via API integration, B2C white label and even call center sales.

In summary Fintech startups can focus on their core business while Ancileo does the heavy lifting to get their insurance offering up and running as fast as possible.

 

Leveraging WeChat’s massive user base (Mobile Payment)

WeChat app, https://www.wechat.com/

Back in January 2017, Tencent, the owner and creator of China’s number one superapp WeChat, launched Mini Programs, which are essentially lightweight apps that run inside the platform.

The company’s intention was to help users avoid downloading standalone apps from third-parties by allowing business owners to develop apps that are independent from Android or iOS but sit in the WeChat ecosystem.

The functionality has allowed Tencent to lock users in for even longer, and by November 2018, the WeChat ecosystem had over one million such mini programs. That made the WeChat ecosystem half the size of the Apple App Store, which recorded 2.1 million apps in April 2018.

200 million users were active on WeChat Mini Programs every day as of August 2018 and considering WeChat’s one billion monthly active users worldwide, it comes with little surprise that businesses owners and firms are rushing onto the platform.

 

Mobile money with Mynt (Money Transfer)

GCash, https://www.gcash.com

Mynt, a fintech partnership between the Philippines’ Globe Telecom, the Ayala Corporation, and Ant Financial, provides fintech solutions to consumers, merchants, and organizations in the Philippines, and focuses on five key services: payments, remittances, loans, business solutions and platforms.

Mynt is the operator of GCash, a mobile money platform, and Fuse, which offers loan products. The GCash app is the Philippines’ leading mobile wallet, growing exponentially to 15 million registered users nationwide in just three years. As of February 2019, GCash had over 30,000 QR merchants in the Philippines.

In 2016, the company announced plans to launch a new cloud-based, white-label digital money fintech platform for retailed called Casa that features bill payments, money transfers, closed-loop merchant payment solutions, loyalty program management, and card management.

Mynt is currently expanding its mobile money customer base and is reportedly planning to roll out insurance products, en route to becoming a sprawling financial services platform in the image of China’s Ant Financial.

 

Digital wealth management with Bento (Wealthtech)

Bento, https://www.bento.cloud

Bento is a Singapore-based digital wealth management solutions provider that’s been live since October 2016.

Bento’s white-label, hybrid B2B platform is built for banks, wealth managers, brokers and insurance companies, enabling them to launch digital wealth solutions with low capex and quick time to market. The solution includes UI UX for client on boarding, VaR-based portfolio construction, client reporting and RM/advisor desktop with detailed portfolio analytics. It is modular and can be implemented as an end-to-end solution or just to cater for to a specific need.

Bento’s B2C entity is licensed under the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC). It manages assets for institutions such as endowments, charities, etc. using a proprietary asset allocation algorithm.

 

Decentralized financial services applications on Ethereum (Crypto)

Since the release of the Bitcoin protocol over a decade ago, a large number of crypto and blockchain platforms have emerged to solve various issues and serve diverse purposes. Ethereum, an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform, is undeniably one of the most prominent of these platforms.

Released in 2015, Ethereum was created with the intend of providing a platform for the development of decentralized applications.

Over the past years, numerous decentralized financial applications have been built on Ethereum, leading to the emergence of the so-called decentralized finance (DeFi) wave. The idea behind DeFi is a financial system without a central governing authority that’s fully open to anyone the world.

Examples of DeFi apps include stablecoins such as Circle’s USDC and the Gemini dollar, real estate investment platform Brickblock, and on-chain liquidity protocol Kyber Network.

Mapping out Ethereum’s DeFi, The Block, March 2019

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Global Fintech Adoption Is at an All Time High, EY Study Shows http://fintechnews.sg/31533/studies/fintech-adoption-ey-global/ http://fintechnews.sg/31533/studies/fintech-adoption-ey-global/#respond Tue, 18 Jun 2019 06:31:36 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31533 Consumer adoption of fintech services has surged globally in the past years, rising from 16% in 2015 and 33% in 2017, to now 64%, an increase of almost 100% every

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Consumer adoption of fintech services has surged globally in the past years, rising from 16% in 2015 and 33% in 2017, to now 64%, an increase of almost 100% every two years.

China and India are leading the trend with both markets recording a staggering consumer adoption rate of 87% respectively, according to EY’s Global Fintech Adoption Index 2019.

EY, which surveyed more than 27,000 consumers across 27 global markets to gauge the state of fintech adoption around the world, found that the rise of online banking and mobile-first platforms has fueled usage of fintech products and services, which have become mainstream.

Consumer awareness is at an all-time high with 96% of respondents stating they were aware of fintech transfer or payments services. 89% are aware of in-store mobile phone payment platforms and 82% are aware of peer-to-peer payment systems and non-bank money transfers, the survey found.

Money transfer and payments services are the most commonly used fintech categories (75%), followed by financial insurance (48%), savings and investments (34%) and budgeting and financial planning (29%).

 

Fintech Adoption - ey study

Compared to previous years, fintech adopters are more willing to share data with 48% stating that were willing to do so if it meant accessing better deals from their service provider.

 

Fintech industry matures

According to EY, fintech has evolved beyond its early stages and challengers are now looking less like startups and more like professionally managed companies with broad operational capabilities, a full suite of products and a global reach.

Fintech services that are at once personalized, accessible, transparent, frictionless and cost-effective were considered new and disruptive in 2015, but today, these characteristics are a prerequisite for all players. With so many providers offering similar services, each company now must differentiate itself to attract and retain customers, whether by brand, price or execution, EY says.

One telling sign of the fintech industry’s maturation is the evolution of consumer priorities when looking for a fintech provider, the report notes. Two years ago 30% cited the ease of opening an account as their top priority and only 13% said attractive fees and prices were most important, the 2019 survey shows that consumers are now prioritizing price (27%), followed by ease of opening an account (20%).

“Fintech organizations are no longer fringe disruptors and have grown into sophisticated competitors,” said Matt Hatch, partner at Ernst & Young LLP and fintech leader at EY Americas fintech leader.

“Now, financial incumbents are taking note and offering fintech solutions, forming ecosystems that are replacing traditional partnerships. We fully expect this trend to accelerate as non-financial companies enter the space and leverage technology and innovation to provide frictionless, transparent and highly-personalized services.”

 

China and India lead in consumer adoption of fintech

Emerging markets are leading the way in terms of fintech adoption, with China and India at the top of the list at 87%. Close behind are Russia and South Africa, both with 82%.

Among developed countries, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland lead in adoption, reflecting in part the development of open banking in Europe, but also the availability of fintech services offered by banks, insurers, stock brokers and other incumbent financial institutions, the report says.

Fintech Adoption - ey study

While fintech adoption is on the rise globally, consumers still widely trust their main banks or insurers. In 2019, 22% of non-adopters revealed that their decision to remain with their traditional financial provider was due to trusting it more than fintechs.

 

SMEs fintech adoption on the rise

EY, which also interviewed senior decision makers at 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in five countries, found that SMEs have become significant users of fintech with an adoption rate globally of 25%. China records the highest fintech adoption rate at 61%, followed by the US at 23%.

Fintech Adoption - ey study

More than half (56%) of SMEs worldwide have used banking and payments services, making it the most widely used category, followed by financial management (51%), financing and insurance (46%).

SMEs said they chose fintech solutions because they provide a good range of functionality and features (66%), have services available around the clock (55%), and are easy to set up, configure and use (53%).

Fintech Adoption - ey study

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Visa Said Their AI-Powered Fraud Detection Helped Prevent US$25 Bil in Fraud Annually http://fintechnews.sg/31596/mobilepayments/visa-fraud-ai-prevention/ http://fintechnews.sg/31596/mobilepayments/visa-fraud-ai-prevention/#comments Tue, 18 Jun 2019 05:14:48 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31596 Visa just announced that their Visa Advanced Authorisation (VAA) process, done using artificial intelligence, has helped financial institutions prevent an estimated US$25 billion in annual fraud. VAA, used by Visa

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Visa just announced that their Visa Advanced Authorisation (VAA) process, done using artificial intelligence, has helped financial institutions prevent an estimated US$25 billion in annual fraud.

VAA, used by Visa themselves, is a comprehensive risk management tool that  monitors and evaluates transaction authorisations on the Visa global payment network, VisaNet. The process is done in real-time to help financial institutions identify and respond to emerging fraud patterns and trends. Visa uses neural networks modeled after the human brain to power its AI platform to identify possible fraud, which the company reports delivers faster and deeper insights through previously unknown correlations.

Visa processed more than 127 billion transactions between merchants and financial institutions on VisaNet last year, employing the AI to analyse transactions, each they claim conducted within milliseconds.

More than 8,000 financial institutions in 129 countries use Visa Advanced Authorization.

Melissa McSherry, senior vice president and global head of Data, Risk and Identity Products and Solutions, Visa said:

melissa mcsherry visa

“One of the toughest challenges in payments is separating good transactions made by account holders from bad ones attempted by fraudsters without adding friction to the process.”

“Visa was the first payment network to apply neural network-based AI in 1993 to analyze the riskiness of transactions in real time, and the impact on fraud was immediate.”

 

 

Featured image via Visa Philippines

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Winners of Inclusive Fintech 50 http://fintechnews.sg/31447/financial-inclusion/winners-of-inclusive-fintech-50/ http://fintechnews.sg/31447/financial-inclusion/winners-of-inclusive-fintech-50/#comments Mon, 17 Jun 2019 13:33:49 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31447 MetLife Foundation and Visa, with partners Accion and IFC, launch inaugural list to help fintech companies attract capital and resources to benefit the 3 billion financially underserved people globally. MetLife

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MetLife Foundation and Visa, with partners Accion and IFC, launch inaugural list to help fintech companies attract capital and resources to benefit the 3 billion financially underserved people globally.

MetLife Foundation and Visa with global nonprofit Accion and World Bank Group member IFC, announced the winners of the Inclusive Fintech 50, a competition launched in February to help early-stage fintech companies attract capital and resources to benefit the world’s 3 billion financially underserved people.

The 50 winners – which were selected from 400 eligible applicants – demonstrate the power of financial technology to expand access, usage, and quality of financial services in advanced and emerging markets.

Approximately 30 percent of the winners provide credit products to underserved segments including MSMEs, and approximately 25 percent offer infrastructure solutions like biometrics software that enable financial institutions to expand access to previously excluded groups. Fintechs offering insurance, payments & remittances services, and savings & personal financial management tools each made up approximately 15 percent of the winners.

Marianne Mwaniki

Marianne Mwaniki

“Existing research indicates that investment capital has largely overlooked early-stage and inclusive fintechs in several markets,”

said Marianne Mwaniki, Head of Social Impact at Visa.

“This group of winners makes clear that there are high-potential startups with viable products and business models – and they’re ready for investment.”

Nearly 70 percent of the winners are pre-Series A, yet these startups already exhibit strong product-market fit and traction, as demonstrated by their combined 8 million customers. In terms of geographic distribution, nearly one-third operate in more than one region, and another third operate exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa. Twenty percent of the selected fintechs operate exclusively in South Asia, and 8 percent each in North America and East Asia & the Pacific. The remainder comes from Latin America & the Caribbean and MENA. A forthcoming white paper will provide insights into the applicants, winners, and lessons learned.

“Inclusive Fintech 50 demonstrates that there are lesser-known fintechs able to reach underserved populations with appropriate financial products,”

said Sarah Willis, Director of Financial Health & Inclusion at MetLife Foundation.

“We want to support startups that are addressing the holistic needs of these target segments with the ultimate goal of improving their financial health.”

The winners are listed below by operating regions. Full profiles can be found at www.inclusivefintech50.com/winners.

East Asia & the Pacific

AwanTunaiAwanTunai (credit)

FrolloFrollo (savings & personal financial management)

JuloJULO (credit)

TaniFundTaniFund (credit)

Latin America & the Caribbean

Celcoin

Celcoin (payments & remittances)

Middle East & North Africa

Dinarak

Dinarak (payments & remittances)

Dopay

Dopay (payments & remittances)

North America

Distilled Identity

Distilled Identity (infrastructure)

Edquity

Edquity (savings & personal financial management)

 

Resolve (savings & personal financial management)

Self Lender

Self Lender (savings & personal financial management)

South Asia

BASIX Sub-K

BASIX Sub-K (infrastructure)

CreditVidya

CreditVidya (credit)

GramCover

GramCover (insurance)

Happy

Happy (credit)

Jai Kisan

Jai Kisan (credit)

SmartCoin

SmartCoin (credit)

Tez Financial Services

Tez Financial Services (savings & personal financial management)

Toffee Insurance

Toffee Insurance (insurance)

Sub-Saharan Africa

ACRE Africa

ACRE Africa (insurance)

awamo (infrastructure)

E-Settlement (infrastructure)

Hello Paisa (payments & remittances)

Inclusivity Solutions (insurance)

kwara

Kwara (infrastructure)

MaTontine (infrastructure)

Numida (infrastructure)

OZÉ (infrastructure)

PEG Africa (credit)

People’s Pension Trust (savings & personal financial management)

Pezesha (credit)

pula

Pula (insurance)

Riby (infrastructure)

Tulaa (credit)

Multiple Regions

4Told Fintech

4Told Fintech (credit)

AID:Tech (payments & remittances)

Blockbonds (savings & personal financial management)

Click2Sure (insurance)

CreditEnable (credit)

Everest

Everest (infrastructure)

hiveonline (infrastructure)

Mosabi (credit)

Musoni Systems (infrastructure)

MyCash Online (payments & remittances)

Peppermint (payments & remittances)

Stonestep (insurance)

Teknospire (infrastructure)

Thunes (payments & remittances)

 

Inclusive Fintech 50 is implemented by MIX, the global data resource for socially responsible investors and businesses committed to financial inclusion.

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10 Innovation in Finance and Blockchain Books to Read http://fintechnews.sg/31420/innovation/10-innovation-in-finance-and-blockchain-books-to-read/ http://fintechnews.sg/31420/innovation/10-innovation-in-finance-and-blockchain-books-to-read/#respond Sat, 15 Jun 2019 07:01:58 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31420 So here we go – it has been another six months and even though I thought I would not have time to read books anymore… … I just slept less

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So here we go – it has been another six months and even though I thought I would not have time to read books anymore…

… I just slept less I guess…

Over the last 6 months there were also countless academic papers that I had the pleasure of going through. Not sure if that is also something worth compiling here, for now I just stick to the more digestible book format and hope you enjoy looking through the list and perhaps pick up one or the other book yourself.

Without further due here is the list in no particular order:

1. The Prosperity Paradox by Clayton Christensen

A great book with focus on “non-consumption markets” and how Innovation can marry the (financial) inclusion of individuals in emerging economies and running a high yielding project:

2. Capitalism without Capital by Jonathan Haskel & Stian Westlake

We all know that we have moved on from the tangible to the intangible economy with lots of value being created in IP, brands, new digital products, etc. But if you want a deeper look at the intangibles economy from leading Economists this is a good book to pick.

3. AI Superpowers by Lee Kai-Fu

The book to explain to people who do not go to China often how China works. Essential reading for everyone to understand how technology has infiltrated everyday life and what is there to come. Main takeaway: We have (already!!!) moved on from the AI research era to the AI implementation era. Watch out for the twist towards the end of the book… an excellent read

4. Data Science by John Kelleher & Brendan Tierney

Everyone talks about who Data is the new Oil but are you familiar with the CRISP-DM process for data science? Or are you also talking about Machine Learning without really understanding what that is. A good introductory reading to address these questions and more.

5. Superminds by Thomas Malone

Thomas Malone takes us on a journey to explore how the future of collaborative AI could look like in the future. Rather than painting a doomsday scenario he explicates that there is a lot of value to be created through the use of AI in conjunction with our human capabilities.

6. Why we Sleep by Matthew Walker

You might say “This is not strictly a FinTech / Innovation in Finance book”. But perhaps it is Prof Walker shares his lifelong research results on sleep and how important it is. People who get enough rest every night are more creative for example. Essential read in my personal view.

7. Questions are the answer by Hal Gregersen

Innovation comes from understanding your target customer’s needs. We can only learn about those needs if we know how to ask powerful questions. Hal of MIT explains well how to do this based on his research using many successful examples.

8. Factfullness by Ola Rosling

Ola Rosling was a Global Health Professor that teaches us a lot about Statistics and the world in this book that even Bill Gates recommended.

9. Before Babylon, beyond Bitcoin by David Birch

Another book about the history of money you might think… maybe you’ve read a few of those already. David Birch, who has been involved in the Payments space for a long time shares his views on the future of money and you might be surprised by it.

10. Blockchain Economics by Melanie Swan, Jason Potts, Soichiro Takagi, Frank Witte and Paolo Tasca

This is a special book to me because my dear friend Arisa Siong wrote part of it. If you are interested in topics in between economics and blockchain technology you cannot not read this. Melanie Swan is a pioneer in the space and she has, together with her colleagues, assembled a great collection of chapters.

 

This article first appeared on Linkedin.com, Featured image credit: Unsplash

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Line Founder Thinks its US$182 Mil Worth Fintech Arm Could Break Even in Two Years http://fintechnews.sg/31363/mobilepayments/line-fintech-bank-break-even/ http://fintechnews.sg/31363/mobilepayments/line-fintech-bank-break-even/#respond Wed, 12 Jun 2019 10:45:02 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31363 Following the announcement of Line’s fintech ambitions, the Japan-based company with WeChat Pay-like financial ambitions claims that it may see the new arm break even as early as one to

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Following the announcement of Line’s fintech ambitions, the Japan-based company with WeChat Pay-like financial ambitions claims that it may see the new arm break even as early as one to two years, according to Bloomberg.

The claim is notable, as its digital payments unit, Line Pay Corp, has been pumped with US$182 million—following a challenging financial year in 2018 when it posted a JPY 5.79 billion loss. Line is also reportedly struggling with a stagnant user base, and a revenue model based on advertising.

Line’s fintech foray, on top of a Visa-enabled e-wallet already operations, will include banking, loans and insurance, possibly cryptocurrency. and stock trading, depending on how quickly the lifestyle platform could gain all of the required licenses in some of tech’s most regulated industries. Line Bank will be run in partnership with Mizuho Financial Group—one of the leading banking giants in Japan—by next year once regulators grant their blessings.

Shin Jung-ho, co-CEO, claims that Line had been profitable up until last year, which spurred this 3-4 year plan into fintech, Jung-ho’s “number one priority” in the short term.

Line in the short term, will focus on its Japan and Taiwan markets, believing that they can be dominant players.

Co-CEO Shin Jung-ho said:

shin jung ho line

Shin Jung-ho

“The messenger competition is over. Nowadays we need another innovation. Fintech can be that candidate. Fintech itself is a proven monetized model, the only problem is how fast we can secure a meaningful size of users. We need three to four years of investment to establish” the business, he said to Bloomberg.

 

“Once you are a dominant player in one country, it’s easy to expand our services into other countries, so Japan and Taiwan are our first focus to provide financial services.”

 

 

Jung-ho claims that they are already a dominant player in Taiwan.

However, the projected 2-year profitability deadline is still subject to when Line acquires the regulatory green light,  which the company seems optimistic on happening soon enough for a 2020 launch. Then, the level of profitability will depend on how quickly the company is able to onboard users.

Featured image via Line

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Calm Down, Grab Isn’t Trying to Become a Bank—Not in the Way You’re Thinking, at Least http://fintechnews.sg/31320/virtual-banking/grab-virtual-bank-license-singapore-digital-fintech/ http://fintechnews.sg/31320/virtual-banking/grab-virtual-bank-license-singapore-digital-fintech/#comments Wed, 12 Jun 2019 08:40:32 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31320 Followers of this page are well aware that Grab, one of Singapore’s premier unicorns, has dabbled in many different areas of fintech-fuelled offerings in its drive to become what it

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Followers of this page are well aware that Grab, one of Singapore’s premier unicorns, has dabbled in many different areas of fintech-fuelled offerings in its drive to become what it self-describes as a “super app”.

Most recently though, it seems like the company might be taking the leap and shifting into banking, according to Reuters’ insider sources.

The source further claims that Grab is close to hiring a consultancy to advise it on its banking potential.

Before we jump the gun though, Grab’s eye is not on becoming a bank the traditional sense.

Grab expressed its interest following Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) announcement that they are pondering issuing a virtual banking license.

A virtual banking license here usually refers to a fully digital financial operation run by companies without banking parentage per se (though it does not preclude banking institutions from participating, as showcased by CIMB).

Virtual Banks are Tech-First Banks With Training Wheels

Virtual banks generally have slightly lower requirements than a full banking license.

Singapore’s consideration probably comes from its competitive streak with Hong Kong, which has issued 8 virtual banking licenses so far. However, Hong Kong’s licenses have been criticised for being too stringent so it may not be a clear indication of a more typical virtual banking license. Looking away from the east, some indicators of a virtual banking license is a lower minimum capital requirement, which is only €5 million as set by UK’s regulators.

At the same time, UK also imposes banking restrictions on virtual banks as they grow and prove their mettle in the market before they may be deemed worthy enough for a full banking license. One virtual bank that has received its full banking license—and no banking restrictions—is Monzo.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (ARPA) has also embarked on a similar strategy, where it only grants virtual banks a Restricted ADI license, which only allows them to operate as a virtual bank for two years while they build their capabilities and resources. Of Australia’s two registered virtual banks, one named Volt has received its unrestricted banking license earlier this year.

The ride-hailing unicorn’s potential launch is also already subject to competition. According to Bloomberg again, Singtel may also be eyeing the virtual banking license if the right opportunity presents itself to the telco, while a UK-import virtual bank Revolut is slated for launch sometime this year.

Grab has been on the fintech warpath since the 2018 launch of their fintech arm, the aptly named Grab Financial. Since then, Grab has announced or launched different finance-related verticals like its e-wallet GrabPay, wallet-to-wallet remittance across country borders, mobile insurance via app, a Mastercard-enabled physical complement to their e-wallet, and some other offerings.

With an existing plan towards a one-stop integrated platform that extends into other fintech products, Grab’s move into virtual banking in Singapore is probably more of a rebranding (and regulatory compliance) exercise.

Even if Singapore ends up going the more restrictive license granting route that Hong Kong has opted for, Grab may be in a position to adhere to the license requirements, perhaps with a cheeky fundraising round or two.

Those who are excited at the prospect should also control their excitement, because as of now there are no official confirmation that MAS will indeed be looking at a virtual banking framework.

Featured Image edited from Grab 

 

 

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Two Vietnamese Payments Startups are Merging and Raising US$30 Mil in Funding http://fintechnews.sg/31310/vietnam/mpos-vimo-vietnam-nextpay-nexttech-payments/ http://fintechnews.sg/31310/vietnam/mpos-vimo-vietnam-nextpay-nexttech-payments/#respond Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:21:39 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31310 Two Vietnamese payments startups, Vimo Technology and Vietnam MPOS Technology have merged to form a brand new entity NextPay according to Bloomberg. Vimo Technology operates a mobile wallet provider, while

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Two Vietnamese payments startups, Vimo Technology and Vietnam MPOS Technology have merged to form a brand new entity NextPay according to Bloomberg.

Vimo Technology operates a mobile wallet provider, while Vietnam mPOS Technology, as the name suggests, operates a portable point-of-sale solution.

The name NextPay seems to stem from NextTech, a group of companies of which both Viko and mPOS are members. To that end, the merger exercise seems to be more of a streamlining process as they were both founded by Nguyen Huu Tuat, CEO of mPOS, who will now head the combined entity moving forward.

As reported by Vietnambiz, MPOS has already made public to its customers that NextTech intends to merge the MPOS swipe payment gateway and Vimo’s mobile wallet, in a bid to combine offline and online solutions into one—mPOS representing the offline front, and Vimo representing the online front. As Vietnam makes its way towards a cashless society, it may be a fruitful strategy to ingratiate themselves into both, as currently offline Vietnamese may become loyal to a familiar name even later when they shift to more online payment methods.

mpos nextpay vimo

Image Credit: North Ridge Partners Pte Ltd

NextPay is now looking to raise US$30 million to fund its planned expansion into Myanmar and Indonesia in 2020.

Vietnam Bank Card Association said that in 2018, Vietnam had 27,500 places accepting mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) in 2019, posting a 99% year-on-year increase. This is a sign that cashless payments are booming in Vietnam. The movement is in parts, thanks to a 2017 policy announced by deputy prime minister Vuong Dinh Hue aimed at dramatically reducing cash transactions by 2020. More than offering infrastructure and equipment, the policy intends to fundamentally change the cash-reliant habits of the Vietnamese.

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A Shocking 72% of APAC Companies Struggle to Harness Financial Crime Prevention Tech http://fintechnews.sg/31098/fintech/apac-companies-bet-on-technology-to-fight-financial-crime/ http://fintechnews.sg/31098/fintech/apac-companies-bet-on-technology-to-fight-financial-crime/#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2019 07:39:08 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=31098 Organizations across Asia Pacific (APAC) are looking to increase investment in technology to fence off financial crime, according to a new survey by Refinitiv titled Innovation & the Fight Against

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Organizations across Asia Pacific (APAC) are looking to increase investment in technology to fence off financial crime, according to a new survey by Refinitiv titled Innovation & the Fight Against Financial Crime.

Refinitiv, a global provider of financial markets data and risk intelligence, surveyed 3,138 managers with compliance-related responsibilities at large global organizations and found that almost three-quarters (75%) of APAC organizations have been victims of financial crime over the past 12 months. 44% said they have experienced cases of financial crime by their own employees.

DEFINING ‘FINANCIAL CRIME’

                     DOWNLOAD the full REPORT HERE

The research also found a lax approach to due diligence checks when onboarding new customers, suppliers and partners.

With financial crime on the rise, 60% of APAC companies have adopted new technologies to combat illegal activities and companies across the region intend to increase investment in tech by an average of 47% to mitigate the crisis.

The findings for APAC companies echo global trends. An overwhelming majority of respondents globally (97%) believe that technology can significantly help with finance crime prevention. Cloud-based data and technology was cited as the top choice, followed by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

DOWNLOAD the full REPORT HERE

Tech to significantly help prevent prevention crime, Innovation and the fight against financial crime, Refinitiv                                                 DOWNLOAD the REPORT HERE

Organizations cited enhanced regulatory compliance, financial crime prevention and process efficiency as the top three drivers to adopting new technologies.

Though organizations are confident that technology can help them prevent financial crime, a majority of them are still struggling to harness technological advances, with 72% of APAC respondents stating so.

Opportunity for the APAC Region

For Alfred Lee, managing director for APAC at Refinitiv, this represents an opportunity for companies in the region to invest more in innovation, technology and processes.

“With three-quarters of companies across Asia Pacific affected by financial crime in the past year, more investment must be made in technology and processes,” Lee said.

“Advancements in AI, ML and cloud computing are increasing companies’ abilities to analyze data in real-time, streamline processes such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and to uncover previously undetectable activity.

“At the same time, with companies only conducting due diligence on around half of external partners and customers, despite them accounting for the majority of financial crime cases, this is enabling an environment for criminal activity to flourish.

“Increased collaboration between technology companies, governments and financial institutions is critical to address this issue.”

A majority or 85% of APAC respondents said they had some sort of an exiting partnership or task force in their country to combat financial crime, compared with 81%.

 

 INVESTING IN FINANCIAL CRIME PREVENTION IN 2019

DOWNLOAD the full REPORT HERE

In a separate report published last year, Refinitiv claimed that financial crime, which includes money laundering, bribery, tax evasion, fraud and corruption, generated US$1.45 trillion in lost aggregate turnover in 2017.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that every year, US$2.4 trillion in proceeds from activities such as forced prostitution, terrorism, and drug trafficking, are laundered through the world’s financial markets and banking systems.

Corruption and financial crime aren’t new. What is, however, is the sophistication of financial criminals and their ability to use technology to facilitate money laundering. But while technology is an enabler of crime as its perpetrators move increasingly online, technology can also be one of the most powerful tools to fight it.

In the past years, hundreds of startups have begun to apply digital technology, including APIs, AI and robotic process automations (RPAs), to the numerous tasks required to comply with regulations. Referred to as regtech companies, these promise not only to cut the cost of compliance processes but also to improve effectiveness to make them quicker and more reliable and lessen the risk of costly compliance failures.

Download the full Innovation & the Fight Against Financial Crime Report HERE.

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