Fintech Singapore http://fintechnews.sg - FintechNewsSG Wed, 15 Aug 2018 11:50:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sentinel Protocol Aims to Reduce Crypto Scams and Frauds http://fintechnews.sg/22882/blockchain/sentinel-protocol-aims-to-reduce-crypto-scams-and-frauds/ http://fintechnews.sg/22882/blockchain/sentinel-protocol-aims-to-reduce-crypto-scams-and-frauds/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2018 11:48:52 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22882 Sophisticated and intelligent threats have become the norm rather than the exception in the cryptocurrency space. Sentinel Protocol was conceived as a fundamental collective intelligence system, enabling the entire crypto

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Sophisticated and intelligent threats have become the norm rather than the exception in the cryptocurrency space. Sentinel Protocol was conceived as a fundamental collective intelligence system, enabling the entire crypto community to support one another in reducing crypto scams and frauds.

Sentinel Protocol has a unique story: founder and CEO Patrick Kim, experienced an Ether wallet theft. In 2016, he lost 7,218 Ether from a geth-mist wallet due to previously unrecognized security vulnerabilities.

Following the attack, Patrick dedicated himself to investigating the attack vectors which led to security patches to the wallet, mitigating the risk for future geth-mist users. While his investigation and security contributions led to a wallet patch and improved awareness of security risks among the crypto community, his stolen ETH is still gone and will never be returned.

Patrick took his experiences with decentralized currency theft and built on them to develop the Sentinel Protocol, increasing security for cryptocurrency users and clients.

Through Sentinel Protocol, he was able to develop a defense which focused on the three main areas he identified as big problems throughout the industry: Security responsibility is imposed on individuals who lack security expertise and knowledge 2)there is no way of ‘going back’ even if victims can prove they are the ‘original owners’ of stolen coins.

The Sentinel Protocol Solution

Crowdsourced threat intelligence platform Sentinel Protocol was developed specifically to defend against hacks, scams, and frauds in the decentralized space. Their team, made up of blockchain industry leaders, anti-hacking hackers, and developers, exist solely to innovate threat protections. They bring in security vendors, white hat hackers and security professionals called “The Sentinels” in their ecosystem, and they are committed to the task of innovating and establishing blockchain security.

Sentinel Protocol is developing multi-faceted protection mechanisms including hacker/scam filtering, end-user protection, real-time alert mechanisms, malformed transaction protection, anti-theft systems, and overall fraud detection.

Sentinel protocol protection solution

The Sentinel Portal is an interactive intelligence platform. It is where The Sentinels validate the reported hacks and incidents. The more The Sentinels make security contributions, the more Sentinel Points they can earn. Sentinel Protocol community members can share security news, tips, to earn Sentinel Point.

Uppward Chrome Extension is designed for secure investing in ICOs.Users can search and check the authenticity of wallet address, website URL, social media accounts of ICO projects to make sure transfer contribution is made to the right wallet address. The data is linked to TRDB that consists of blacklist and whitelist.

Sentinel Portal and Uppward Chrome Extension work in conjunction with the Threat Reputation Database (TRDB), a data repository that collects and stores threat data, making data integrity possible through collective intelligence and crowdsourcing. Data is collected from a variety of sources, including cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, payment services, and IT and security companies.

Sentinel Portal and Uppward Chrome Extension

This sort of comprehensive blockchain protection truly is the future of not only cryptocurrency, but also the myriad blockchain-based business applications currently in use, in development, and in production. With blockchain powering an entirely new approach to business practice, the need for fraud protection and is great. Sentinel Protocol offers the strongest platform to date for an industry-wide threat protection service.

All told, the cryptocurrency space is growing daily. While attacks and risks are part of everyday life, the same could be said for fiat currency. And while new companies continue to come online, the hope for lasting change is becoming real every day. Sentinel Protocol’s much-anticipated solution promising to bring security to the crypto sphere needs in order to increase mainline and enterprise participation. As security solutions like Sentinel continue to grow, undoubtedly so will the market space and choices available for businesses and consumers alike.

 

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A Rewards Platform for SMEs Cinches Polytechnic Students Victory in MAS Hackathon http://fintechnews.sg/22837/fintech/mas-polytechnic-hackathon-unipoints-winnner-2018/ http://fintechnews.sg/22837/fintech/mas-polytechnic-hackathon-unipoints-winnner-2018/#comments Tue, 14 Aug 2018 10:10:04 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22837 The Monetary Authority of Singapore, together with five local polytechnics and 12 industry partners came together to hold the inaugural PolyFinTech 100 API Hackathon. The hackathon which started on the

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore, together with five local polytechnics and 12 industry partners came together to hold the inaugural PolyFinTech 100 API Hackathon.

The hackathon which started on the 2nd of June drew in close to 130 participants, who in teams of 5-6 each, turned their ideas into proof-of-concept solutions to prove how financial services can be incorporated into users’ daily lives.

Some of the solutions include banking applications for the visually impaired, a mobile application for enabling efficient GST refunds for tourists, and e-payment services in hawker centres.

And the team that stood above the rest to win the trophy came from Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), the creators of UniPoints.

SMEs Deserve a Scalable Rewards System Too

PolyFinTech 100 API Hackathon - ngee ann polytechnic mas hackathon singapore unipoints

Excerpt of the winning team’s presentation.

UniPoints is a CRM and rewards platform tailored for SMEs, so that they, like big corporations, are also able to scale their rewards systems to drive more loyal customers. Some communities that UniPoints aims to touch include Robertson Quay, Haji Lane, Bugis Street and Cheong Chin Nam Road.

To get the ball rolling, the team behind UniPoints spoke to local business owners and looked into existing research to confirm that SMEs in Singapore, said to make up 99% of enterprises in the nation, were losing out because they do not have the capacity to scale their rewards or loyalty systems.

So UniPoints comes into the picture by encouraging SMEs located nearby to work together by pooling their rewards into one system in hopes of increasing their odds of acquiring more customers.

UniPoints also hopes to become the intermediary between these crucial SMEs and the banks that have taken a huge interest in them for any collaborations.

How UniPoints plans to do this is by allowing all rewards points earned by one customer, either through any purchases through a local SME or through credit cards to be converted into points on their system. By streamlining all of these points onto one platform, users are now able to use their underutilised points while SMEs and banks get higher customer reach and are able to work together in tandem to grow the overall ecosystem.

UniPoints will also be providing analytics of user behaviours to merchants and banks which could be applied to business planning.

The Ngee Ann Polytechnic team received cash prizes up to S$3,500 and an opportunity to present their solutions at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2018 to be held in from 12th of November to 16th of November 2018.

From now until the Singapore Fintech Festival, they will receive mentorship from the hackathon’s industry partners like Amazon Web Services, Citibank, DBS Bank, PayPal, FinLab, and a few others.

Featured Image Credit: MAS

 

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Prudential’s PRU Fintegrate 2018 Taps Scale-Ups For Deeper Innovation http://fintechnews.sg/22756/insurtech/prudentials-pru-fintegrate-2018-scale-ups-new-solutions-collaboration/ http://fintechnews.sg/22756/insurtech/prudentials-pru-fintegrate-2018-scale-ups-new-solutions-collaboration/#respond Tue, 14 Aug 2018 08:52:13 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22756 Prudential Singapore’s second edition of its digital innovation programme, the PRU Fintegrate Partnership (PRU Fintegrate) is this year inviting scale-ups from all over the world to join its innovation fray.

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Prudential Singapore’s second edition of its digital innovation programme, the PRU Fintegrate Partnership (PRU Fintegrate) is this year inviting scale-ups from all over the world to join its innovation fray.

The insurance provider is aiming to build synergistic partnerships with scale-ups from 10 targeted areas to build new, end-to-end scaleable digital solutions for the future.

Prudential’s selected partners will win the opportunity to showcase their solutions at Prudential’s booth at the upcoming Singapore FinTech Festival 2018 (12-16 November).

They will thereafter, in 2019, also begin a fully-paid up pilot programme to further develop their solutions.

 

Prudential FIntegrate

Prudential’s 10 Problem Statements To Be Addressed By Participating Scale-ups

Areas for disruption

Some of the 10 targeted insurance areas include preventative healthcare, enterprise solutions, customer engagement and underwriting.

Wilf Blackburn, CEO of Prudential Singapore, explained how tapping into new growth channels in these areas would be crucial for Prudential’s transition towards a digital future:

Prudential FIntegrate - Wilf Blackburn

Wilf Blackburn

“We see tremendous untapped opportunities to innovate with the right partners in a number of areas, for example, by using technology to improve preventative healthcare and provide community support for customers with pre-existing conditions. Through such initiatives, we are proud to support Singapore’s Smart Nation vision where people are empowered by technology to lead meaningful and fulfilled lives.”

Scale-ups represent firms that already have a valid business model and who demonstrate readiness to accelerate growth in their business at this point in time.

Prudential is also looking for potential partners with a valid product set, an existing customer base and secured funding. They should also be able to show a proven track record in creating solutions that can be applied at both speed and scale.

Collaboration Is Key

Prudential FIntegrate

PRU Fintegrate was first launched in 2017 to build an ecosystem of partners from the FinTech, InsurTech, HealthTech and MedTech communities to help solve business challenges with creative solutions.

This year, it will introduce the team challenge, whereby scale-ups will be encouraged to team up and design comprehensive, end-to-end digital solutions together. These solutions will aim to address any of the 10 problem statements laid out by Prudential.

Ms. Kalai Natarajan, Head of Strategic Engagements, Prudential Singapore, noted how collaboration was the essential ingredient towards creating novel, workable digital solutions:

Prudential FIntegrate - Kalai Natarajan

Kalai Natarajan

To develop an end-to-end solution, collaboration between various parties is key. That is why we are introducing the team challenge category this year to encourage the building of more complete solutions that we can bring to market with speed and scale.”

New opportunities

Additionally, this year’s edition of Fintegrate will also feature an open category, whereby firms with solutions that fall outside the stipulated 10 target areas can still present their ideas.

Alternatively, they may also identify a completely different opportunity in the insurance market, and tap into that.

Participating scale-ups will be assessed based on their ability to put forward a value proposition capable of meeting business and consumer needs, taking into account technical and commercial factors as well as prevailing market conditions.

Selected finalists will also have a chance to work with Prudential’s team of experts to help them enhance their value proposition and develop their proof-of-concept.

Prudential will announce its selected partners at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2018 itself.

In the meantime, all applications for the 2018 PRU Fintegrate Partnership programme must be submitted no later than 16 September 2018.

Interested applicants may visit the official PRU Fintegrate Partnership website at www.prudential.com.sg/fintech.

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EY to Spend US$ 1 Billion in Disruptive Technologies http://fintechnews.sg/22807/fintech/ey-ernst-young-1-billion/ http://fintechnews.sg/22807/fintech/ey-ernst-young-1-billion/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2018 08:54:24 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22807 EY announced plans to invest US$1 billion in new technology solutions, client services, innovation and the EY ecosystem over the next two financial years, commencing from July. According to EY,

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EY announced plans to invest US$1 billion in new technology solutions, client services, innovation and the EY ecosystem over the next two financial years, commencing from July. According to EY, this move is part of their ongoing strategy to provide clients and people with innovative offerings using the latest disruptive technologies.  

The new US$1b funding is in addition to the existing, significant annual technology investment. The investment will be used to create new technology-based services and solutions in areas such as financial services, cyber, risk management, managed services, software services as well as digital tax and audit services.

Mark Weinberger, EY Global Chairman and CEO, says:

Mark Weinberger, EY Global Chairman and CEO“In this transformative age, businesses and governments are under significant pressure to not only keep pace, but get ahead of the vast disruption and technological change. We see enormous opportunities in helping clients address these challenges and stay ahead of the technology curve. With this investment and expanded technology leadership team, EY will help businesses navigate industry disruption to realize their growth potential.”

 

In line with this, EY completed a hiring spree to fill up key strategic position which includes C-Level roles within the technology and security team which complements EY’s existing investments into their AI and Blockchain labs.

Mark adds, “Over the past year we have initiated, pioneered and launched a number of innovative services such as the use of blockchain in marine insurance and in the automation and payment of royalties and the piloting of the use of drones in inventory observations.

We have also made big technological improvements to existing offerings such as those in audit and tax. These new investments allow us to build on our strong IT capabilities and invest even more in client and market solutions.”

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Digital Banking Sees Prosperous Future in Vietnam http://fintechnews.sg/22785/vietnam/digital-banking-future-in-vietnam/ http://fintechnews.sg/22785/vietnam/digital-banking-future-in-vietnam/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2018 04:14:06 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22785 Like the rest of emerging countries in Asia, digital banking penetration in Vietnam is on the rise. According to a survey by IDG Vietnam, 81% of respondents said they used

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Like the rest of emerging countries in Asia, digital banking penetration in Vietnam is on the rise. According to a survey by IDG Vietnam, 81% of respondents said they used digital banking solutions in 2017 compared to 21% in 2015.

Digital Banking Vietnam

Image by Peshkova via Shutterstock.com

Digital banking solutions are appreciated for their convenience and time savings and while the growth is real and strong there is still plenty of opportunities. A survey by McKinsey found that approximately 60% of customer in Vietnam would consider opening an account with a branchless digital-only bank.

Most of the banks in Vietnam are already providing Internet banking and digital payments services. Banks including Vietinbank, Vietcombank, BIDV, Agribank, Techcombank, and OCB are all allowing customers to make payments using QR code on their respective mobile banking app.

Agribank was one of the first banks to apply QR code payment through its Agribank E-mobile Banking. Trinh Ngoc Khanh, chairman of the bank’s board of members, said that one of the important tasks for the bank in the near future was to offer services based on high-tech platforms such as QR Pay, Samsung Pay and Autobank while improving services quality.

Going further, Techcombank and VIB even allow clients to remit money via social networks such as Facebook and Zalo, and withdraw cash from ATMs without cards. Meanwhile, VP Bank is utilizing IBM’s data analyzing technology to synchronize data and support customers’ behavior analysis and is providing a full digital banking experience through Timo, a platform developed by local startup Lifestyle Project Management Vietnam Ltd.

Timo Vietnam Card

Timo mobile app and card

Foreign banks too are looking to tap into the Vietnam’s digital banking opportunity. Singapore’s UOB announced last week a digital banking strategy for five markets in ASEAN: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. UOB plans to digitize the entire banking process for its upcoming ASEAN digital bank from the onboarding to serving everyday payment needs.

Wee Ee Cheong, deputy chairman and CEO of UOB said that Vietnam represented a strategic market for the bank due to its status as one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia.

“Across countries we see two trends: regulators are increasingly embracing digital, for instance, leveraging technology for know-your-customer requirements, and promotion of innovation via sandbox for fintechs, allowing them to operate within the sandbox requirements,” McKinsey said.

Vietnam strives for 95% of banks offering Internet banking and mobile banking services, and 30% implementing digital banking. The government has expressed on several occasions its ambition to facilitate and boost fintech innovation, announcing in early 2017 a major initiative to become cashless by 2020.

Since then, non-cash and contactless payments in the country have risen. Statistics from the State Bank of Vietnam showed that financial transactions through mobile phones in 2017 rose by 81% while those made online also increased by 67% from the previous year.

For Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Van from the Banking Academy’s International Business Faculty, orienting the development of digital technology in the sector is essential as technology can facilitate the use and accessibility of financial services.

There are currently about 78 fintech companies in Vietnam. While the majority of them (47%) operate in the field of payments, several other fintechs have emerged in recent years to help banks offer more efficient and convenient digital services.

For instance, KIU Global has built a cross-border B2B e-commerce platform with integrated enterprise resource planning, logistics, and lending aimed at serving SMEs across Southeast Asia. The company has created a credit rating system using AI which allows banks to “give marks” to SMEs in less than 10 seconds. KIU Global is running a partnership program with Vietnam’s VIB Bank.

Another startup called Weezi Digital offers biometric solutions to help financial institutions take on mobility and digitalization. As for Wecash, the company leverages mobile technology, big data and machine learning to prevent fraud and determine consumer credit worthiness.

Wecash

Wecash

 

Featured image: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Pixabay.

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World Bank to Deliver World’s First Blockchain Bond http://fintechnews.sg/22776/blockchain/world-bank-worlds-first-blockchain-bond/ http://fintechnews.sg/22776/blockchain/world-bank-worlds-first-blockchain-bond/#respond Mon, 13 Aug 2018 04:11:04 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22776 Commonwealth Bank  has been mandated by the World Bank to be the sole arranger of the first bond globally to be created, allocated, transferred and managed using blockchain technology. The

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Commonwealth Bank  has been mandated by the World Bank to be the sole arranger of the first bond globally to be created, allocated, transferred and managed using blockchain technology.

The $AUD Kangaroo bond, termed ‘bond-i’ – Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument – has been developed with the support and input of the investor community including Northern Trust, QBE and Treasury Corporation of Victoria.

Once launched the bond will be issued and distributed on a blockchain platform operated by the World Bank and CBA in Washington and Sydney, respectively.

This collaboration built on the longstanding partnership between the two organisations, with the World Bank’s 70-year track record of innovation in the capital markets and CBA’s globally recognised Blockchain Centre of Excellence combining to deliver the project successfully.

James Wall, Executive General Manager of Institutional Banking & Markets International, CBA said:

James Wall

James Wall

“We take a collaborative approach to innovating and have a track record of partnering with other leading financial institutions, government bodies and corporates to innovate through blockchain. We believe that this transaction will be groundbreaking as a demonstration of how blockchain technology can act as a facilitating platform for different participants.”

 

“We are delighted to have partnered with the World Bank and fully support its vision of making innovative use of technology such as blockchain to increase the efficiency of financing solutions to better achieve their goal to end extreme poverty.”

As part of its mandate to reduce poverty and promote lasting development, the World Bank issues between US$50-US$60 billion annually in bonds for sustainable development. It is increasing its focus on helping countries transition to sustainable economies that are technology-led, while exploring the benefits of disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, across all its operations to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Arunma Oteh, World Bank Treasurer, said:

Arunma Oteh

Arunma Oteh

“Since our first bond transaction in 1947, innovation has been an important hallmark of our success with leveraging capital markets for development. Given the transformative role of emerging technologies, we continue to prudently seek opportunities for us to meet investor needs as well as the needs of our clients. I am therefore delighted that after a year of working with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, we are in a position to launch our first blockchain bond transaction.

 

Microsoft’s experience and support have also been instrumental to achieving this historic milestone. Our sincere appreciation to our pioneer blockchain bond investors, who are partnering with us on this transaction because of our common desire to strengthen markets, improve efficiency and transparency, and enable more robust issuance processes. Our goal is to continue to harness innovation for the benefit of markets and our mission of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.”

Denis Robitaille, World Bank Group Chief Information Officer, said:

Denis Robitaille

Denis Robitaille

“Helping countries transition to technology-led development is key to our goals of reducing poverty and promoting lasting development. This is at the heart of the World Bank’s Innovation Lab—and this pioneering bond is a milestone in our efforts to learn how we can advise our client countries on the opportunities and risk that disruptive technologies offer as we strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Since 2009, CBA has acted as lead manager for a number of IBRD bond issuances in the Australian and New Zealand capital markets. CBA’s Blockchain Centre of Excellence, housed in the Sydney Innovation Labs, has taken a lead role in applying blockchain technology to capital markets, including last year, partnering with Queensland Treasury Corp to test a prototype bond on blockchain in the first blockchain bond issuance by a government entity.

Debt capital markets today comprise numerous interconnected intermediaries and agents undertaking intersecting roles for markets to function. Blockchain has the potential to streamline processes for raising capital and trading securities, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance regulatory oversight.

Sophie Gilder, Head of Blockchain, Innovation Labs, CBA said:

Sophie Gilder

Sophie Gilder

“We know blockchain has the potential to revolutionise financial services and markets, and this transaction is a significant step towards that future state. By working collaboratively with the World Bank, we were able to find solutions to technical and legal considerations to make this ground breaking transaction a reality. This project further solidifies CBA’s position at the forefront of blockchain technology and we are excited to build on this, in partnership with our clients.”

The blockchain platform was designed and developed by the CBA Innovation Lab’s Blockchain Centre of Excellence

Important information

  • CBA and World Bank are using a private Ethereum blockchain for this project. Ethereum currently has the largest and most active development community globally, and offers the functionality we require. However other blockchains are developing rapidly and CBA remains open to other options in the future.
  • An independent review of the CBA blockchain platform’s architecture, security and resilience was conducted by Microsoft.
  • The law firm of King & Wood Mallesons acted as deal counsel on the bond issue and advised on the legal architecture for its implementation.

Featured Image via CommBank

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New Report Explores Fintech Patent Race http://fintechnews.sg/22766/fintech/new-report-explores-fintech-patent-race/ http://fintechnews.sg/22766/fintech/new-report-explores-fintech-patent-race/#comments Fri, 10 Aug 2018 04:17:30 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22766 Fintech innovation has experienced major growth in recent years mainly due to addressing the needs of financial institutions in modernizing payment services and improving customer experience in the digital age.

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Fintech innovation has experienced major growth in recent years mainly due to addressing the needs of financial institutions in modernizing payment services and improving customer experience in the digital age.

The fintech landscape is quickly evolving with new services, business models and providers, but as the industry matures, however, providers will need to deal with attention from regulators, a wave of mergers and consolidations and a slow-down or drop in valuation, and they will need a more pragmatic approach to business development, with a stronger focus on intellectual property (IP) management and exit strategies.

IP Strategy Report 2018In the past years, an increasing number of fintech patents have been filed by and granted to financial institutions and startups to protect things such as software, hardware and branding. These providers have adopted varied strategies, according to the newly released IP Strategy Report 2018, by Aistemos, with some seeing the tech tsunami coming, while others preferring strategies based on wait and see.

In the fintech patent race, Bank of America is the stand-out winner in terms of the number of patents. The bank has been building its portfolio for over a decade. As a generalization, the US banks (e.g. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) are all more patent savvy than the European banks (notably BNP and Deutsche).

“Banks for a long time have partnered with technology companies,” said Keith Agisim, chief IP counsel for Bank of America.

“We recognize that there are places where technology companies are better equipped or are better able to innovate and that’s when we want to partner. It’s symbiotic. There are things that fintech companies do well, and others where it’s the traditional banks. There are places they may compete, there’s places they may cooperate. I see a situation where we coexist.”

Banks IPs

But it isn’t banks that own the most fintech patents but in fact tech firms such as IBM and Microsoft. According to the report, “the stark difference reflects fundamentally different business strategies.”

“Technology companies understand the role of intellectual property to define and protect markets. This is all relatively new to the financial services sector. IBM owns 5x more fintech patents than all the banks put together,” it says.

Banks vs tech firms fintech patents

One area in particular in which patents have surged in number in recent years is blockchain technology. While blockchain was first introduced through Bitcoin backed in 2008, it wasn’t until 2013 that companies started patenting blockchain and its many applications.

According to the report, there are now over 250 companies owning 676 patent families.

In blockchain too, Bank of America owns the largest number of patents with 28. Bank of America’s CTO Catherine Bessant said in June that the bank has filed nearly 50 blockchain-related patents.

Last month, Barclays filed two patents in the US: one setting out the use of a private blockchain to store identifying information for KYC purposes, the other for using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to speed up cryptocurrency transfers.

Meanwhile, Mastercard has been granted a US patent for a method of linking blockchain-based assets to sovereign currencies accounts to speed up cryptocurrency payments.

But blockchain patents aren’t just limited to banks and fintech startups. This week, Sony, the Japanese conglomerate and technology giant, applied for two blockchain patents in the US. According to the filings, Sony is looking at designing hardware for maintaining blockchains.

In June, US retail giant Walmart was granted a patent for a system that would house medical records on a blockchain.

 

Featured image by Chuenmanuse via Shutterstock.com.

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BCIO: The Art of Building a Successful Crypto Team http://fintechnews.sg/22743/blockchain/bcio-the-art-of-building-a-successful-crypto-team/ http://fintechnews.sg/22743/blockchain/bcio-the-art-of-building-a-successful-crypto-team/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 04:39:46 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22743 56 %, that is the percentage of ICO-funded Crypto startups that are bound to collapse after just four months. Admittedly, such a high rate of failure is quite baffling, as

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56 %, that is the percentage of ICO-funded Crypto startups that are bound to collapse after just four months.

Admittedly, such a high rate of failure is quite baffling, as funding is most of the time not the main reason – after all, countless startups outreach their hard cap yet find themselves unable to move ahead and deliver on their promises.

Evidently enough, many factors come into play to determine a project’s success before, during, and post-ICO. It is also true that some of said factors are unpredictable, but there are nevertheless some constants that are easily identifiable.

The discipline of teams and the craft of cultivating the X factor

At the burgeoning of every project lies a worldview that consistently guides its progress. When coherently formulated, it is too often thought of as the X factor – an abstract concept that is independent of the people who execute it.

But the truth is, achieving the delicate balance of an efficient Crypto team is exactly what the X factor stands for. Beyond the experiences, curriculums and level of skill, bringing together people who share the same vision yet have enough nuances of perspective to drive that same vision forward is a challenge in and of itself, but one that is worth spending time and energy on.

Is Cryptocurrency any different from other ventures?

Yes and no, seeing as the additional layers of complexity that surround both the technology and the industry raise the stakes even higher. Any endeavor has to go through a few major moments that are decisive for what comes next. An ICO is precisely that: a pivotal step that, depending on how it is conducted, either keeps the product alive and well or sinks it into oblivion.

Indeed, an army of developers and engineers is very valuable, but it is certainly not enough. It is easy to forget that a competent Crypto team is made of a core set of talents focused on laying the foundations of a top-notch product, coupled with an external board of advisors whose role is to provide insights mainly by assessing risks and anticipating potential hurdles.

An effective response requires excellent communication and mutual trust. In the end, that even distribution of responsibilities is what will make or break a project.

The ICO as a paramount moment… and a source of tension

blockchain io

The load of energy and implication that an ICO requires could almost be likened to that of a physical prowess: things do not always go as planned, and each individual has their own coping mechanisms. Blockchain.io has built a tight-knit crew that covers a wide range of aptitudes. The meticulous thought process that went behind it is what guarantees that no matter the challenges, no one loses sight of the same vision that made them commit in the first place.

Pierre Noizat

Pierre Noizat

Pierre Noizat is a Polytechnique and Columbia University graduate; but he is no ordinary cryptographer: his driving force comes from what the Internet of Value represents, as well as his faith in its potential; as a chess aficionado, he knows how to stay calm and pragmatic no matter what.

However, the aforementioned technicality of the field calls for a CEO-CTO power couple that gives the project legitimacy.

Dominique Rodrigues

Dominique Rodrigues

Dominique Rodrigues, a research engineer with 15 years of experience in cloud computing, is the backbone of the developing branch. His dedication to the project and his chemistry with Pierre make for a smooth collaboration on all levels. Besides, Dominique’s experience in a music band is probably what explains his ability to be in sync with his partners and his developers team.

Behind every right strategy is a passionate architect: Pierre Tavernier is just that, a brainy but down to earth CMO. Thanks to his background in consulting and finance, he has cracked the science of learning from his community and anticipating fruitful opportunities.

Pierre Tavernier

Pierre Tavernier

Last but not least, every project needs a legal mastermind: Laetitia Zito learned discipline and rigor from a decade of ballet lessons, and is the cool-headed, no-nonsense CFO that not only ensures the full compliance of Blockchain.io, but also works on advancing the legal framework around Cryptocurrency.

The global Blockchain.io team includes advisors, partners and associates whose fields of expertise and profiles are as diverse and complementary as possible; traders, business developers, crypto connoisseurs, all work together to ensure that every situation is approached effectively.

Ultimately, the key to success is smart management;Blockchain.io relies on its team’s common mindset: an unwavering determination to deliver, coupled with strong confidence in one’s work yet enough humility and trust to learn from one another.

 

Featured Image via Freepik

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Happy Birthday Singapore, The Fintech Nation http://fintechnews.sg/22713/fintech/happy-birthday-singapore-the-fintech-nation/ http://fintechnews.sg/22713/fintech/happy-birthday-singapore-the-fintech-nation/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:52:51 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22713 On August 9, 2018, Singapore will be celebrating its 53rd National Day, which every year commemorates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia with an exuberant parade, an address by the Prime Minister

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On August 9, 2018, Singapore will be celebrating its 53rd National Day, which every year commemorates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia with an exuberant parade, an address by the Prime Minister of Singapore, and fireworks celebrations.

Singapore National Day

Singapore National Day

This is a great occasion to review the incredible fintech journey of Singapore.

 

The state of fintech in Singapore

Singapore’s fintech sector has been a great growth story with more than 400 fintech firms in the country and lot more being added every year.

In Singapore, the financial sector makes up more than 12% of the economy and employs almost 200,000 workers. The government launched a massive plan in 2016 to create 3,000 net jobs in financial services with another 1,000 in fintech alone annually to support its ambition to become a leading fintech hub.

Grab Pay via Grab

One particular segment of fintech that has been particularly prolific in Singapore is payment and transfer solutions. These products, which include GrabPay and PayNow, aim to enhance the experience of exchanging money and paying for good bought online or from brick-and-mortar stores.

Fintech apps that leverage big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to build accurate credit profiles and offer moneylending services, have been on the rise too, in addition to investment apps and robo-advisors, such as Stashaway, Bambu or Smartly.

But in 2018, one area that has gained much traction in Asia, particularly in Australia and Singapore where regulators have been strongly supportive of fintech innovation, and in India where technologies are required to enable the shift to a primarily cashless society, is regtech.

Singapore hosts numerous regtech players such as Datarama, which provides a risk management platform to make compliance-driven due diligence more efficient and affordable, and Otonomos, which uses blockchain technology to change how companies are incorporated, administered, and funded.

Separately, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) recently launched a Members’ Surveillance Dashboard, which allows data related to market misconduct to be reported, including details of alerts from SGX’s own surveillance system.

 

Pushing for regional collaboration

Fintech ASEAN

Image: ASEAN flag, by Jiri Flogel, via Shutterstock.com

Singapore is now pushing for regional collaboration in Southeast Asia, including the development of a regional fintech innovation sandbox, and the annual Singapore Fintech Festival in November, which will focus on ASEAN.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also pushed on its focus on financial inclusion and started to intensify its focus on encouraging insurtech innovation.

“In ASEAN, we are starting to see phase two of the fintech revolution with bigger Chinese fintechs setting their sights on countries in the region as the next step in their growth agenda,” said Chia Tek Yew, head of financial services advisory at KPMG Singapore.

“With a large population, relatively similar macroeconomics to China, large underbanked populations and a significant number of Chinese people overseas, the region is seen as a strong stepping stone to further global expansion.

“For Singapore, not only is more investment flowing into regtech and insurtech, the country is paving the way for ASEAN in the development of a regional fintech innovation sandbox, and seeing stronger regulator support that allows for greater financial inclusion.”

According to KPMG, Singapore fintechs will continue to see 2018 as a year of execution and a year of regional expansion beyond local shores as they accelerate their growth momentum.

Singapore fintech startup C88 Financial Technologies Group raised a US$28 million Series C last month, which it said it will use partly to expand its operations to Thailand. C88 owns and operates licensed financial marketplaces for consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Japan’s SBI Holdings recently injected US$15 million into Singapore-based AI startup AntWorks to help the startup expand its Asia presence. AntWorks has developed a technology that powers up enterprises with accurate insights through an integrated, intelligent, technology stack that automates and learns independently.

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Fintech Investments Soar To Record-Breaking US$57B and 2018 Ain’t Over Yet http://fintechnews.sg/22578/funding/2018-record-breaking-investment-fintech/ http://fintechnews.sg/22578/funding/2018-record-breaking-investment-fintech/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 08:52:06 +0000 http://fintechnews.sg/?p=22578 The fintech industry has achieved a new milestone recently. According to the KPMG Pulse of Fintech report, Global fintech investment roared ahead at a record pace in the first half of

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The fintech industry has achieved a new milestone recently.

According to the KPMG Pulse of Fintech report, Global fintech investment roared ahead at a record pace in the first half of 2018, with US$57.9B invested across 875 deals. This value is leaps and bounds beyond the US$38.1B invested throughout the entirety of 2017.

Global fintech investment roared ahead at a record pace in the first half of 2018, with US$57.9B invested across 875 deals, a significant increase from the US$38.1B invested in all of 2017, according to the  Pulse of Fintech report.

Some of the trailblazers include the record-setting US$14B raise by Ant Financial in Q2’18 and Vantiv’s acquisition of WorldPay for US$12.9B in Q1’18.

Of course, they were not the only contributors. Just the sheer volume of deals that occurred in 2018 have increased, rising from 834 in H2’17 to 875 deals in H1’18.

The report also indicates that the average value of late-stage venture financings have skyrocketed to US$25M during H1’18. This was an increase from the US$14 annual average seen in 2017.

Early stage deal sizes leaped as well, from an average of USS$5.0M in 2017 to US$9.2M, and this is just the mid-point of 2018.

A Shift in High-Stake Fintech Relationships

Venture capitalists are still keen on funding fintech startups, and this interest isn’t limited to just one fintech subsector. It is also notable that mergers and acquisitions among fintech companies have increased as well, as mature fintechs seek exits.

Merger and acquisition activity  has easily matched the most active periods seen to date.

Ian Pollari, Global Co-Lead, KPMG Fintech said,

Ian Pollari fintech funding investment merger 2018 value

Ian Pollari

“Large deals at all stages of investment powered fintech investment in the first half of 2018. But just as notable is the breadth of investment. ”

“We’re seeing a mix of fintech sub-sectors drawing increasing interest, including data, AI and regtech — these horizontal capabilities have appeal across the full spectrum of the financial services industry.”

 

 

Chia Tek Yew, Head of Financial Services Advisory, KPMG in Singapore said,

Chia Tek Yew fintech funding investment merger 2018 value

Chia Tek Yew

“In ASEAN, we are starting to see phase 2 of the fintech revolution with bigger Chinese fintechs setting their sights on countries in the region as the next step in their growth agenda.”

“For Singapore, not only is more investment flowing into regtech and insurtech, the country is paving the way for ASEAN in the development of a regional fintech innovation sandbox, and seeing stronger regulator support that allows for greater financial inclusion.”

Featured Image via Freepik

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