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Singapore Fintech Industry News - June 2017

Paypal and VISA extend partnership

Paypal and VISA have extended their partnership in Asia Pacific to allow users to check out by VISA at Paypal enabled websites. Paypal is an alternative for website payment system when such sites do not wish to build their own payment platforms.

Through Paypal, websites can accept VISA, Mastercard and major credit cards. This continued relationship will enable consumers to use VISA over banking apps, websites and mobile platforms.

SoarCoin invest in launch currency exchange

A Singapore company SoarCoin Pte. Ltd., will be investing US$4 million into Australian company Byte Power Pte Ltd. The investment will be applied to the establishment and running of a cryptocurrency exchange in Australia, and for marketing and distribution of the company's Wimobilize Big Data solution. Byte will be required to procure all equipment and human resources required to set up and launch a cryptocurrency exchange in Australia.

Temasek invests in AvidXchange

AvidXchange Inc. is a firm which automates bill payments for businesses. The company has been successfully attracting international investments, including that of Temasek Holdings of Singapore and the Canadian pension fund. Since its founding, the US-based AvidXchange has raised over $500 million.

Grab wants to disrupt O2O space

Singapore company Grab is seeking to enter the O2O commerce business. O2O is a business strategy that directs online customers (who are using a website or mobile app) to make a purchase at an offline business (such as a physical store or restaurant). The idea is to link Grab cars and delivery services, currently being deployed to move people, and to use them to reach offline shops. That way customers can be in touch with merchants that are not already online. Grab is in 55 cities in seven South-east Asian countries and expanding.

DBS moving 50% of its banking to cloud

DBS announced it will move 50% of its computing to the cloud, and in particular, with the use of AWS data management. In general, Asia-Pacific banks have lagged their European and American counterparts in cloud adoption. IDC Financial Insights, a market intelligence company, predicts that 80% of Asia-Pacific financial firms will be running on cloud by 2018. With more banks migrating to cloud computing, we will see more opportunities for security services, Fintech and data analytics in future. DBS will restructure the IT segments of the company, and invest in security, in addition to adding new potential services such as data analytics.

Singapore to have new data analytics research centre

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has launched its Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Research Centre, which will receive about US$6 million in funding. The project has attracted funding from NTU and has cooperation from PayPal, and NVIDIA. Research focus areas include the application of new data science and AI techniques to improve customer service experience, network effects, authentication and credit risk. NTU students are able to gain access to some of PayPal's best talent, resources and experience through the partnership.

WeInvest and InvestCloud partnership

WeInvest announced a strategic partnership with InvestCould Inc. The partnership will see future multi-asset, multi-currency investing opportunities for both companies.

The InvestCloud platform currently supports wealth managers, institutional investors, asset managers, family offices, asset services companies, financial platforms and banks. WeInvest’s Robo-Advisor, on the other hand, provides banks, wealth and asset managers, insurance companies and independent financial advisors with a platform for advice, strategy, and transaction execution. WeInvest is already being used by OCBC’s clients.

HCL continues its successes at Singapore Exchange

HCL Technologies is a software solutions company and its services include application development, management, business process outsourcing, system integration services, and IT outsourcing. HCL Technologies (HCL) has renewed its service engagement with Singapore Exchange (SGX) for another five years. Under the agreement, HCL will cover the usual IT infrastructure, data center and other related services, in addition to expanding its scope of IT services.

CredoLab invests in pre-series A

Singapore fintech startup CredoLab raised US$1 million in an investment round led by VC firm Fintonia Group. CredoLab offers a credit assessment mobile app called CredoApp. This software tracks the “anonymised digital footprints” of consumers and their transactions, to provide credit ratings. The app is helpful in unbanked populations where there is little in the likes of credit history of individuals. Other participating investors include Indonesia’s Reliance Modal Ventura. The investment will be used to ramp up product offerings and expand operations.

Mastercard opens a new showcase space dedicated to fintech

A space will be dedicated to demonstrating fintech innovations developed by Mastercard’s innovation lab. The physical lab space in Singapore aims to be a base for Mastercard to showcase digital commerce solutions that simplify and safeguard payments around the world. Among the technologies: new digital payments technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence, unattended retail, contactless payments technology, wearables, biometrics and others. The showcase also aims to provide a platform to drive regional fintech growth through collaborative dialogue.

Lattice80 launches initiative with Nordic countries

Lattice80 provides support to new and upcoming fintech startups. Lattice80 is run by VC Marvelstone Group, and recently signed a MoU with the Nordic Finance Innovation (NFI), an independent Nordic executive network for the finance industry. The partnership will raise awareness, create partnerships and cooperation between the organisations.

Direct fund payments via mobile phone

Consumers will soon be able to transfer funds directly using the mobile phone. A new “Paynow” service is an initiative of seven banks including Citibank Singapore, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Overseas Bank. Users only need their phone, bank details and IC to transfer funds from one phone to another.

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