Toucan Weekly Roundup – 28 July 2017

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More Consumers Are Concerned About Card Fraud, But Less Are Experiencing It

82% of survey respondents agreed that “banks, retailers, and other organizations involved in the credit/debit card industry need to do more to protect their personal card data.” However, reported fraudulent cases have decreased to 23% in 2017 as compared to 32% in 2015.

DBS Takes A Step In The Ride Direction By Introducing QR Code Payment To Taxis

QR code payments have been introduced to over 16,000 ComfortDelgro Taxis by DBS PayLah! with over 600,000 users. This is a sensible move as both DBS and ComfortDelGro has observed an increase in cashless transactions.

TransferWise to Support Apple Pay for International Transfers
International transfers are now made easier for Apple users with TransferWise’s integration into Apple Pay. The integration into Apple Pay is beneficial to both Apple users and TransferWise. TransferWise is able to tap into a larger consumer base while Apple Users are exposed to international transfer options that are faster and lower cost.

Nearly One-Third of Starbucks In-store Payments Are Mobile


Mobile payments have increased to 30% in all stores in the USA. Bankinnovation stated that a possible reason why mobile payments have gained traction in Starbucks is due to the simplicity of the experience – Starbucks mobile payment uses QR codes that ties with rewards such as free coffee.

Will Fintech Investment Funding Reach an All-Time High in 2017?

CB insights reported that VC-backed companies have raised over $5.2 billion, a 19% increase from last year. At this rate, it is expected that fintech funding will reach an all time high. In the US, a large amount of the funding went to companies AvidXchange, Bright Health, Addepar, Clover, Robinhood, and R3. A comparison of the regions showed that US and Asia have generated the most amount of funding.

Toucan Weekly Roundup – 21 July 2017

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SMBs Can Now Apply for Loans Through Bank of America’s Mobile App


Bank of America has upgraded its system to serve small businesses better. Small businesses now have the option to apply for loans through BofA online channels.  The new upgrades include connecting consumers to the bank for troubleshooting as well as a product tool which allows SMEs to find the best loan for themselves with full knowledge of monthly payables.

How Singapore-based P2P lending platform Crowd Genie aims to help underbanked SMEs grow

Many SMEs are underserved by traditional financial institutions. Crowd Genie aims to cater products to the underbanked SMEs to assist in their growth. Using machine learning and hands-on groundwork, Crowd Genie will access the credit risk of SMEs. Crowd Genie brings the borrower and lender together to create a low-risk lending experience.

Chase, Citi Take Rewards War to Mobile with PayPal


Citibank and JPMorgan Chase users can now link their cards to Paypal, allowing them to use reward programmes on Paypal. This expands the payment options customers can use when checking out online. This is an essential strategy for financial institutions to meet the needs of consumers who are increasingly going cashless and banking through their mobile phones.

4 Things Businesses Should Take More Seriously When Accepting Payment Online

1) Give customers a convenient but secure experience

2) It’s crucial for merchants to comply to the security standards set

3) Be educated on the importance of a safe payment system

4) Don’t ignore e-commerce trends – adapt them

Security is essential in online payments and it is important to use a secure payment channel. e-GHL intends to educate and persuade traditional businesses to go online.

Consumer Mobile Banking Apps Continue to Grow, but Smaller FIs Need to Step up

Consumer mobile banking has grown by 6%, a slower growth than last year. Bank Innovation has observed that the growth rate is slowing because of market saturation and the majority of the saturation is amongst clients of larger financial institutions. However, despite saturation, larger FIs are able to attain growth by attracting customers to go online through an increase in digital services such as P2P payments and card controls. Meanwhile, many smaller FIs are lagging in these services.

Toucan Weekly Roundup – 14 July 2017

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Thai, S’pore central banks sign fintech deal

The Bank of Thailand and Monetary Authority of Singapore have signed a deal for further cooperation, especially in Fintech. The deal enables both parties to share information, evaluate market trends and introduce easy fintech migration to their counterparts. BOT governor Veerathai Santiprabhob believes that the partnership will promote financial stability and sustainable growth.

Revolut raises $66 million for its global banking alternative
In a Series B round, Revolut has raised a sum of $66million. This comes after Revolut’s expansion in financial products. Revolut was a mobile application that offered multi-currency transaction services. It’s recent pivot means that Revolut is expanding its product line with the introduction of credit services and banking services for businesses.

Bank Commits to Decade of Fintech Investment
Hopping on the bandwagon, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp has made a decade long investment on fintech firms. Through this investment, SMBC intends to collect data on finance technology as well as provide support and funding to fintech firms looking to expand into Japan.

Need small loans? These fintech startups are tracking your moves

Fintech startups are changing the way we generate credit score. Many young borrowers are looking to fintech startups such as EarlySalary, Zestmoney and ePayLater for hassle-free loans. These firms uses GPS, bank statements, online transaction history and social media to determine an individual’s loan eligibility. In fact, some of these firms have prevented individuals from taking loans behind their spouse’s back!

Toucan Weekly Roundup – 7 July 2017

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Singapore-based startup Turnkey Lender raises funding to automate loans management
Turnkey Lender is a platform that allows companies to generate credit score automatically and handle their loans online. The company enables new lenders to make more informed loans by making use of machine learning and data analysis. The digitization of data and services creates a seamless process for both lenders and borrowers.

Qonto launches its digital bank accounts for small companies


Niche and unattended consumer groups are now the focus for many fintech startups. Qonto believes that business banking needs to change. By bringing the whole process online, SMEs that apply for Qonto’s business bank account have access to numerous virtual/physical credit cards. The digitization of the credit cards allows the owner to keep track of transactions and block/unblock cards.

Almost 20 million people now banking on their mobile

Mobile banking is on the rise. Some significant changes in mobile banking are an increase in transfer between individuals/own accounts by 13% and an increase in mobile payments by 11%. The prime reason for the upwards trend of mobile banking is largely due to improved banking applications and the emergence of branchless challenger banks.

It’s time to make FinTech your new BFF

Jeff Greenslade, CEO of Heartland Bank, mentioned that “the future of banking is definitely about looking forward and either emulating FinTechs or collaborating with them”. Heartland Bank has partnered with 3 FinTech leaders to meet the customer’s needs by providing online lending solutions. Additionally, Spotcap’s Lachlan Heussler believes that technology should be customized to consumer’s convenience and believes that the availability of open data would level the playing field for Fintech firms.

Toucan Weekly Roundup – 30 June 2017

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Fintech Is Changing Way We Bank One Step at a Time


Banking has changed drastically. Branch banking is slowly becoming obsolete, cyrptocurrency is gaining traction, mobile money transfers are becoming common. Banks should use tech to strengthen its processes and reduce costs. To maintain market share, banks have to innovate and design apps to a consumer’s convenience.

1 in 5 Consumers No Longer Carry Cash

Less consumers are holding and using cash now. 20% of consumers no longer carry cash and 47% never or rarely use cash. The trends observed can be attributed to the growing amount of digital payment methods. Furthermore, a survey has shown that majority of merchants stated that increased security from cashless transactions can increase sales.

App that peeks into your phone when you want a loan nabs $1m funding

Many underbanked consumers in SEA do not have credit history and this prevents them from taking a loan. The lack of credit history is especially problematic for entrepreneurs and small businesses from Southeast Asia. CredoApp collects and analyses data from a user’s mobile device to predict credit score which could potentially assist consumers in getting their loan approved with greater ease.

The Malaysian fintech ecosystem is on the brink of a revolution, and everyone is in on it


Malaysia is building a holistic fintech ecosystem. Corporations are becoming more receptive to fintech with Maybank seeking to assist fintech startups in understanding regulations and compliance. Government regulations are also changing to allow the financial services to adopt fintech quickly. MDEC’s fintech hub will also allow industry players to work closely together with its accelerator programme co-working space and a startup academy.

The financial sector should act as “Married but available” to innovation

Financial institutions are encouraged to adapt quickly and innovate. This is essential to remain relevant in the finance sector. London embraced entrepreneurs and this allowed them to be able to be one of the leading fintech hubs. China, at the forefront of innovation, are 2 years ahead of Silicon Valley. They had $14 billion of transactions which is 2 times more than Paypal.

Toucan Weekly Roundup – 23 June 2017

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International Regtech Association Launch and IBM Watson announce Regtech Apps

Regulation technology, a branch underfinance technology, is largely underrated. Banks frequently get fined billions due to regulatory misconduct. Regtech uses AI and cloud technology to ensure ease of compliance to regulations. Furthermore, regtech has the potential to streamline fintech integration into new markets and achieve greater accuracy in error checking.

Val Jihsuan Yap of PolicyPal talks the future of fintech, and why collaboration always matters 


Val Jihsuan has indicated her plans to expand PolicyPal into other Asian countries. She believes in the importance of working closely with various stakeholders to grow her company. As part of MAS Fintech Regulatory Sandbox, she has shared some observations. Firstly, she observed startups leading in fintech as compared to financial institutions with a ‘start up culture’. This is largely due to startup’s adoption of the lean startup methodology, a methodology that adapts and customise solutions for consumers. Secondly, collaboration between various companies were common. These companies include but are not limited to startups, financial institutions, insurance companies and consulting companies. The various companies were chosen so as to leverage on each other strengths.

Customers are open to robo-advice—with a few conditions

Robo-advice are seen as a low cost way to deliver customised information and answers to consumers. A study by Accenture suggests that 74% consumers are willing to receive computer-generated advice. However, many respondents stated that human interaction are able to serve consumers’ more complex problems.

Checking Credit Scores Improves Credit Behavior, So Why Do Millennials Ignore Them? 


Many fintech services are starting to introduce free checking and tracking of credit score. However, these services are underused with close to a third of millennials not checking their credit score. This may be due to the fact that millennials perceive that credit score ratings are not within their control.

Live from TechCrunch, Fintech needs to be less about tech

Lloyd and Zhang, panelists in Techcrunch, agreed that fintech is about solving problems rather than introducing new technology. An example given was China’s usage of QR codes to make payments. This technology was not considered the best but it overcame existing problems in the market. The adaptation of QR codes gave China the competitive edge they needed to be a disruptor in the fintech scene.

5 Ways to Make Love, Not War with Credit

There are several junctures in life where we make life changing decisions. At some point, we get married, purchase our first house, first car and have a baby (in any order you desire). Looking for furniture, making a down payment, paying for car maintenance and buying that expensive cot are all costly. For many of us, paying for large expenses in one shot is not an option and we find ourselves facing the option of taking on credit.

Credit can either be your lover or worst enemy. With good money management, you find that you can enjoy the perks of taking credit – convenience, protection, discount, cashback and many more. However, inadequate planning will result in endless interest costs and repayments. Making credit your lover isn’t an easy task but if you are ready continue reading and we will walk you through to making credit your lover.

1. Apply for credit and grow your credit early on


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It is important to build a credit history for yourself early on by applying for some credit soon after hitting the legal age. Traditionally, credit can be taken on in the form of credit cards, car loans and house loans. However, recent innovations in fintech allows you to take on credit in other forms. Starting early and ensuring that you make all repayments punctually will give you a good credit score.

2. Spend within your limit (not your credit card’s)
If you are lucky (or unlucky), you may have a high credit limit. However, it is wise to spend only the sum you can afford. If you overspend and cannot pay off your balance, your credit score is on the verge of suffering. In such a case, you have 3 options left – paying the monthly minimum, an amount smaller than the balance or not paying at all. Always opt for paying an amount smaller than the balance, as paying the bare minimum or not paying at all will worsen your credit score.

3. Pay back your loans on time (Use your calendar)
It is always good practice to make repayments on time to stay in the good books of banks. A helpful tip is to use your calendar to set monthly reminders. For both credit cards and term loans, individuals should always strive to repay loans in regular installments and repay more than the minimum amount due. This will ensure that your credit score remains positive and that banks would be keen to extend your credit line down the road.

4. Digitize and track your transactions


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Digitize your transactions by adopting services such as Mynt and that allows you to make payments and transactions online. With digital transactions, you are able to accumulate a digital footprint. The new wave of finance technology means that financiers are increasingly relying on digital data to determine your credit score and eligibility for credit. Furthermore, many of these services summarize your monthly transactions and allows you to plan interests payable and repayments. Browse through the plethora of fintech services and select one that suit your needs!

5. Keep your credit utilization low
Credit utilization refers to the ratio of credit card balance to credit limit. When using a credit card, keeping your credit utilization low gives you a better credit score. A better credit score will give you favourable interest rates in the long run.

In a nutshell, borrow responsibly and make informed decisions. Owning credit has several benefits when used cautiously. Follow the 5 tips above religiously and you can improve your borrowing experience. Just remember to be patient and consistent as building a credit score takes time. Make love with your credit facilities today and you won’t regret it.

Toucan Weekly Roundup – 16 June 2017

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Banking is the logical next step in the personal assistant revolution

Personal assistants such as Samsung’s Bixby is looking into integrating banking services through their partnership with South Korean banks. This is an addition to Samsung’s current Samsung Pay which allows for P2P transactions through voice commands. Mashable has also speculated that there is a possibility of a different form of banking authentication which leverages on current phone security features such as face recognition, fingerprint scanners and iris scanners.

How safe will open banking and future fintech innovations be?

Open banking is expected to rise in 2018 where banks are required to share data with external organizations. General Data Protection Regulation are implemented to ensure a bank’s accountability in securing consumer’s data. Regulations are implemented to ensure that customers data are kept within the organizations. Additionally, banks have to take a privacy impact assessment and hefty punishments are implemented in the event of a data breach. While there are some fears on fintech security in the early days, MacKenzie and Goodbrand are optimistic on its security.

Competing With Banks Won’t Fund Your Fintech Startup

Despite speculation, investors have expressed that they do not believe a fintech startup can replace traditional banks. Investors believe traditional institutions are here to stay. In fact, investors place their trust in fintech startups who aim to work alongside with banks to value add to their processes.

How Bitcoin will disrupt Wall Street West and East

A decentralized network allows for emergence of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, creating a global market. With such a system, innovations such as Initial Ticket Offerings (ITO) have emerged. This allows for investors from all over the world to invest in growing companies in Silicon Valley. Wall Street West (VCs in Silicon Valley) no longer have the competitive advantage they had – their close proximity to fast growth startups. Additionally, a decentralized network removes companies need for a data centre which was one of the core reasons many companies searched for venture funding in the first place. A decentralised network allows for a global Wall Street and a fair playing field.

Banks Must Disrupt Themselves, Not Consumers, Citi Fintech CEO Says

Disruption must start from within and this can be done through partnering with fintech startups. Citi has a history of cooperation through their partnerships with fintech startups. Several fintech startups specializes in a specific consumer group and banks can leverage on this knowledge to better appeal to the consumers to derive greater customer satisfaction.

Toucan Weekly Roundup – 9 June 2017

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Filipino startup raises funding to reach the world’s offline people through the phone

With more than half of the world’s population unconnected to the internet (UN BroadBand Commission, 2016), current marketing strategies leave a large majority of consumers untapped. EngageSparks, a startup from the Philippines, aims to connect businesses to unconnected consumers through a less common marketing platform – Phone and SMS campaigns. With an increase in funding along with their clientele of large names (Google and Facebook), EngageSparks inclusive marketing is likely to bring businesses new customers.

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Brief: After bank takeover, Indonesia’s Salim Group plans push in digital payments

Salim Group’s recent acquisition of majority shares of Ina Perdana, Indonesia’s local bank, shows the groups increased interest in finance technology. Along with their convenience store chain – Indomaret, Salim Group aims to introduce peer-to-peer payment technology into their consumers everyday life.

Amazon’s Lending Business for Online Merchants Gains Momentum

Other than using machine learning for its logistical processes, Amazon is using its algorithm to identify SMEs eligibility for a loan. Amazon’s lending business has grown substantially since its launch in 2011. According to Amazon, interest rates are competitive and lower than traditional lenders. Amazon’s entry into the lending business presents a challenge for traditional lenders and greater options for businesses.

1 in 4 Consumers Bank Mobile-Only

In many urban societies, smart phones are playing an increasing presence in everyday lives. A study by Malauzai indicates that 1 in 4 consumers do all their banking on their mobile. The increase in mobile banking is largely attributed to technology advancements and shifting consumer behaviours.

Toucan Weekly Roundup – 19 May 2017

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Fintech, Payments and Asia Focused Articles

Singapore’s longest established bank tells us three trends fintech startups cannot ignore.

Many fintech startups dream of having their solutions adopted by top banks. The problem is that many times, their solutions do not meet the regulatory compliance or are difficult to commercialize and integrate with the existing systems of banks. The top fintech trends right now include digital tools in wealth management, new data points for credit and financing and streamlined operations with Artificial Intelligence.

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Singapore fintech startup 4xLabs offers solutions to forex firms; raises US$1.5M from Dymon Asia, OSK Ventures

Singapore based 4xLabs has secured US$1.5 million in pre-Series A round of funding from Dymon Asia Ventures and OSK Ventures. 4xLabs is a fintech startup that provides a one stop suite of services for money changers that helps them improve their top line by helping them acquire new business, optimize their price setting and scale their business. It also helps businesses grow their bottom line by improving efficiency, managing cost of stock and facilitating compliance risk management.


Fintech unicorn TransferWise reaches profitability, planning ‘new financial services’

Fintech unicorn TransferWise has announced that it has reached profitability this calendar year and is cash-generating. Transferwise allows its customers to send and receive money across borders for a fraction of the charges imposed on bank transfers. To do that, it uses a p2p system that matches users according to the currencies they want to send and receive, ensuring that payouts are made without funds ever actually crossing borders.


Fintech startup Telr raises $3 mn

Mumbai based fintech startup Telr has baaged Series B funding amounting to $3 million from Innovations East. Telr is a payment gateway aggregator of multiple payment methods like cards and online banking, offering a set of unified APIs and tools that enable businesses to accept and manage online payments via web, mobile and social media. With growth of over $500 million worth transactions annually, Telr anticipates reaching $1 billion worth of transactions per year by end 2017.

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Alibaba Makes Its First Fintech Investment in Hong Kong

Alibaba has expanded its investment portfolio in Hong Kong and has chosen Qupital to be its first fintech investment in the city. Qupital is Hong Kong’s first and largest online invoice discounting exchange. It allows companies to raise finance against their receivables by connecting them with professional investors, hedge funds and family offices. Lack of access to working capital is a big problem for Hong Kong’s startups and SMEs. Qupital is positioning itself to address this major problems and help solve the reported $200 million SME financing gap by allowing them to turn their invoices into cash.