Posts published on June 2017

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.