South East Asia (SEA) is finally embracing financial technology and marketplace lending is at the heart of this boom. The breadth and depth of solutions across FinTech Lending in the region is quite impressive and clearly signifies that a digital revolution is underway in the South East Asian lending industry. Top and Emerging Fintech Sectors in […]
South East Asia (SEA) is finally embracing financial technology and marketplace lending is at the heart of this boom. The breadth and depth of solutions across FinTech Lending in the region is quite impressive and clearly signifies that a digital revolution is underway in the South East Asian lending industry.
Top and Emerging Fintech Sectors in South East Asia by Country
Singapore in particular has become a hub for the nascent fintech lending industry. It is the runaway leader in the region and holds 52% of the market share (both by number of deals and money invested). It is followed by Philippines which accounts for 14%, Thailand 13% and Indonesia 12%.
However, with so many different governments involved, SEA poses an overregulation risk. Already, P2P lenders here have to criss-cross through various layers of regulations that their competitors in other regions don’t have to face.
Singapore Fintech Market: Overview
Singapore has always been known as the technology capital of Asia; MNCs and financial institutions have considered it a natural choice as HQ for their Asian operations. Though Singapore has deep roots in technology and innovation but ironically it got on the Fintech bandwagon rather late. But with the support of regulators, Singapore has established itself as the “Fintech Hub” of South East Asia. Singapore fintech market crossed $83 million in deals during the second quarter of 2017. In 2016, investment in Singapore based fintech companies dropped by staggering 65 percent (US$605 million to US$214 million), as per KPMG International study- Pulse of Fintech. But interestingly the number of deals decreased by only two to 28 during the same period. The main reason for the fall was complicated authorization process for fintechs, but Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is working aggressively to streamline the authorization process, in order to attract more fintechs to Singapore.
“Over the longer term, MAS hopes to see more fintechs using Singapore as a base to pilot and then deploy solutions to other countries within South-east Asia, such as Indonesia and Thailand,” said Mr Chia Tek Yew, the head of financial services advisory at KPMG Singapore.
Monetary Authority of Singapore; the regulatory body has backed the fintech industry right from the get go and that is the reason why Singapore has become the leader in South East Asia. Some of those favorable regulations are mentioned below:
Last year, under the “FSTI” scheme, MAS committed S$225 million (US$164.2 million) over the next five years to foster the innovation ecosystem in Singapore.
It also developed the road map that showed the central bank’s move toward an open Application Programming Interface (API) architecture.
In association with National Research Foundation, it announced the establishment of a dedicated FinTech office to facilitate the use of technology and innovation in the financial sectors (FinTech office to review, align and enhance FinTech-related funding schemes across government agencies).
It also released a consultation paper on proposed guidelines for a ‘regulatory sandbox’ that will enable financial institutions (FIs) as well as non-financial players to experiment with financial technology (FinTech) solutions.
Struck partnership with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to help FinTech companies from their respective countries scale into each other’s markets and help reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market and it is trying to strike such more partnerships with other countries as well.
MAS have also announced it will be opening a fintech innovation hub “the looking glass” to promote innovation.
It also released a consultation paper on proposed changes to the payments regulatory framework and establishment of a National Payments Council, whose key initiatives are to promote interoperability and adoption of common standards.
This highlights that though the regulator was slow from the blocks, but has aggressively covered ground to create a supportive environment for the fintech lending community.
Minterest ()- Minterest is a peer-to-business financial technology platform founded by a team of former bankers with more than 120 years of collective experience in corporate and structured finance. It was founded in 2016 by Charis Liau, Ronnie Chia, and Wei Choong Loo. It offers various flexible funding options with interest rate as low as 1% and loan terms ranges from 3-12 months.
Singapore has emerged as an undisputed leader in the SEA region but considering it has always been the gateway to Asia, it will certainly want to have a bigger share of the fintech lending pie. The MAS has laid out a well-thought out road map to attract startups and investments. With a massive demand-supply mismatch in credit, Singapore is poised to witness a marketplace-lending boom.
News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi’s CTO leaving the company. World Business Lenders buys BizFi assets. Zopa improves loan sale processing times. Fintech startups, banks face off on new European payments rules, data access. Klarna wins international ANDY award. Today’s main analysis: How MoneyTap is tackling the unbanked problem in India. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Fundrise, Wealthfront spar over real […]
SoFi CTO, Cagney wife, resigns. AT: “This really is not surprising, but unfortunate. SoFi’s entire corporate culture has unraveled from the top down.”
Fundrise, Wealthfront spar over future of real estate investing. AT: “This is an interesting debate. Criticize Fundrise any way you want, but they are actually opening the door to investors who might not have had a chance to invest in REITs without the platform making their products available. That’s not to say that I don’t admire Wealthfront for what they’re up to, as well. Disclosure: I have written for Fundrise in the past.”
How can men support women in fintech? AT: “This is a podcast hosted by Moven’s Brett King, but it isn’t exclusively about women in fintech. One interesting tidbit from the podcast: Amazon is the largest holder of digital wallets.”
Fundrise’s CEO Benjamin Miller says this is a misrepresentation of how Fundrise works. “Amateur investors” on the platform aren’t picking individual projects, but rather strategies managed by the company.
“We operate like a Blackstone, but we democratize it and lower costs,” Miller told Business Insider.
Miller points to the recent initial public offering of Invitation Homes (INVH) to illustrate how expensive the public markets can be. INVH priced 215% higher in the public markets than in the private markets, according to data from Google Finance.
The Bizfi marketplace is slated to live on, according to Stephen Sheinbaum who joined World Business Lenders (WBL) as a managing director in July. On Wednesday, WBL purchased several assets from Bizfi including the brand, the marketplace, the Next Level Funding renewal book, and other related pieces of the company, he says. Sheinbaum founded Bizfi (then Merchant Cash and Capital) in 2005.
WBL, a Jersey City-headquartered small business lender will also be a lender on the platform.
The growth of alternative sources of capital has opened a door for online and marketplace lenders, combining the availability and flexibility of capital with speed and transparency.
“Upward of $100B in loans are coming due and there is a gap,” Money360 President Gary Bechtel said. “The banks, life insurance companies, agency lenders, can only provide so much capital, and this is the void that nonbank lenders like Money360 are filling. And many of these firms have a technology component to them.”
Marketplace lending has become a popular alternative for student loans, credit card and small-business debt, but the commercial real estate industry has yet to fully participate. For Bechtel, it is a missed opportunity.
Money360 lifts those constraints. Because it does not have the same balance sheet requirements and regulations as traditional lenders, borrowers seeking financing for any asset class can apply for a loan on the platform. The platform offers loans between $1M and $20M on both bridge and permanent loans, with competitive terms and features similar to traditional lenders. Bridge loans are interest-only, and like banks, permanent loans utilize 25- to 30-year amortization schedules.
Worthy, a digital investment app that redefines how Americans access investment products, diversify their portfolios and save for retirement, announced the successful closing of its seed financing round. The funds will be used for the full-scale roll-out of the Worthy mobile app, and will enable Worthy to expand its growing user base as well as to broaden the array of investment product options it offers retail investors.
Although yield-starved sophisticated investors have been increasingly allocating more and more of their capital to alternative asset classes such as real estate and private company debt, most retail investors are still unaware that modern technology and a new regulatory regime allows them to access these products online in very small aggregates.
Speaking at the Online Lending Policy Summit in Washington, DC, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika discussed the online lending industry and his perspective on responsible innovation. Noreika told the conference participants;
“I see the growth of online lending and marketplace lenders as the natural evolution of banking itself. Your industry demonstrates a certain entrepreneurial spirit to seize economic opportunity that begins with your new idea. The idea may be leveraging the lending power of groups or using new data to assess creditworthiness. Or, the idea may be a way to make decisions faster or to give consumers more control of their financial lives.”
Noting that US marketplace lenders have originated about $40 billion in consumer and small business loans in the past ten years, Noreika said that online lending represents a substantial portion of all consumer unsecured credit in the US. Some prognosticators expect that online lending will top $1 trillion by 2020.
Here are the rules– we shouted out a list of 20 fintech trends and our cocktail-fueled audience shouted their opinion on whether the trend is hot or not*.
I was fairly surprised to hear the audience react so strongly to this trend, since the U.S. is lagging in regtech startups and adoption.
AI –As we close out 2017, players in the fintech sector seem to be in all out hype mode on the subject.
Open Banking –Though the U.S. doesn’t have any pending open banking regulation, folks still seemed quite optimistic about this trend.
Mobile account opening –Certainly a necessity for mobile-centric onboarding, mobile account opening has been around for awhile. It seems to have received new life with many enabling technology developments and IoT device launches throughout the years.
Challenger banks –With the lack of challenger bank launches in the U.S. (that is, compared to the U.K.), it was surprising to see the group cheer on challenger banks so vociferously. Perhaps a sign that more challenger banks are coming to the U.S.?
Insurtech – The audience seemed to heavily favor this trend over others, despite the relative lack of insurtechs in the U.S.
New York on Monday announced a settlement with two payday lender operators — barring them from working in the state and forcing them to forgive roughly 20,000 loans worth roughly $12 million.
While payday lending is illegal in New York, state residents can fall prey to the predatory loans through out-of-state lenders trolling online.
Vullo called out E-Finance for making “unlawful misrepresentations” to New Yorkers when requesting payments and negotiating payment agreements.
TAR, headed by Jeremy Schaffer, and E-Finance, headed by Joshua Mitchem, according to court papers, will pay a $45,000 penalty plus as much as $15,000 to cover the cost of sending notices to consumers whose loans were forgiven.
South Dakotans for Responsible Lending will hold a meeting Thursday aimed at creating a nonprofit to help South Dakotans get small-dollar loans without taking on debt.
The effort comes months after South Dakota voters opted to cap interest rates on payday lenders, crippling the industry in the state.
The grant and donation-funded Minneapolis group helps participants pay back loans over a 12-month period with no fees or interest. Since 2015, the group has helped 131 loan participants refinance $90,072 and save $355,042 in interest.
Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer, the group’s executive director, said South Dakota voters have already taken a significant step in reducing payday loan debt by eliminating the industry. In its place, banks and credit unions should look to offer additional loans, she said.
Although I would never diminish it or deny its existence, I just don’t see sexism as an escalating problem in FinTech – or anywhere in the developed world for that matter. In fact, what I see trending is the exact opposite.
Extraordinary women in FinTech are all around us. I read about them every single day – not only in leading industry rags like FintekNews, Bankless Times and Crowdfund Insider, but also in long-established financial periodicals. In fact, FintekNews, which is published by Cindy Taylor, an accomplished FinTech visionary in her own right, devotes an entire section just to
Brett King is back on the show, talking about diversity in fintech with Anouska Streets, head of engineering at Finkit, a unit of digital banking software company Monitise, which was recently bought by Fiserv; and Colleen Wilson, founder and CEO of consulting firm Collaborate Chicago.
Our next guest on the Lend Academy Podcast is the CEO and co-founder of AutoGravity, Andy Hinrichs. After spending two decades in auto finance Andy decided he wanted to do something to finally bring the car buying experience into the 21st century. He started AutoGravity less than two years ago but they are already seeing great traction.
Starting tomorrow, acclaimed financial futurist and best-selling author Jack Uldrich will begin a series of four separate presentations on the future of finance in four consecutive days. His first presentation will be for leaders with Atlantic Trust in Denver, Colorado, followed by presentations in Chicago, Washington D.C., and ending in Toronto on Sept. 29th.
Uldrich is a prolific speaker on future trends in wealth management, finance, and banking, speaking to dozens of finance groups globally each year, including some of the biggest names in these industries.
GLI Finance, a listed investment company that backs fintech businesses, on Monday wrote down the value of its investments in eight peer-to-peer lending platforms by £12.6 million to £28.9 million, citing “concerns over the collectability of some platform loans.”
The disclosure came after concerns were raised above fast-growing peer-to-peer lender Lendy Finance over the weekend.
The backdrop to all these disclosures is a surge in unsecured consumer borrowing and rising inflation in 2017, factors which are combining to fuel fears people may be unable to pay back all they have borrowed. Unsecured consumer borrowing hit £202 billion in July, the highest level since 2008. Meanwhile, inflation is running at 2.9%, well above wage growth.
With this in mind, let’s look at the three main challenges that the Small Business Commissioner will need to address in the coming year:
Late payments: Time and time again we are reminded of the late payments crisis damaging small businesses, who are owed a collective £26.3 billion. Research from the FSB shows that poor payment practices are on the rise, causing 50,000 business deaths each year.
Funding: SMEs bring a combined turnover of £1.8 trillion to the UK economy and we must encourage people to follow their dream of running their own business. In addition, some will need educating about using alternative finance methods, such as P2P lending, invoice financing and crowd funding.
The world’s second-largest economy doesn’t have a widely accepted system to gauge creditworthiness among a fast-expanding middle class with growing paychecks, a hunger for consumer products and little or no credit history.
Chinese household debt is growing rapidly, outpacing broad credit growth every year since 2013 and reaching 38 trillion yuan ($5.7 trillion) by the end of the second quarter of this year. But household debt remains relatively low by global standards, at about 44% of gross domestic product, and the absence of a widely used standard of creditworthiness is keeping consumer borrowing from growing even faster, hampering access to credit for some 500 million potential borrowers.
China’s central bank has sought for nearly three years to put in place an answer to the FICO credit-scoring system predominant in the U.S., created in 1989 by data firm Fair Isaac Corp.
Technology giants Ant Financial Services Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd., along with several smaller companies, are developing competing credit-rating systems. Tencent began testing its system in August, two years after Ant, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group HoldingLtd. , launched its Sesame Credit personal scores.
But none of these projects has emerged as a single standard that’s widely used and trusted by lenders nationwide.
Paving the way?
Regulators in March set up a new clearinghouse, Wanglian, to centralize the processing of online payments.
Meanwhile, Ant’s Sesame Credit has a head start on its competition. Launched in 2015, Sesame derives a person’s credit score—which the individual can view on Ant’s popular Alipay payment platform—by mining data on the consumer’s e-commerce activity and other online behavior. Higher ratings confer perks such as waived deposits at some hotels and faster security screening at Beijing’s airport.
There are small credit bureaus in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai, but they have never gained traction and often lack access to borrowers’ financial data. Such bureaus reach only a third of Chinese borrowers, compared with 90% of borrowers in the U.S. reached by credit bureaus there, according to consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
Operators of automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services, or so-called robo-advisers, in Hong Kong need to significantly step up their game if they are to compete with Chinese and US institutions, according to Freeman Tsang, head of China and Hong Kong for asset management firm Legg Mason.
Only a few securities brokerages have entered Hong Kong’s robo-advisory market, which unlike the one in the US, lacks an open, computer interface that allows access to investors’ portfolios across different companies to develop an overall view of their financial status.
Such a foundation is vital for robo-advisers to be able to offer more customisable financial advice and support transactions across different investment tools and firms.
A large group of over 70 European fintech companies are warning that new EU rules on payments processing could unfairly pit them against large banks and decimate the industry if they are passed into law.
The rules are part of the European Union’s Payment Services Directive (PSD) and would ban the practice of “screen scraping,” a common practice used by fintech companies to “scrape” display data from one application (like an online banking service) and display it on their own.
In their manifesto, the 71 fintech firms argue that the ban on scraping is unreasonable and a backdoor method for traditional banks to claw back control as the Fintech revolution threatens to upend their business models.
Revised payment services directive
The European Union’s Payment Services Directive (PSD), originally passed in 2007, built a single market for cashless payments in Europe, making cross-border payments as easy and efficient for European consumers and businesses as domestic transfers.
Most importantly, the revised PSD (also known as PSD2) mandated that banks loosen their grip over customer account data and allow third parties to be able to access it with customers’ permission.
Klarna, a global payments provider, has been honored with an International ANDY Award by the ADVERTISING Club of New York for its 2016 “Smoooth” campaign that illustrates how ‘smoooth’ payments can be for consumers and online merchants using its platform.
The award was presented at the 14th annual “Stars of Madison Avenue” luncheon.
The AD Club’s International ANDY Awards jury chose this year’s six honorees for making an impact on marketing, commerce, culture and social responsibility through brave and creative advertising and marketing campaigns.
Klarna’s “Smoooth” campaign kicked off with a series of critically acclaimed ad spots. Samples of the campaign are available here and here.
At the top of the list, High-Tech Grunderfonds has made nearly 200 deals to 150+ German companies since 2012, making it the top investor in European tech VC by a long shot. Notable recent deals include a $3.4 million seed round to POSpulse (shopper intelligence platform) and participation in a $2 million seed round to MoBerries (HR and workforce management company). Since 2012, German tech companies have seen more than 1,600 deals worth over $10 billion.
The UK has seen the highest number of deals and total funding deployed to tech companies, at more than 3,200 deals worth nearly $20 billion since 2012, according to CB Insights.
Top investors in European tech by country (as of 30 August 2017), according to CB Insights:
Starting today, SMEs looking for a loan online can go to New10, an initiative of ABN AMRO. New10 lets them know within 15 minutes whether they qualify for a loan and under what terms and conditions. New10 meets the needs of this group of SMEs that want to take out a loan entirely online.
New10 provides loans ranging between EUR 20,000 and EUR 1 million.
Ensnared by the allure of entrepreneurship, Bala ventured into the promising world of fintech with MoneyTap, a consumer lending startup that was launched last September.
Touted as India’s first app-based credit line, the fintech startup is working to democratise credit in a country where 19% of the total population is still unbanked.
“The reason we started MoneyTap was that we wanted to solve the problem of consumer credit. Clearly, India is very credit starved. Less than 1% of Indian consumers have access to any form of unsecured credit from a bank or any financial institution. Most people, whether it’s from middle class or lower middle class, need credit, but they have to use informal methods,” explains Bala.
Based on his interactions, he concluded that there are four main reasons behind this pervasive inadequacy of consumer credit in the country:
Lack of data
High overhead in small-ticket loans
Finally, the emergence of a new class of demanding consumers
Between 2003 and 2007, a number of banks in India were issuing loans without doing any detailed checked. At the time, there was no credit bureaus or Aadhaar. Even PAN was not widely used. When the subprime crisis hit in 2008, all these banks got burned. In the period prior to that, around 24 Mn credit cards were sanctioned in India, of which nearly 10 Mn crashed.
In a country with a population of over 1.31 Bn, only 220 Mn people have PAN cards. Other forms of KYC (know your customer), including voter ID, Aadhaar and ration cards are not considered as the sole identity proof, especially when it comes to financial activities. Credit information companies (CIC) – such as TransUnion Credit Information Bureau Ltd. (CIBIL), Experian India and Equifax India – still do not have records of a large section of the country’s banked populace.
As per Bala Parthasarathy, the cost of evaluating and issuing a credit line/loan/credit card for a bank is extremely high and thus they prefer to give big-ticket loans to few people rather than small ticket loans for a large group of people. The average loan ticket size in this country is between $4,629 – $7,715 (INR 3 Lakh-INR 5 Lakh).
If you think of India as a pyramid in terms of the net worth of people, all these banks focus on only around 12 to 15 Mn customers at the top of the pyramid because they are capable of applying for a loan worth $4,629 to $7,715. The problem, according to him, arises when someone wants a $463 (INR 30,000) loan because the overhead, in this case, is too high for the bank to make any profit.
The consumer lending startup claims to currently cater to customers with monthly income ranging between $308-$1,080 (INR 20,000-INR 70,000).
On the MoneyTap platform, consumers can borrow anywhere between $46-$7,715 (INR 3,000 to INR 5 Lakh) with an option to choose the repayment duration from as little as two months up to three years.
At present, MoneyTap charges a one-time setup and origination fee of $7.7 (INR 499) plus tax.
Inspire Asean is back on 29 September at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra for an afternoon of presentations, exchanges and networking. One of our larger events, this edition will have six engaging presentations from top Fintech startups, infrastructure providers and international banks to discuss digital wallets, big data, blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and alternative lending models.
The speaker lineup includes:
Brad Jones, chief executive officer of Wave Money in Myanmar and previously CEO of Wing in Cambodia.
Hong Samarkkeenich, regional sales director at Lenddo, is responsible for bringing the company’s technology to new and underserved market segments in Indochina.
Sim Chankiriroth is the founder and CEO of BanhJi, a free and localized online accounting software, built for Asean MSMEs.
Vincent Ling, deputy general manager of UnionPay International SEA, is responsible for regional brand and communications as well as the Core Products portfolio.
Steve Miller is the founder of CryptoAsia, a growing Bitcoin startup based in Phnom Penh.
Tomas Pokorny is the CEO of PiPay, a Cambodia-based fintech company that combines payment and lifestyle (social) application solutions.
A survey conducted by Deloitte showed that the respondents feel that analytics will become more important to their organizations in the next three years and that its greatest benefit is a key factor in making better decisions, and Singaporean companies are picking up on this.
This trend is great news for the local data analytics sector. In Singapore, the industry is expected to contribute at least $1 billion to the economy this year alone according to the Economic Development Board.
However, being in the service industry, these firms often lack significant physical collateral and assets, leaving them unable to turn to banks and similar financial institutions for financing. This results in cash flow issues that could limit the growth of these companies, if not hamstring them completely.
PayMaya Philippines, Inc. (formerly Smart eMoney, Inc.) is the pioneer in mobile money and payments, having established brands such as PayMaya, the first prepaid online payment app that enables the financially underserved to pay online without a credit card; PayMaya Business, the company’s system solutions provider that allows businesses to receive online and card payments anytime, anywhere; Smart Money, the world’s first e-wallet linked to a mobile phone; and Smart Padala, the leading remittance network in the Philippines with over 15,000 agents across the country.
Singapore has publicly stated ambitions to be the world’s leading fintech and innovation hub. It is also one of the biggest and busiest global trade centers with many large, multinational companies basing their regional treasury offices in the country. For these reasons, and to support our rapidly-growing customer base across Asia-Pacific markets – including Standard Chartered, a Ripple investor, member of the RippleNet Advisory Board, and early adopter of blockchain technology to power payments – we are excited to announce we have opened a new office in Singapore.
Mr. Lanre used to be hesitant about loaning his colleagues at work money, having suffered from bad debts. Luckily for him, his organisation launched a co-operative scheme to manage employees’ finance. Among other things, the co-operative allows anyone with an urgent financial need to easily request and get assistance.
Nonetheless, as CEO of a financial management service platform, Salami Abolore reveals that over a million co-operative bodies exist in Nigeria.
He says this with confidence because his company, Riby, helps co-operatives and their members remotely control both their finance and financial operations.
Riby happens to provide the technology that helps Mr Lanre’s company to manage their (employee) co-operative scheme.
The Riby peer-to-peer lending module allows companies to run internal co-operatives within their fold. A case in point is a savings rotation mechanism that auto-debits employees and credits whoever is due to receive money for the month. For both modules, Riby charges a per-user fee of ₦200 upfront, amounting to ₦2000 per annum and ₦500 on a quarterly basis.
The agent management platform, Riby’s third module, is another exciting proposition that raises an innocent suspicion as to whether Riby is taking the competition to the commercial banks. This is apparent in their overall quest to include everyone in the system.
About 40% of Nigerians are yet to register with any financial institution in the country, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. Statistics from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) further show that there are only about 40 million registered bank accounts across the country. These accounts are enrolled by just 20.8 million customers, some having more than one account. It is therefore apparent that co-operatives can be used to reach the unbanked.
Fintech startup MaTontine was named winner of the Senegal round of the global Seedstars World competition over the weekend, earning the chance to represent the country at the global final in Switzerland next year to compete for up to US$1 million in equity investment.
MaTontine emerged the overall winner for its solution that provides access to small loans and related financial services like microinsurance by digitising traditional savings circles.