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More businesses are going cashless, especially in China where merchants now accept WeChat payment.

Technological innovation and automation continues to change the way we work, live and play. FinTech is one example of how technology is helping to solve problems in the finance sector.

By Paul Ho

What is FinTech? To qualify as a FinTech company, you must be able to satisfy the following requirements of the financial industry: –

• Quicker
• More accurate
• Safer (using cryptography or other security systems)
• Cheaper (lesser administrative chores)
• Provide greater convenience (such as mobility)
• More transparency
• Consolidate and aggregate across
many different platforms

China leads the world as a FinTech hub. Many Chinese nationals do not carry cash anymore, and even insurance can be bought on your mobile phone.

Problems faced by the financial sector

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has identified 100 problem statements arising from these main areas: –

Know your customer (KYC) / Identity authentication
• Authenticating digital documents, authentication methods, etc. RegTech
• Addressing compliance and regulatory technology for compliance management Trade finance
• Addressing the lack of awareness of trade and credit products, multilaterally verified contracts, and difficulty in digital supply chain finance

Crowdfunding companies with credit scoring and underwriting analysis abilities such as Moolahsense, CoAssets, Ricco Capital (provisional license), Invoice Interchange and many more will fill this gap in trade financing.

• Problems relating to insurance claims processing to dynamic pricing of insurance products to contracts and underwriting

Financial literacy

Financial inclusion / SMEs
• Problems relating to inclusion of unbanked customers and SMEs through lowering cost of micro services, credit and underwriting, mobile payment, etc.

Customer engagement
• Financial data analysis
• Financial analysis for home buyers
• Aggregated plus customised loyalty rewards
• Aggregated news for investment, financial statements, personal finance, savings platform
• Mobile banking for the visually impaired
• Customer data analytics tool
• Mobile tax refund
• Innovative digital banking

• Problems relating to enabling seamless payment, computing capability to devices within financial services for better financial decision making, digital cheques, API gateway for connectivity to different payment platforms, efficient settlement, cashless, payment for low-value transaction, seamless season parking fee payments, enhanced mobile wallet, automated payment engine, cross-platform payments

Portfolio management
• This pertains to the funds management industry with problems from FX accuracy, NAV accuracy, investment advice, neutral platforms, smart portfolio construction, etc.

Capital markets
• Problems centre around efficient payment settlement, transaction and trade settlement, etc.

• Problems relating to tailored and automated training, automated operational performance reports (dashboards), compliance testing, automated translation, automated reports formatting, layered data encryption (for cybersecurity), unique transaction identification recognised for OTC and online and safe data sharing

What do consumers dealing with innovative FinTech companies do?


It allows users to use credit cards to make payment on rent, Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) fees and bigger ticket regular payments in return to earn airmiles. They tie up with credit cards to offer benefits to consumers. They are not really disruptive, but nonetheless solve some needs identified in MAS’ top 100 problem statements in the customer engagement space on aggregating consumer’s spending. Potentially this company also has ambitions in the eWallet space to address needs for online payments.

There are many such start-ups and they aim to capture a big slice of the big-ticket items “payment” transaction flow and in doing so, capture a percentage of the payment flowing through.


Grab started as a ride hailing application, taking a cut from matching drivers with consumers. Of late, Grab has indicated that their focus is on payment. Hence GrabPay will become a player in the FinTech payment space. With their reach, they will probably use GrabPay to automate and aggregate all personal spending and perhaps to generate reporting solving certain aspects of financial literacy problem statements. is Singapore’s leading mortgage broker and a loan comparison finance portal. It provides tools for consumers to find out more about themselves (financial literacy), such as Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) analysis, mortgage insurance premium estimate, retirement planning premium estimate, car affordability analysis, equity-term-loan estimate, etc. This site provides “financial analysis for home buyers” under customer engagement, to help customers to make informed decisions.

iCompareLoan automates the application process for consumers, fulfilling the “KYC / Identity authentication” space.

Singapore’s first and only cloud-based home loan report platform automates mortgage planning analysis. This helps property agents to service their property buyers professionally and close deals faster and do listings presentation. It also helps financial advisors to provide mortgage planning and to improve efficiency by generating automated home loan reports.

What does the future hold for FinTech?

Companies should continue to incrementally automate problems around workflows or system flow.

FinTech (blockchain) can complement or disrupt banks to become the creator of credit, the aggregator and distributor of capital.

Blockchain can become the technology behind e-wallets without the need for expensive accounting and back-end operations. It can bring about peer-to-peer lending with social network verification for a low default rate, bypassing the banks.

Paul Ho is the founder of

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