Fintech Hong Kong http://fintechnews.hk - FintechNewsHK Fri, 22 Mar 2019 08:09:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 QR Codes Are Out, Soon You’ll Only Need to Show Your Face to Pay in China http://fintechnews.hk/8852/china/facial-recognition-payments-china/ http://fintechnews.hk/8852/china/facial-recognition-payments-china/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 08:06:18 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8852 While Sweden is trialling inserting microchips into its citizens as a new way to pay, China is opting for a less invasive method — your face. In Shenzhen, a local

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While Sweden is trialling inserting microchips into its citizens as a new way to pay, China is opting for a less invasive method — your face.

In Shenzhen, a local subway operator is testing several advanced technologies powered by the 5G network, including facial recognition payments, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

At the Futian station, instead of presenting a ticket or scanning a QR bar code on their smartphones, commuters are now able to scan their faces on a tablet-sized screen mounted on the entrance gate and have the fare automatically deducted from their linked accounts.

Facial Recognition Payment China - Pay with face - Futian Station

“To use facial ticketing in the future, passengers will also need preregistration of their facial information and link their payment methods to their accounts,” said a staff member at the Futian station’s demonstration area in Shenzhen.

Passers-by at the demonstration area in Futian station will see their information, including facial photos captured by surveillance cameras, gender, age, and the length of stay in the area, displayed on a big screen.

The 5G-backed AI technologies were developed by an innovation laboratory backed by the metro operator and Huawei Technologies, which contributed AI algorithms via its public cloud.

Shenzhen Metro said that the speed and connectivity of 5G can provide higher efficiency and quality of network connection for subway equipment at a lower cost.

The rise of facial recognition payments in China

The facial recognition ticketing service marks another step by China towards integrating the technology and other artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions into everyday life, and most particularly payments.

Experts believe that facial recognition will disrupt the Chinese digital payment ecosystem and replace traditional digital payment methods such as QR codes.

At KFC in China, consumers can already pay for their meals with its “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system, developed by Ant Financial. The system was first introduced at an outlet in Hangzhou in 2017 and doesn’t require a smartphone, as long as the customer has already registered for the Alipay app and enabled facial recognition. The system uses a liveness detection algorithm to ensure that it can distinguish between a photo and a real human being.

In late-2017, Jack & Jones and Vero Moda, two brands owned by Danish fashion retailer Bestseller A/S, opened the first ever cashier-free “smart fashion stores” in China.

The “smart stores,” located in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, apply Tencent’s AI platform Youtu all along the customer journey. The facial recognition system records shoppers’ face identity and registers them as a member of the “AI Club,” powered by WeChat Pay. At the checkout counter, customers can simply scan their face, and have their WeChat Pay account charged to complete the purchase.

Not wanting to be left behind, facial recognition has also been adopted by several banks, including the Agricultural Bank of China and China Merchants Bank with thousands of ATMs supporting the technology placed across the nation. With these ATMs, customers can withdraw cash by scanning their face, without the need for a bank card or a mobile phone.

Other notable locations where face recognition payments are available in China include the Jiangxi Provincial People’s Hospital, the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, several hotels of the Marriott International chain, and at JD.com’s “unmanned” stores across China.

In August 2018, JD.com brought its unmanned store concept to Indonesia, marking the first time it is unveiling the technology platform outside China.

 

Featured image via Aizilla

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TNG Wallet Partners Visa For Prepaid Solutions in Southeast Asia http://fintechnews.hk/8843/mobilepayment/tng-wallet-visa-expand-southeast-asia/ http://fintechnews.hk/8843/mobilepayment/tng-wallet-visa-expand-southeast-asia/#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2019 10:42:41 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8843 TNG Fintech Group has just teamed up with Visa to launch TNG Wallet-integrated solutions into six markets across Asia. The goal of this move is to capitalise on areas with

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TNG Fintech Group has just teamed up with Visa to launch TNG Wallet-integrated solutions into six markets across Asia. The goal of this move is to capitalise on areas with growing digital wallet traction.

They officially revealed their partnership during Money 20/20 Asia in Singapore.

TNG Wallet is eyeing launch of prepaid solutions into Southeast Asian markets, primarily Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The partnership’s solutions are reportedly geared towards enabling secure payments for the underserved and unbanked segments in the region, and it aims to do so by offering Visa-powered payments via the TNG Wallet.

Alipay and WeChat Pay, TNG Wallet’s mainland contemporaries, are already operational in certain segments of Southeast Asia

TNG Wallet was a participant of the Visa Fintech Fast-Track Program, launched last year. The program provides a commercial framework that includes access to Visa’s payment capabilities, more competitive fees and streamlined processes. The program also links fintechs to platforms that are already certified by Visa and connects fintechs to sponsoring banks.

Featured image via Maaike Steinebach, CEO of Visa Hong Kong & Macau on LinkedIn

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The First Startup in Taiwan’s Fintech Sandbox is Now in Bed With Visa http://fintechnews.hk/8837/remittance/emq-taiwan-visa-cross-border-remittance-sandbox/ http://fintechnews.hk/8837/remittance/emq-taiwan-visa-cross-border-remittance-sandbox/#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2019 05:32:10 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8837 Just in January, EMQ was named the first fintech startup to be accepted into Taiwan’s Regulatory Sandbox to provide a more convenient and lower cost remittance service for migrant workers

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Just in January, EMQ was named the first fintech startup to be accepted into Taiwan’s Regulatory Sandbox to provide a more convenient and lower cost remittance service for migrant workers sending money home to Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Now, EMQ has moved away from branding themselves as a service catering to migrants, and partnered with Visa to offer cross-border remittances across Asia Pacific for both individuals and businesses.

The partnership will leverage off EMQ’s existing cross-border settlement network and Visa Direct,  which would utilise the company’s scale and reputation in real-time payments.

The end result according to the press release, should yield a seamless platform that’s quicker, more flexible and transparent: key tenets in the development of remittance fintech.

CEO of EMQ Max Liu said:

Max Liu remittance visa

Max Liu

“The payments ecosystem across Asia Pacific is undergoing significant transformation with the rise of local and cross-border cashless payments underpinned by a tech savvy population.”

“Our partnership with Visa will provide the additional infrastructure and technology to partners across our entire payments ecosystem.”

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5 Things South Korea’s Regulator is Doing to Advance Fintech http://fintechnews.hk/8814/fintechkorea/south-korea-fintech-regulation/ http://fintechnews.hk/8814/fintechkorea/south-korea-fintech-regulation/#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2019 03:14:10 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8814 2019 promises to be an exciting year for fintech in South Korea as the country’s financial regulator pushes for fintech innovation by taking on a series of ambitious initiatives. It

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2019 promises to be an exciting year for fintech in South Korea as the country’s financial regulator pushes for fintech innovation by taking on a series of ambitious initiatives. It is already home to some promising fintech startups and vibrant blockchain scene.

Earlier this month, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) laid out a financial policy roadmap for 2019 aimed at promoting financial innovation as well as ensuring trust in finance and securing financial stability.

Here are 5 key regulatory initiatives that the Financial Services Services Commission is betting on to boost fintech in South Korea

Reviewing over 200 Regulations

South korea fintech regulation - fintech week korea

Choi Jongku, chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), presents the 2019 financial policy roadmap, March 2019

 

The FSC has committed to undergo a major overhaul of financial regulations that hinder fintech innovation. The regulator has stated that over 200 regulations are currently under review, the results of which will be announced in the first quarter of 2019. Weekly meetings will be held with fintech businesses and the regulator to help shape this initiative.

Chief among the reforms is FSC’s initiative to remove regulatory uncertainty that restricts banks and other financial insitutions from investing in fintech companies.

FSC seeks to amend the regulation to clarify which scope of business that financial institutions are permitted to invest in which should provide more clarity for financial institutions seeking to invest in fintech.

 

New Approvals for the Fintech Sandbox

Fintech South Korea

FSC Announcing Open Banking Policies

 

The regulator said it will allow more newcomers to enter the financial business to prompt competition and innovation with six preliminary approvals to be granted to new players in the first half of 2019: one for a first-ever online-only insurer, three for real estate investment trusts (REITs) businesses, and one or two for online-only banks. On April 1, 2019, the financial regulatory sandbox will kick off and allow designated fintech firms to test new, innovative services with regulatory exemptions.

 

Developing open banking

South Korea Fintech Open Banking

Briefing session by the FSC on Open Banking

The FSC will also overhaul the regulatory framework on electronic financial business to allow for more flexibility in response to new types of payment services, and introduce an open banking system to enable fintech firms to share payment networks with banks to encourage development of new payment services.

Open banking will be a key area of focus, the FSC said, adding that the transition to an open system will proceed in three phases: banks’ voluntary agreement on an open banking system, legislation on open banking, and fintech firm’s direct access to financial payment system.

Under the new regulatory framework, licenses on electronic financial business will be granted on a business-function basis rather than a business-sector basis to better reflect diversification of the payments services sector. The scope of electronic financial business will also be expanded to include new types of payments services, the regulator said.

The FSC hopes that the move will help facilitate the rise of new digital finance powerhouses such as the payment apps Kakao Pay, Naver Pay and Toss.

The open banking system is scheduled to be in full operation by the end of the year and the FSC plans to submit its proposal to amend the Electronic Financial Transaction Act in the third quarter of 2019.

 

Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) regulations on the works

South korea fintech regulation - fintech week korea

Choi Jongku, chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), introduces plans for a new bill on P2P lending, February 2019

Another major initiative on the works is the upcoming bill on P2P lending. The new legislation will focus on helping the sector “grow into one of innovative fintech services” while ensuring investors and borrowers protection.

At a hearing in February, FSC chairman Choi Jongku laid out key principles that the new bill on P2P lending needs to pursue, including establishing a separate new legislation for P2P lending businesses that takes into consideration investors and borrowers protection, scalability and flexibility.

The FSC said a draft bill will be proposed later this month.

 

 

Korea Fintech Week 2019

South Korea Fintech - Korea Fintech Week - Dongdaemun_Design_Plaza

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Venue of Fintech Week Korea | Image Credit : Wikimedia

Following on the lead of Asian counterparts such as Singapore and Hong Kong, South Korea will be introducing its inaugural Korea Fintech Week event in May 23 to 25, 2019.

The event, to be held at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, will be South Korea’s first global fintech expo and the FSC hopes to develop it into a major annual fintech event in Asia.

Korea Fintech Week 2019, which invites global financial authorities, international organizations and global fintech companies, will discuss related policies. The event also aims to help local fintech companies to expand their businesses globally by connecting them to local and global investors. In addition, it will provide consulting services to university students and young jobseekers interested in the sector.

Singapore’s annual Fintech Festival is one of the world’s largest fintech events, gathering more than 40,000 participants last year. Hong Kong Fintech Week, organized every year by government agency Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), is the world’s largest cross-border fintech event taking place in Hong Kong, Asia’s financial capital, and in Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley.

 

Featured image: Seoul, South Korea, MaxPixel.net

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Neat Reveals One Key Problem With HKMA’s Virtual Banking License and Why They Won’t Bother http://fintechnews.hk/8782/various/neat-virtual-bank-license-reject-hkma-hong-kong/ http://fintechnews.hk/8782/various/neat-virtual-bank-license-reject-hkma-hong-kong/#respond Thu, 14 Mar 2019 07:05:44 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8782 The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)’s decision to set up the virtual license is often seen as a strategic move, if a tad overdue. Reportedly, the regulator saw over 29

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The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)’s decision to set up the virtual license is often seen as a strategic move, if a tad overdue. Reportedly, the regulator saw over 29 applications, which rumour has it, includes companies like Ant Financial, Tencent, Standard Chartered, Xiaomi, Hong Kong Telecom, Zhong An with Citic Bank as its partner.

Neat, a Hong Kong-based virtual bank targeted towards SMEs, is not one of these 29 banks.

David Rosa neat virtual banking license

David Rosa

Despite expressing intentions last May to apply for the virtual bank license, Neat has changed their tune recently, apparently once Neat co-founder David Rosa realised that “it was going to be a licensing regime that would favor very large brands”.

“It was a hard decision [to not apply], but I’m glad we didn’t get distracted,” he said in a Digifin report.

 

The Barrier of Entry Will Make Servicing SMEs Unprofitable

Neat’s point of contention is this: to attain the license, virtual banks would be subject to the same requirements as conventional banks. The problem? The stipulated requirements includes a minimum capital of HK$300 million, along with what Neat characterises as “high-profile board members” to satisfy corporate governance standards, and “even stricter IT security structure than conventional banks”.

Our own foray into HKMA’s Supervisory Policy Manual reveals that HKMA expects the board to have “a range of knowledge and experience in relevant areas”. With a goal of ensuring holistic collective knowledge amongst board members, HKMA stipulates that boards should consider international experience where relevant.

Meanwhile the stricter IT security requirements may refer to HKMA wanting regulatory “[adaptation] to suit the business models of virtual banks”— on top of usual corporate governance standards as conventional banks.

Neat’s specific niche focuses on startups and SMEs, which is characterised as “not a profitable segment for traditional banks”.  Neat offers these underserved segments access to credit and traditional banking services that used to preclude them, along with other startup-catered offerings.

Their virtual bank allows technologically-forward solutions to be developed from scratch, instead of having to worry about backwards compatibility with legacy systems.

Security at the Cost of Innovation

hong kong virtual bank license neat

“Hong Kong is losing out [on the chance] to be the ultra competitive marketplace that it can be. It’s only good for the big boys,” said David to SCMP. “What remains to be seen is what solutions the new virtual banks are really going to bring to the market.”

In contrast, David Rosa references the UK’s approach to virtual banks.

UK’s banking regulators only require 5 million (approximately HK$ 52 million) in minimum capital for a license in a bid to encourage entry of niche players and neo-banks. The move, to David, fosters a more innovative environment even if the firms are less profitable for it.

Meanwhile, many existing banking players in Hong Kong like HSBC and DBS are reportedly eschewing the virtual bank license in favour of operating online with their existing license. Between that, and the rumoured interest from all the top fintech giants in China with presumably, enough money to burn, it does seem like Neat’s concerns hold some water.

Featured image via Neat

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7 Upcoming Fintech, Digital Finance, Blockchain Events in China- 2019 http://fintechnews.hk/8746/china/upcoming-fintech-digital-finance-blockchain-events-in-china-shanghai/ http://fintechnews.hk/8746/china/upcoming-fintech-digital-finance-blockchain-events-in-china-shanghai/#respond Wed, 13 Mar 2019 07:09:47 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8746 China continues to lead the fintech revolution, and unsurprisingly, be a preferred location for fintech and blockchain-focused events in the region. The following events are some of the top upcoming

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China continues to lead the fintech revolution, and unsurprisingly, be a preferred location for fintech and blockchain-focused events in the region.

The following events are some of the top upcoming fintech, digital finance and blockchain conferences to take place in 2019 in China. Events will take place in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Hangzhou and Xi’an.

 

Fintech World Forum – Shanghai

April 18 – 19, 2019

Shanghai

The Fintech World Forum – Shanghai promises to bring together the fintech ecosystem, help build relationships, share knowledge, and create business opportunities.

The multi-format conference will cover technology topics such as authentication, advanced sensors, digital and mobile payments, APIs, blockchain, big data and learning machines, and will feature case studies and panels about consumer banking, corporate banking, financial markets, and insurance.

The event will explore current trends and expand new market opportunities in the financial services sector. It will also feature the Fintech Innovation Awards, which will honor the highest achievements in the global fintech and financial industries, and celebrate the teams and individuals who are blazing a trail within the sector.

A Beijing edition of the Fintech World Forum will take place on October 24 – 25, 2019.

 

Blockchain World Forum Shenzhen

May 23 – 24, 2019

Shenzhen

Blockchain-World-Forum-Shenzhen

Blockchain World Forum Shenzhen will explore the opportunities and challenges associated with blockchain technology. The event aims to create an interactive platform for leading technologists, entrepreneurs, regulators, investors, academics and financial institutions in the emerging blockchain industry, and will feature a series of top-level keynotes, interactive panel discussions and solution-based case studies with a focus on learning and building partnerships in the emerging blockchain space.

This blockchain focused fintech event in Shenzhen will explore the industries that are set to be disrupted the most by this new technology, including legal sectors, financial services, insurance, energy, music, government, real estate and more.

The event will also include the Blockchain Exhibition, the Blockchain World Awards, and the Blockchain Innovation Awards.

 

Digital Transformation World Forum

May 23 – 24, 2019

Beijing

The Digital Transformation World Forum is an event for business leaders ready to face the challenge of digitally transforming their businesses and becoming the part of the new digital economy. The event is aimed at CXOs, technology leaders, business leaders and innovators, and will cover topics including the next generation of banking and fintech. It will also feature the Digital Transformation World Awards, which will celebrate the drive, innovation and hard work in the digital transformation industry.

 

FinCloud World Forum

September 19 – 20, 2019

Beijing

FinCloud World Forum is set to gather regulators, financial institutions and leading cloud and data technology vendors to provide key insights on how to navigate the unique challenges of financial markets. The event is tailored for those working in trading technology, infrastructure, market data, and reference data in financial institutions, and will feature case studies, panel sessions, roundtables and an exhibition.

Presenters and panelists will share successes, highlight common pitfalls, and lessons. Technology vendors will discuss their experiences with bank and financial and share tactics for smoothing the process.

 

The Future of Banking World Forum

October 24 – 25, 2019

Beijing

The Future of Banking World Forum promises to gather leading players and thought leaders that are creating the landscape for the future of the industry. Bankers from across the globe will come together for two days packed full of exclusive insights on topics including open banking, a mobile-first model, AI, blockchain and more. Delegates will be able to hear from a mixture of incumbent banks, challengers, fintechs and tech giants and forge a new pathway towards digital excellence.

 

Money 20/20 China

December 4 – 6, 2019

Hangzhou

Money20/20 China is the newest addition to the Money20/20 global portfolio of destination events where the industry’s smartest visionaries and innovators come together to create the future of money. The event was launched in response to strong demand from Chinese companies with domestic and international growth plans, and global companies seeking expansion across China.

This year’s Money20/20 China edition is set to feature over 275 of the most influential speakers from across the industry who will share insights on what’s next for fintech in China. The event will showcase domestic and international companies from across the entire payments, fintech and financial services industry, from financial giants to the rising stars of fintech.

 

2nd International Conference on Blockchain Technology and Applications

December 9 – 11, 2019

Xi’an

The 2019 2nd International Conference on Blockchain Technology and Applications (ICBTA 2019) will be held in Xi’an, China during December 9 – 11, 2019. The conference aims to bring together researchers, developers, and practitioners from academia and industry working in the area of blockchain technology and its applications.

The event will feature keynote lectures, oral presentations on all aspects of blockchain. Researchers invited to speak will present the latest developments and technical solutions in the areas of: theories of blockchain and its evolution, smart contract and distributed ledger, blockchain and bitcoin security, performance optimization of blockchain and decentralized schemes and applications with blockchain technique, and more.

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Chinese Fintech Unicorn Tiger Broker Seeks US$ 91 Million in IPO http://fintechnews.hk/8765/blockchain/tiger-broker-ipo/ http://fintechnews.hk/8765/blockchain/tiger-broker-ipo/#respond Wed, 13 Mar 2019 03:44:36 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8765 Tiger Broker who recently joined the illustrious list of chinese fintech unicorns late 2018 has announced its plans to raise up to US$ 91 Million an IPO on NASDAQ ,according

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Tiger Broker who recently joined the illustrious list of chinese fintech unicorns late 2018 has announced its plans to raise up to US$ 91 Million an IPO on NASDAQ ,according to prospectus filed with US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in 2014, Tiger Brokers is an online brokerage that allows Chinese investors at home and abroad, to trade stocks in the US, Hong Kong and mainland China markets.

It’s backed by the like of smartphone manufacture Xiaomi who owns 14.4 of UP Fintech which runs the plaftorm and American investor Jim Rogers.

The company first announced its intention to plan for an IPO in October 2018 according to a Bloomberg report.

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A Snapshot of Fintech Unicorns in Asia http://fintechnews.hk/8717/china/a-snapshot-of-fintech-unicorns-in-asia/ http://fintechnews.hk/8717/china/a-snapshot-of-fintech-unicorns-in-asia/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 04:43:11 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8717 In 2018, Asia made a run at the US as the top market for fintech deals with a surge in early-stage and mega-round investments. The region recorded the biggest boost

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In 2018, Asia made a run at the US as the top market for fintech deals with a surge in early-stage and mega-round investments.

The region recorded the biggest boost in fintech deals, raising US$22.65 billion across 516 deals, including Ant Financial’s US$14 billion investment, which accounted for 35% of global fintech funding in 2018, according to CB Insights’ 2019 Fintech Trends to Watch report.

Fintech funding 2018 CB Insights

2018 was a key year for the Asian fintech industry. In particular, Southeast Asian fintech startups attracted bigger financings and foreign investors with notable deals that include Thailand’s Masii US$2.4 million Series A, Vietnam’s Momo US$100 million Series C, and Indonesia’s C88 US$28 million Series C.

2018 also saw the addition of 16 new unicorns, or private companies with a valuation of over US$1 billion, bringing the total to 39 fintech unicorns valued, in aggregate, at US$147.37 billion.

North America currently hosts most of the world’s fintech unicorns with 24 companies, followed by Asia with nine companies.

Fintech unicorns as of early 2019 CB Insights

 

Asia’s Fintech Unicorns

Fintech Unicorns Asia large

One97 Communications – US$10B

Asia Fintech Unicorn - one97

One97 Communications provides telecommunications services to telecom service providers, consumers, and enterprises in India, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh.

The company owns and operates Paytm an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company. Paytm offers online use-cases like mobile recharges, utility bill payments, travel, movies, and events bookings, as well as in-store payments at grocery stores, restaurants, parking, tolls, pharmacies and education institutions with the Paytm QR code.

Lufax – US$3B

Asia Fintech Unicorn - Lufax

Lufax is an online Internet finance marketplace in China headquartered in Shanghai. The company was founded in 2011, and started with P2P lending as the only product.

It has since branched out its business gradually, becoming a much broader platform that work together with funds, insurance companies and financial license holders. Lufax is an associate of China Ping An Group.

Tuandaiwang – US$1.5B

 

Asia Fintech Unicorn - Tuandaiwang

Founded in 2012, Tuandai Network Technology, also known as Tuandaiwang Service, is the operator of P2P online lending platform Tuandai.com.

The company offers a group loan network loan investment platform for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). The platform claims that individuals and companies have borrowed around RMB 78 billion (US$11.4 billion) since launching and lenders can make as much as RMB 2.3 billion (US$335 million) in returns.

Cgtz – US1.4B

Asia Fintech Unicorn - cgtz

Founded in 2014, Cgtz is a Hangzhou-based business-to-customer (B2C) debt investment portal, providing various investments products for the individual and SMEs.

 

Beijing Lakala Billing Services – US$1.6B

Asia Fintech Unicorn - Beijing Lakala Billing Services

Lakala Payment is an Internet-based integrated financial service platform that provides online and offline third-party payment services, as well as consumer lending, credit rating, and wealth management services.

It caters to well-known convenience stores, supermarkets, shopping malls, and community groceries. Lakala was launched in 2005 and is based in Beijing, China.

 

Viva Republica – US$1.2B

Asia Fintech Unicorn - Toss Viva Republica

Viva Republica, through its mobile app Toss, provides a peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payments platform in South Korea. Instead of the usual mobile banking involving OTP devices and multiple passwords, Toss models itself after Venmo and simplifies the process for bill-sharing, and other P2P-related transactions.

Toss also partners with incumbent financial institutions, and other fintech players for services related to loans, payments, investments, credit score management, spending analytics and insurance.

 

Tiger Brokers – US$1.1B

Asia Fintech Unicorn - Tiger Brokers

Founded in 2014, Tiger Brokers is an online brokerage that allows Chinese investors at home and abroad, to trade stocks in the US, Hong Kong and mainland China markets.

Its app, Tiger for US Stocks, is characterized by a Chinese interface and supports multiple features like one-click short selling, personal profit and loss analysis, stock options trading and real-time quotes. Tiger Brokers also has an online community for investors to share information and trading experience.

 

PolicyBazaar – US$1B

Asia Fintech Unicorn - policybazaar

PolicyBazaar, initially founded in 2008 as an information portal for learning about insurance, now operates India’s leading digital insurance brand and a marketplace that aggregates and selects deals from across the industry.

PolicyBazaar has also launched a Telugu website to help users to research and buy online in their native language. The company was started in June 2008 in Gurugram, India.

Tongdun Technology – US$1B

Asia Fintech Unicorn - Tongdun

Founded in 2013, Tongdun Technology is a third-party intelligent risk management service provider that integrates AI into risk management, offering clients P2P lending, microfinance, banking, insurance, funds management, third-party payment, OTA, e-commerce, O2O, gaming, social media, live streaming, etc.

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How China is Quietly Shaping Asia’s Fintech http://fintechnews.hk/8688/infographic/china-fintech-investment-asia/ http://fintechnews.hk/8688/infographic/china-fintech-investment-asia/#respond Wed, 06 Mar 2019 04:54:39 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8688 When one considers China’s influence on the rest of Asia, it is often seen as a benchmark; how China’s dramatic move into a cashless society has financially emboldened more of

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When one considers China’s influence on the rest of Asia, it is often seen as a benchmark; how China’s dramatic move into a cashless society has financially emboldened more of its populace, created more financial inclusivity for the underserved thus inspiring many other Asian nations to strive towards similar cashlessness.

Time and time again, the republic proves its fintech caliber. Despite rising tensions with the USA, China took the lead in global fintech investments in 2018, retaking the same title they  held in 2016.

However, China’s influence in Asia extends more than just as a role model. For many fintechs across Asia, China’s companies are their financiers, providing anywhere between cash to business support in growing their platforms.

Some of the more influential companies include:

Alibaba

china influence asia fintech investment alibaba

With the exception of its Hong Kong presence, many of Alibaba’s investments boil down to some form of e-payment, like Paytm, Mynt and TNG Wallet (though this last one is more of a partnership and not to be confused with the similarly named TNG Wallet operating in Hong Kong since 2015).

The e-wallet spheres in both India and the Philippines have become exciting in parts, thanks to Alibaba and Tencent’s battle to dominate India and Southeast Asia. Most of this fighting is done via e-commerce, but fintech is a natural extension.

With that in mind, it is no surprise that Tencent and Alibaba’s entry into India are e-commerce platforms, with fintech offerings. India’s Paytm began as a mobile wallet, but later transformed into an integrated e-commerce store. Most recently, Paytm has embarked on a subscription service-based model, ala Amazon Prime, to entice more users.

Meanwhile, Philippines’ Mynt is more traditionally fintech, offering payments, remittance, loans, business solutions, and platforms.

In Singapore, Alibaba’s initial acquisition of Lazada led them into a merger with HelloPay, Lazada’s online payment platform. HelloPay as a company was later rebranded into Alipay, but the platform’s features and services remain unchanged in the Singapore market.

Alibaba, in investments, has a bigger Hong Kong presence than its contemporaries, with distinct investments. Qupital is a digital trading marketplace for buyers and sellers of corporate receivables. While WeLab is a mobile lending organisation, which analyses unstructured mobile big data within seconds to make credit decisions for individual borrowers.

Tencent

china influence asia fintech investment tencent

As for Tencent, it seems like the owners of WeChat are in a more direct competition with Alibaba when it comes to funding. Where Alibaba closed on India’s Paytm in March 2017, Tencent closed on their deal with Flipkart just a month later. Then in July, Flipkart announced their intentions to move more seriously into the fintech sphere, expressing intentions to grow their ‘buy now pay later’ and ‘cardless credit’ products.

In a similar trajectory, Alibaba closed investment into Mynt in February 2017, and later, Tencent closed on Voyager in October 2018. Voyager’s offerings include a prepaid e-wallet, a service that enables enterprises to accept digital payments, remittance, lending and a rewards app.

JD.com

china influence asia fintech investment jd.com

JD.com’s investment into Go-Jek marks the company’s focus on Indonesian investments at the time. In fact, Go-Jek seems to attract various fintech-related China firms, securing investments from Didi Chuxing, JD.com, and Tencent respectively.

Now, Go-Jek’s Go-Pay is attempting to battle Grab for the Southeast Asian region in both ride-hailing, and in the fintech spheres, both starting with e-wallets but looking to expand into an all-inclusive app ecosystem.

JD.com’s more recent interest in Thailand will cumulate in the eventual launch of the Dolfin wallet, which was just announced January this year. The wallet is a product of Central JD, along with Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank. Dolfin Wallet plans to stand apart via artificial intelligence and big data learning, both contributions of JD.com’s presence.

Xiaomi

china influence asia fintech investment xiaomi

Spicing up the scene in India is also Xiaomi with CreditBee, a micro-lending platform similar to Mi Credit announced a few months after investing into KrazyBee in 2016.

In a different area of fintech born out of a similar need, Xiaomi also invested into ZestMoney in India, which allows people to take up small-ticket loans and pay for it in installments with no credit card or credit score. ZestMoney’s offering extends beyond the more typical loans saturating the Indian market; instead more geared towards credit financing, and online shopping.

Meanwhile, back at home, Xiaomi has a stake in Huisuanzhang, which provides services to SMEs including accounting, business registration, business change, tax audit, tax agency, trademark registration, and other professional and efficient integration of tax services.

It seems like Xiaomi’s interest in India stems from the popularity of its mobile phones, which has exponentially increased its market share to topple former champion Samsung in 2018.

Didi Chuxing

china influence asia fintech investment didi chuxing

Even though Didi Chuxing technically invested into Go-Jek and Grab prior to their fintech pushes, one cannot undercut their influence in both companies’ fintech moves.

Before Uber’s exit/acquisition from Southeast Asia, both it and Grab, under Didi Chuxing, had a similar business model, which Grab won out. We can observe a similar trend between Grab’s new competitor Go-Jek, also Didi Chuxing’s investee. Both GrabPay and Go-Jek diversified into e-paymenets, with an eye on lending and insurtech. Both have also expressed interest in turning their app into a fully fledged e-commerce ecosystem following ride-hailing.

Therefore, Fintech News sees a possibility that if GrabPay and Go-Pay achieves the top two positions in e-wallets, then the one that’s worse off could be devoured by the winning one, ala Grab and Uber in Southeast Asia.

 

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DocDoc Secures Investment from Cyberport Macro Fund http://fintechnews.hk/8658/various/docdoc-secures-investment-from-cyberport-macro-fund/ http://fintechnews.hk/8658/various/docdoc-secures-investment-from-cyberport-macro-fund/#respond Tue, 05 Mar 2019 03:37:49 +0000 http://fintechnews.hk/?p=8658 DocDoc, a patient empowerment platform recently announced that it secured strategic investment from Cyberport Macro Fund . Following this investment round DocDoc will be opening a new office in Hong

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DocDoc, a patient empowerment platform recently announced that it secured strategic investment from Cyberport Macro Fund . Following this investment round DocDoc will be opening a new office in Hong Kong’s Cyberport

This recent investment from Cyberport brings the total funding DocDoc has raised to date to US$18.5 million. DocDoc, combining a large Asian network of doctors with a powerful AI-powered doctor discovery platform, will use the proceeds from its latest fundraising to expand its market presence in Hong Kong and strengthen its network of doctors in the region.

It will leverage the Cyberport facilities, infrastructure and its network to continue to expand its insurance footprint in the region, providing data-driven doctor discovery services to insurance policyholders.

Cole Sirucek

Cole Sirucek

 

“We believe the investment from CMF reflects Cyberport’s commitment to empower leading health technology companies. We are proud to have received this tremendous vote of confidence from Cyberport and look forward to embarking on the next wave of growth alongside Hong Kong’s thriving Cyberport community of ultra-innovative high-growth companies.

 

 

said Cole Sirucek, DocDoc Co-founder and CEO.

Cyberport has accelerated the growth of the city’s vibrant technology community. The innovation hub combines world-class facilities, capital investments, and a vision to develop the digital technology industry as a key economic driver for Hong Kong.

George Lam

George Lam

“Cyberport is committed to promoting and facilitating the development of digital technology. The Cyberport Macro Fund in cooperation with resourceful tech investors aims at providing funding to tech start-ups with high growth potential. I believe this co-investment fund can help to connect start-ups with suitable investors and open up more funding opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their business.”

Dr. George Lam, Chairman of Cyberport continues,

“DocDoc is a member of the Cyberport community. The company combines an artificial intelligence powered doctor discovery platform with great customer service to effectively connect patients to high quality care based on the patient’s unique medical needs. This offering is available to insurance companies as a value-added service. I believe this unique business model can bring forth new momentum and innovation to the insurance market in Hong Kong and Asia. With the establishment of DocDoc’s new office in Cyberport, we look forward to this start-up’s bright future.”

Featured image credit: Edited from Unsplash

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