Members’ Night at The Screening Room – 7 May 2019

On 7th May 2019, we held our third Members’ Night at The Screening Room. This coincided with Minterest operations turning 2! Thank you Members for joining us in your investment journey and we were very glad to connect with our members through this event.

Setting Up

setting up for members' night Minterest Members' Night

The strong men at work!

members registration members registration

After completing the set up, we proceed on with the registration and guided the new members through the signing up process.

Starting It Off

welcome speech by CoF and CEO, Charis Liau Team Minterest

Firstly, we started off with a welcome speech by our Co-Founder and CEO, Charis Liau as she shares about our Minterest story. We hope you enjoyed the short video regarding Minterest in general and get a glimpse of what we do.

Next, we have our Co-Founder and COO, Ronnie Chia to introduce the Minterest team.

the fintech scene borrower's journey investor's journey

Following, we had our talented client ambassadors – Rong Yao, Rick and Arnold to share with everyone the future of the financial services industry, our borrower’s journey as well as an investor’s journey on Minterest.

introducing QianNow

Last but not least, we shared about our auto invest allocation algorithm and FAQ. We also introduced our NEW consumer financing arm – QIANNOW during the presentation. We hope you have a better understanding of who Minterest is and what we do. Qiannow is commencing operations 1 June 2019 so stay tuned for new updates!

After The Presentation

After the presentation, we mingled around, and enjoyed the food and drinks!

mingling with members members' night members' night members' night members' night

Thank you to all members who came down for this event. We hope to see more of you at our next member’s night!

Don’t forget to follow us on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and see what we’re doing.

 

Charis Liau: Top 100 Fintech Southeast Asia Influencers 2019

Our Co-Founder and CEO, Charis Liau was named one of the Top 100 Fintech Southeast Asia Influencers 2019 by LATTICE80.

LATTICE80 is a global Fintech Hub and a community with more than 11,000 Fintech startups and 200,000 professionals in their database. They believe that the fastest way to grow is by collaborating and helping one another through partnerships.

In this list, LATTICE80 highlights the top 100 Fintech leaders in Southeast Asia who are actively involved in growing and developing the ecosystem here. This list of influencers was picked from in-house research and include startup founders, government and regulatory leaders, members of financial institutions, advocacy groups and investors.

Southeast Asia is a region that presents booming potential for Fintech right now. After all, the region has a population of more than 640 million people with around 50% of its population under 30 years old. Along with the robust macroeconomic growth the countries are experiencing, the young, digitally-savvy population will help to stimulate middle-class spending, in turn driving demand for financial services.

Due to the nature of the largely underbanked population, the development of this regional ecosystem can be observed in waves – firstly from a rise of payment services, to e-wallets, followed by lending, regtech, and insurtech.

While Singapore leads the way as a Fintech hub, other countries are also making much progress through regional collaborations.

The ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN), for instance, was launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in 2018 and aims to support financial services innovation and inclusion in less developed markets within the ASEAN region and to provide a platform for collaboration and innovation for financial institutions and Fintech startups. Also, the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam have committed to work together on a cross-border fund transfer scheme, which is due to be rolled out this year.

Key Highlights from the Top 100 Fintech Southeast Asia Influencers 2019 list by LATTICE80

  • Of the 100 influencers, 42 are based in Singapore, 12 in Malaysia, 11 in Indonesia, 11 in Thailand, 10 in the Philippines, 6 in Myanmar, 6 in Vietnam, and 2 in Cambodia.

  • Also, 62 hold key positions in fintech startups, 25 facilitate innovation partnerships and transformations in corporates such as banks and insurance companies, 9 are enablers leading national fintech associations or accelerator programmes, and 4 are investors who focus their investments into fintech startups and projects.

Congratulations to all these regional Fintech leaders charting new territories for Fintech in SEA on this list!

This article was contributed by LATTICE80.

Minterest won Dun & Bradstreet Business Eminence Awards 2019

Minterest is honoured and humbled to be a recipient of the Dun & Bradstreet Business Eminence Awards 2019 which was held on 15 March 2019.

Background

The Business Eminence Awards is an initiative by Dun & Bradstreet Singapore to celebrate the nation’s vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship. It is also to recognize and showcase the achievements of Singapore companies that are the critical cogs in shaping the business landscape in Singapore over the past year.

business eminence awards 2019 certificate and tropy photo taking session with our awards

This award recognises our efforts in delivering relevant solutions to meet the financing needs of the small and medium enterprises (SME) community in Singapore, whilst offering diverse, well-structured investment opportunities to our platform investors using innovative technology to simplify the investment process.

enjoying our dinner at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

Firstly, thank you to all our members who have shown great support to the SME business which are the workhorses of the Singapore economy. We also would like to thank our SME clients for entrusting your financing needs to us as we share your vision in your business undertakings.

Thank you Dun & Bradstreet for this award. Last but not least, well done team Minterest Private Limited for making this possible.

We look forward to delivering more financial solutions to our community of investors, and serving the underserved and unbanked in the ASEAN region.

Minterest Gives Back – Meals-on-Wheels for the Elderly in Singapore

Minterest’s first volunteering experience with TOUCH Home Care! On 30 January 2019, our team decided to spend our afternoon out of office to participate in the Meals-on-Wheels programme. As Chinese New Year is approaching near, we also brought along some mandarin oranges to wish our beneficiaries a very Happy New Year.

Background

Meals-on-Wheels is a meal delivery programme to meet the daily needs of the home-bound elderly. The elderly, who usually live alone, depend on volunteers from TOUCH Home Care’s Meals-on-Wheels to deliver their meals every day.

Before we start…

Let’s take a team picture! And now we’re ready to go!

The delivery experience

Our boys preparing the food and moving off for delivery! All beaming with joy and excitement to make a difference.

 

The ladies are also working hard! Everyone is eager to contribute back to society!

And we are all done after 2 hours! Hope the elderly enjoyed their meals!

Time for team drinks!

After we complete all of our assigned deliveries, we gather back and reward ourselves with some team drinks! This has certainly been a meaningful experience for the whole of Minterest team!

If you are interested to volunteer in such initiatives, do get in touch with TOUCH Home Care.

New consumer finance model using psychometric and social media in Singapore

An algorithm that reads your social media feed, gets a fix on your digital personality and analyses your
online interactions with friends and family may now be able to determine if you get a loan.

The Law Ministry selected six firms last month (including Minterest) to pilot new business models for moneylending while also temporarily lifting a 2012 moratorium on new licences needed to operate in the sector.

The idea of using personal data to forecast a person’s likelihood of default is being explored by some
licensed moneylending firms here in what is an industry first.

The Law Ministry selected six firms last month to pilot new business models for moneylending while also temporarily lifting a 2012 moratorium on new licences needed to operate in the sector.

Its moves come as personal loans are on the rise. Singaporeans accumulated nearly $60 billion of debt,
excluding housing, credit cards and car loans, in the third quarter of last year.

The key factor for moneylenders is the credit score, which is used to discern a person’s financial reliability based on his credit track record and income levels.

But determining risk of non-repayment, even with the already strong credit bureau that Singapore has, is not an exact science, say those participating in the trial.

Credit reports may not necessarily reflect a borrower’s immediate financial situation, such as when they
have lost a job recently, said our co-founder Ronnie Chia.

Psychometric analysis, which feeds on social media and other online data from borrowers, allows lenders to determine the character and personality traits of borrowers.

These are important indications of the willingness to repay loans, said Mr Chia.

Mr Jonathan Chong, IFS Capital’s vice-president of business planning and analysis, said lenders will be able to assess the borrower better and faster by considering these additional data points.

“With permission, we can overlay the digital footprint of a user, including social and professional
connections, with the personal and financial data to help us form a more holistic picture of the (borrower),” said Mr Chong.

A more positive credit score means a borrower will get a more favourable interest rate that reflects his risk profile, said Mr Chia.

But there are dangers in giving the computer full autonomy in deciding whether a person is likely to go into delinquency, given that the accuracy of AI-driven risk assessments is sometimes questionable.

United States-based non-profit organisation ProPublica found how risk scores produced by artificial
intelligence were unable to accurately tell if a defendant is likely to commit a future crime, even though
these scores are already used in US courtrooms to guide judges during sentencing.

Its 2016 study found that the algorithm, which was developed by a private company, was “remarkably
unreliable” – only one in five people flagged as likely to commit violent crime went on to do so.

It also found that the system unfairly pegged African-American defendants to be at a higher risk of
committing crime than white Americans.

And even when accurate, the use of credit scores to determine risk and reward can be controversial.

China’s newly deployed social credit system, for instance, has been decried as Orwellian by critics for
penalising everyday behaviour.

Chinese citizens have been barred from buying flight and train tickets or purchasing property in recent
months due to a low score from loan defaults or other activities deemed to be anti-social.

These dangers are why there is a need for the Law Ministry’s pilot, so that the personal lending industry
can find out what safeguards are necessary as it heads towards the adoption of AI and big data analytics,
said Mr Edmund Sim, founder of fintech start-up Credit Culture.

However, even detractors of AI cannot deny the superhuman efficiency of computer algorithms, big data
and machine learning employed in various industries today.

Humans can get it wrong even without AI, and they do so while incurring higher costs that will eventually show up on the borrower’s bill.

In a demonstration at his Craig Road office, Mr Sim showed The Straits Times how its credit scoring engine analyses and scores applicants for their creditworthiness almost instantly.

He declined to give specifics on the algorithms used as they are proprietary to the firm.

While accuracy is a concern, machine beats man on one key element – algorithms apply their standards
universally and eliminate any form of bias associated with human intervention, said Mr Sim.

“Technology can benefit consumers by making things simpler, cheaper and more transparent, allowing
them to make better informed decisions,” he noted.

“The question now is the extent to which technology can be used in personal lending.”

P2P Lending and Digital Lending Fintechs Active in Southeast Asia

The size of the Southeast Asian alternative financing market grew from US$46.65 million in 2015 to a whopping US$215.9 million the following year. That’s almost a fivefold leap in market value in just the span of a year, according to a study jointly conducted by the University of Cambridge and Monash University.

The United Nations estimates that Southeast Asians make up approximately 659 million of the world’s population at the time of writing—and among these numbers, a plethora of them come from regions that have traditionally been underbanked or underserved during the days before the word ‘fintech’ made any sense.

Without access to a bank account, and even if they do, a trackable credit record, these populations have been precluded from receiving loans from traditional financial institutions and thus, takes away a lot of opportunities for many of these populations to bring themselves to a higher economic standing.

P2P lending platforms have risen to address this specific problem, many able to offer smaller loans, and thus more lax terms. Digitisation or a good mobile layout also means that these platforms are able to penetrate more communities more quickly and with less upfront cost.

The rising stars of this industry will probably be coming from Indonesia, that has seen both massive demand, and a permissive regulator that deems P2P lending a viable strategy for helping its constituents rise out of poverty.

P2P Lending South East Asia -Digital Lending South East Asia - HiRes

 

Capital Match

capital-match-singapore-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

Capital Match, which was established in 2014, provides business and SME loans and invoice financing facilities of S$50,000 to S$200,000. The platform had funded S$62 million in loans, as of December 2017. Capital Match has raised S$1 million in funding so far from Innosight Ventures, Crystal Horse Investments and CE-Tech Invest.

Capital Springboard

capital-springboard-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

 

Capital Springboard is the latest venture by David Rawson-Mackenzie, who specialises in wealth and alternative financial strategies. David’s network of companies, the Centurion Group, offers a full suite of financial services for private and institutional investors. Capital Springboard is one of the the largest P2P invoice finance platforms with more than S$170 million worth of invoices transacted as of October 2017.

Coassets

coassets-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

CoAssets Pte Ltd is a Southeast Asian public listed crowdfunding site with offices in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, China and Indonesia. CoAssets Pte Ltd brings real estate developers, businesses and investors together, with in excess of S$43 million worth of transactions taking place through the platform in the last two years. They have also launched Crowdfunders.Asia, a magazine that is dedicated to all things related to crowdfunding to benefit the crowdfunding community.

Crowdo

crowdo-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

Crowdo is a regional fintech company offering a full portfolio of alternative financing solutions across peer-to-business lending and securities / equity crowdfunding launched in 2013

Crowd Genie

crowdgenie-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

Crowd Genie is a platform where we match Small and Medium size companies who are looking to borrow funds with investors who are looking for better returns than what they get from the banks. Crowd Genie also launched their own token, CGCOIN.

FundedHere

funded-here-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

FundedHere is the first registered equity and lending-based crowdfunding platform for promising businesses in Asia, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). FundedHere has built an ecosystem for both investors and businesses, leveraging on Singapore as a springboard for the rest of Asia. The platform connects promising tech startups in Southeast Asia and Greater China with professional and accredited investors. Launched in March 2015, FundedHere obtained its CMS license from MAS in 2016.

Funding Societies

funding societies-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

Funding Societies is a regional P2P lending player operating in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The company was founded by Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya who were both Harvard graduates. Funding Societies operates in Indonesia under the name Modalku.

Minterest

minterest-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

Recognised as Asia’s Top 25 Fintech Company by APAC CIO Outlook, Minterest intends to use a broad spectrum of innovative technologies and our team’s financial expertise to overcome existing real world financial shortcomings.

MoolahSense

MoolahSense-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

Founded in 2013, MoolahSense is a Singaporean P2P lending platform connecting local SMEs with investors. MoolahSense is backed by East Ventures and Pix Vine Capital and signed a partnership with DBS Bank to refer successful borrowers to the bank for larger loans and other traditional banking services. Funding Societies is the first Singaporean peer-to-peer lending company to incorporate a trustee registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Validus

validus-p2p-lending-south-east-asia

Backed by Temasek Holdings’ Vertex Ventures, Validus is a P2P online financing marketplace designed to help bridge the cash flow gap small and medium businesses face. The platform allows Validus to provide better financing solutions to the underserved SMEs in Singapore.

 

The above platforms stated are all based in Singapore. To learn about P2P lending platforms based in other countries, read the original article by Fintech Singapore

Minterest selected as one of the six firms issued with moneylending licences with business models that better protect borrowers

If someone cut into your queue at the cashier in a supermarket, what would you do?

 

Answers to psychometric questions like this will help moneylender Minterest predict a borrower’s behaviour, assess the risk in offering them a loan without collateral – and maybe even slash their interest rate by half.

The firm is one of six which will be issued new moneylending licences next year to pilot their own unique business models, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) announced on Tuesday (Dec 11).

It is the first time in six years that MinLaw is issuing new moneylending licences since a moratorium was imposed in 2012.

The one-time lifting of the moratorium is part of an initiative to better protect borrowers through business-led improvements. The new models include more comprehensive use of data to assess creditworthiness, using digitalised processes to lower cost and giving better terms to those who repay their loans early or on time, MinLaw said.

The other firms to be issued licences are Credit 21, Dey and Quick Credit which can operate up to four outlets each. IFS Capital, Xingang Investment and Minterest will be allowed to operate one outlet each.

All six firms have paid-up capital of at least $1 million and demonstrated a track record in providing consumer credit, whether in licensed moneylending or in other sectors of consumer credit, said MinLaw.

Under the Moneylenders Act, licensed moneylenders have to cap their monthly interest rate at 4 per cent.

Mr Ronnie Chia, our very own co-founder and chief operating officer, said that Minterest will be asking psychometric questions to gauge creditworthiness as part of its business model.

Borrowers who obtain a good credit score could see their interest rate cut by half.

“We do not want to be the traditional moneylender where people go to as a last resort,” he said. “We want to be a true alternative to financial institutions. Using technology and data to assess credit risk, we want to create dynamic pricing and pricing that is applicable to the individual.”

With mobile applications changing the face of moneylending, they could provide a ” safe, secure and seamless experience” where people key in minimal information like their names and NRIC numbers and firms access their data through a government site like MyInfo, Mr Chia said.

Borrowers could log in to the mobile app using their Facebook accounts to find out how much they can borrow and the rate of interest.

“If they don’t like our rate, they don’t have to make the trip to our office,” added Mr Chia. “This gives borrowers the freedom and ease to shop around for rates.”

MinLaw said there are currently 162 moneylending outlets in Singapore. The new licensees will be allowed to operate for up to two years from next year, after which MinLaw will evaluate the results of the pilot and consider options for refining the moneylending regulatory regime.

 

This article was contributed by The Business Times.

Minterest selected as one of the six firms issued with moneylending licences with business models that better protect borrowers

If someone cut into your queue at the cashier in a supermarket, what would you do?

 

Answers to psychometric questions like this will help moneylender Minterest predict a borrower’s behaviour, assess the risk in offering them a loan without collateral – and maybe even slash their interest rate by half.

The firm is one of six which will be issued new moneylending licences next year to pilot their own unique business models, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) announced on Tuesday (Dec 11).

It is the first time in six years that MinLaw is issuing new moneylending licences since a moratorium was imposed in 2012.

The one-time lifting of the moratorium is part of an initiative to better protect borrowers through business-led improvements. The new models include more comprehensive use of data to assess creditworthiness, using digitalised processes to lower cost and giving better terms to those who repay their loans early or on time, MinLaw said.

The other firms to be issued licences are Credit 21, Dey and Quick Credit which can operate up to four outlets each. IFS Capital, Xingang Investment and Minterest will be allowed to operate one outlet each.

All six firms have paid-up capital of at least $1 million and demonstrated a track record in providing consumer credit, whether in licensed moneylending or in other sectors of consumer credit, said MinLaw.

Under the Moneylenders Act, licensed moneylenders have to cap their monthly interest rate at 4 per cent.

Mr Ronnie Chia, our very own co-founder and chief operating officer, said that Minterest will be asking psychometric questions to gauge creditworthiness as part of its business model.

Borrowers who obtain a good credit score could see their interest rate cut by half.

“We do not want to be the traditional moneylender where people go to as a last resort,” he said. “We want to be a true alternative to financial institutions. Using technology and data to assess credit risk, we want to create dynamic pricing and pricing that is applicable to the individual.”

With mobile applications changing the face of moneylending, they could provide a ” safe, secure and seamless experience” where people key in minimal information like their names and NRIC numbers and firms access their data through a government site like MyInfo, Mr Chia said.

Borrowers could log in to the mobile app using their Facebook accounts to find out how much they can borrow and the rate of interest.

“If they don’t like our rate, they don’t have to make the trip to our office,” added Mr Chia. “This gives borrowers the freedom and ease to shop around for rates.”

MinLaw said there are currently 162 moneylending outlets in Singapore. The new licensees will be allowed to operate for up to two years from next year, after which MinLaw will evaluate the results of the pilot and consider options for refining the moneylending regulatory regime.

 

This article was contributed by The Straits Times.

Borrowers who repay loans early to benefit from new moneylending business model

Six companies in Singapore will pilot new business models for moneylending, which would grant borrowers better terms if they repay their loans early or on time, said the Ministry of Law on Tuesday (Dec 11).

The new models will also include more comprehensive use of data to assess creditworthiness, as well as use digitalised processes to lower cost.

Of the six firms, three – Credit 21, Dey and Quick Credit – can apply to operate four moneylending outlets each. IFS Capital, Minterest and Xingang Investment are allowed to operate one outlet each.

“The six firms will be issued moneylending licences to operate the outlets they apply for, in a one-time lifting of the moratorium imposed on the issuance of new licences.”

In 2012, a moratorium was imposed on new licenses for moneylenders. Since then, the number of moneylending outlets has decreased from 215 to 162 outlets.

“The six firms will be allowed to apply for licences for up to 15 new outlets in total, and this represents less than 10 per cent of the 162 outlets currently operated by the 157 licensed moneylenders,” said the ministry.

The licensee will be allowed to operate for up to two years from next year onwards. The ministry will then evaluate the results of the pilot and consider options for refining the moneylending regulatory regime, it added.

The firms, which were selected among 38 applicants, were chosen as they met a set of stringent mandatory criteria, the Law Ministry said.

These include the soundness and completeness of the business model, participation in debt assistance schemes, professional debt recovery practices, customer and communication strategies and effective cost of credit and credit policies.

They also have paid-up capital of at least S$1 million and a track record in providing consumer credit, said the ministry.

Read more at Channel News Asia.

What Is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding combines the best of crowdsourcing and microfinancing, bringing together various individuals who commit money to projects and companies they want to support. It’s a young and quickly growing market and it’s transforming how people behave with their money. It’s also transforming the ways businesses raise capital.

Massolution’s Global Crowdfunding Report expects crowdfunding to become a $300 billion industry by 2025, but in many ways, crowdfunding is just getting started. The same consulting firms expect the industry to grow at a compound annual rate of 100 percent over the near term.

So what is crowdfunding? There are a few primary categories.

Reward-Based Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is synonymous with rewards-based sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. With reward-based crowdfunding, people can pledge money to a new creative art project, a novel technology product in development, or to a music artist producing a new album.

The smartwatch Pebble made the tech industry take notice when it received over $2.6 million in only three days of active crowdfunding on the popular crowdfunding site, Kickstarter.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Ever loan money to a friend or a kid? New crowdfunding platforms like Lending Club enable borrowers to get access to funds outside of traditional banking channels. People willing to take a little risk to lend money to other individuals can create whole loan portfolios at the click of a button.

Lending Club, which is the 800-pound peer-to-peer lending gorilla, is literally lending billions of dollars every year. Prosper is a top player in this arena, too.

Donation-Based Crowdfunding

Dr. Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Prize in 2006 for his work in microfinance. Rather than relying on charity to support the working poor, Yunus’ Grameen Bank gives small loans to local entrepreneurs to help fund things like short-term inventory.

Combine microfinance with online crowdfunding and you get sites like Kiva.org, which has been funding small business owners in emerging markets for over a decade, and GoFundMe.

Equity Crowdfunding

The smallest slice of the crowdfunding pie, equity crowdfunding nonetheless offers the most potential to change the way individuals invest their money. Equity crowdfunding enables real investments in private companies.

The equity crowdfunding space AngelList is building what many call the Android of venture capital while other firms like CircleUp and OurCrowd are more like online venture capitalists that provide investors with access to invest in startups with as little as $1000. FundersClub is another big name in equity crowdfunding. Full disclosure—I’m a partner at OurCrowd.

Real Estate Crowdfunding

Entrepreneurs have identified an opportunity for crowdfunding real estate. Each real estate crowdfunding platform seems to take a different approach. Some are crowdfunding loans to buy properties or provide mortgages to buyers of real estate.

Mosaic crowdfunds solar energy projects. Other top players in this area include Fundrise, Realty Mogul, and Crowdstreet.

Human Capital Crowdfunding 

Interested in investing in top athletes? Crowdfunding makes that possible. Earlier this year, Fantex made waves when it announced that it would be IPO-ing investments that track the brand value of top sports stars. Need money for college without piling on debt? Would you trade a percentage of your lifetime earnings for paid tuition today? Built by former Googlers, Upstart lets you crowdfund your education.

There’s no doubt crowdfunding will see many different faces as entrepreneurs and individuals who support them experiment with the future of business finance. We’re just at the beginning.

 

This article was contributed by the balance small business.