SeedlyTV: P2P Lending Showdown

In collaboration with Seedly, Minterest along with three other P2P lending founders from Capital Match, CoAssets, and Funding Societies were gathered all in one room to give more context on the industry and how consumers can consider investing in the SME loans space.

The viewers were able to ask questions while the speakers answer them LIVE during the video session. They sat down to answer burning questions like “How does it work? Is it safe?! Why don’t the P2P companies raise funding from venture capital or angel investors to put into the P2P loans?”

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In a nutshell, these are the topics that were covered during the LIVE streaming:

  1. What is P2P lending about and how does it work

  2. Pros and Cons of P2P lending

  3. Risks involved in investing via P2P lending

  4. How safe is P2P?

  5. LIVE Q&A

Below are some snippets from the P2P Lending Showdown that was held on 27 June 2019.

Here we have our co-founder, Ronnie introducing Minterest!

He also shared about our Minterest story and how we have come this far. ūüėä

You may be also wondering what sets Minterest apart from the other P2P lending platforms. One of the questions that he answered during the LIVE streaming was “There are so many platforms to choose from. What is the main feature that sets you apart from your competitors?”

Many thanks to Seedly for organising this information session on P2P lending, and to all viewers who have asked insightful questions.

If you have missed the show, fret not, as you can still watch the full LIVE video session here.

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

p2p lending p2p lending p2p lending Instagram

NOTE: SeedlyTV is a series which will be covering topics in personal finance via LIVE video and Q&A on the Seedly platform.

MSc Finance Industry Engagement Day

Our Co-Founder and CEO, Charis Liau was invited to speak to Master of Science Finance students from Nanyang Technological University on MSc Finance Industry Engagement Day that was held on 23 May 2019.

Co-Founder and CEO of Minterest, Charis Liau finance

Background

The MSc Finance is the largest specialized master programme at Nanyang Business School (NBS) and collaborates with Peking University in China for a double degree programme. There are around 110 participants every year, mostly from China.

This year, MSc Industry Engagement Day was a series of speaker sessions where they invited NBS alumni and industry leaders in Singapore to share the current landscape and advice for aspiring talents in their respective domain.

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During the dialogue session, she covered various topics such as the current FinTech scene in Singapore, the ASEAN market opportunity, along with the skill sets for the future of financial services.

She also shared with the students about Minterest on who we are and what we do. Last but not least, she touched on the opportunities and challenges for developing a career in the financial services industry.

After the talk, it was time to interact with the students during the Q&A session.

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Thank you to NTU for organising this event. It was an honor to be given this opportunity to join the event as a speaker and share with the students regarding the FinTech industry.

If you have any enquiries, feel free to drop us an email at [email protected].

Singapore chosen by Bank for International Settlements for innovation hub centre

SINGAPORE – The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), dubbed the central bank for the world’s central banks,¬†will establish an innovation hub centre in Singapore in a move that Singapore’s central bank said reflects the Republic’s position as a leading international fintech centre.

BIS’¬†Innovation Hub will span multiple locations. It will first set up centres in Basel, Switzerland, and Hong Kong, making use of existing BIS facilities there. Singapore will host its third hub centre, also as part of the plan’s first phase.

Announcing this on Sunday (June 30), BIS said the role of the hub will be to identify and develop in-depth insights into critical trends in technology affecting central banking.

It will also develop public goods in the technology space geared towards improving the functioning of the global financial system and serve as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation.

The move is the latest of recent fintech developments here. On Friday, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced Singapore will issue up to five new digital bank licences, paving the way for non-bank players to break into the local financial service scene.

Global professional services firm EY reported last week that the fintech adoption rate among Singaporean consumers jumped from 23 per cent to 67 per cent in just the last two years, higher than the global average of 64 per cent.

Noting that the IT revolution has no borders, chairman of the BIS board of directors Jens Weidmann said: “The establishment of the BIS innovation hub will enable central banks to extend their existing collaboration with a view to identifying relevant trends in technology, supporting these developments where this is consistent with their mandate, and keeping abreast of regulatory requirements with the objective of safeguarding financial stability.”

“There are significant economies of scale in such an endeavour, and the BIS is the ideal vehicle to realise them.”

Mr Mark Carney, chair of the BIS economic consultative committee, added: “There is a new economy emerging driven by changes in technology, demographics and the environment.”

“While the private sector is driving these innovations, their efforts will be more effective if the hard and soft infrastructure of the global financial system support this innovation, promote resilience and level the playing field on which to compete.”

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), in welcoming the setting up of a hub centre in Singapore, said this “reflects Singapore’s position as a leading international fintech centre, with an advanced fintech ecosystem”.

“In collaboration with other central banks, the Singapore hub centre aims to develop the technology architecture for an efficient and secure digital global financial system and facilitate experiments in the application of technology to enhance financial regulation,” MAS added.

The Singapore centre will start operations once institutional arrangements – including its location and staffing arrangements – have been finalised.

In a statement, MAS managing director Ravi Menon noted the wave of technological innovations sweeping across financial services.

“To fully harness the benefits of these innovations while ensuring the resilience of the financial sector, central banks must also innovate – to modernise the technology infrastructure and regulatory arrangements that underpin digital finance and the digital economy,” he said.

He added: “The BIS Innovation Hub initiative provides a compelling platform for central banks to collaborate in this effort, so as to maximise the benefits of cross-border digital connectivity and commerce. MAS looks forward to working closely with the BIS and the global central banking community to advance this visionary and important agenda.”

BIS, which works to promote global monetary and financial stability through international cooperation, said hub centres will be added across the Americas and Europe in the second phase of implementation.

The article was contributed by The Straits Times.

Singapore to issue up to 5 licences to digital banks in liberalisation push

SINGAPORE will issue up to five new licences to digital banks and begin taking applications from August, in one of the biggest liberalisation steps taken by the city-state in years.

The maximum of five new digital-bank licences to be issued in time will comprise up to two digital full-bank licences, and up to three digital wholesale bank licences. They must all meet the same capital requirements as local banks. This is in addition to any digital banks that the local banking groups may also establish.

This was announced on Friday night by senior minister and the chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the annual Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) dinner.

“The new digital bank licences mark the next chapter in Singapore’s banking liberalisation journey,” said Mr Tharman.

The digital full-bank licence will allow licensees to provide a wide range of financial services and take deposits from retail customers. A digital wholesale bank licence will allow licensees to serve SMEs and other non-retail segments.

The aim, The Business Times (BT) understands, is to tackle the segments that may be underserved, such as small businesses. This is done without compromising the anchoring position of the local banks, which hold a significant market share collectively, to prevent systemic risk.

BT also understands there have been informal talks with potential applicants – from both Singapore and overseas – that are keen to tap this new licensing framework.

Application for the digital full-bank licences is open to companies headquartered and controlled by Singaporeans. Foreign companies can apply for these full-bank licences if they form a joint venture with a Singapore company. Applicants must have a track record in operating an existing business, or in technology and e-commerce fields. They must also show clearly how they can tackle unmet needs, and show it has a sustainable digital banking business model. Any competition deemed¬†to be “value-destructive” will not qualify.

At the first stage, the digital non-wholesale bank – that is, the digital full bank – will operate as a restricted bank.

This restricted digital full bank will have an initial¬†paid-up capital of S$15 million. Aggregate deposits will be capped at S$50 million and an individual’s deposits will be capped at S$75,000. To add, the bank can only accept deposits from a small group of persons such as business partners, staff and related parties. With that, it will have to participate in the deposit insurance scheme, which protects deposits of up to S$75,000 per depositor in the event of the bank’s failure.

Such a digital bank – at its restricted stage – can only offer simple credit and investment products. It cannot offer complex investment products such as structured notes, and cannot engage in proprietary trading. It will also be restricted in banking operations in no more than two overseas markets, and must be incorporated in Singapore. Its liquidity requirement will stand at 16 per cent of minimum liquid assets.

Once MAS deems that the restricted digital full bank performs to show, among other things, good quality of loans, and a well-managed business, the restricted digital full bank will be graduated to a full functioning digital bank by the regulator. No timeline has been set by MAS on this front. But at that point, a graduated bank will need to meet the minimum paid-up capital requirement of S$1.5 billion, and face the same liquidity requirements as local banks, which means a 100 per cent in net stable funding ratio, and 100 per cent in liquidity coverage ratio.

The application for up to three digital wholesale bank licences for SMEs and other non-retail segments is open to all companies – both Singapore and foreign ones. For such applicants, the minimum paid-up capital is S$100 million. They cannot take Sing-dollar deposits from individuals, except for fixed deposits of at least S$250,000. But they can open and maintain business deposit accounts for SMEs and corporates.

This comes as Hong Kong in March opened its doors to virtual banks, with some arguing that it is playing catch-up to the digital banking trend.

Singapore – a heavily banked country – has already seen several of the traditional banks here investing heavily in digital capabilities in recent times. The local banks are also fairly well-entrenched, with Singapore’s top three banks estimated to hold a combined market share of just over 50 per cent. The market will watch if virtual banks – with their nimbleness but a much smaller asset base – will be able to wrest market share from the big guns here.

Hong Kong has already issued eight licences, with the most recent batch of four licences given out to entities linked to China’s top technology companies including Ping An, Ant Financial and Tencent. The earlier batch of licences went to applicants that are joint ventures between traditional banks and non-bank entrants. These virtual banks in Hong Kong are roughly expected to begin operations in six to nine months.

The article was contributed by The Business Times.

Launch of QianNow – The consumer financing arm of Minterest Group

The Minterest Group is pleased to announce the opening of our consumer financing business, QianNow.

Selected and regulated by the Ministry of Law to pilot new consumer lending practices in Singapore, QianNow utilises proprietary credit scoring algorithm to instantly assess the creditworthiness of each individual based on a combination of traditional data as well as non-traditional data such as bank transactions, psychometrics and even one’s social networks.

Technology is changing the way we live, work and play. With more people opting for flexibility and autonomy at work, we are witnessing the rise of the gig economy in Singapore. Currently, at least 10% of the workforce are contract workers/freelancers, and nearly half of the working population expressed interest in being part of the gig economy. QianNow is designed to meet their needs as jobs evolve and for the future workforce.Using digitalised credit scoring algorithm to assess the credit worthiness of individuals, we  are able to lower the overall financing cost to individuals by as much as 50% of the current bank credit card financing rates.  We believe QianNow will be a safe and cost effective option for individuals.

Meet the QianNow team ….

Did we say Personalised and Cost Effective Interest Rates? 

With QianNow, say goodbye to a one-size-fits-all model, and instead welcome a new model where the amount of data which a borrower provides will determine a unique and personalised interest rate that is an accurate reflection of the financing cost each borrower should have to bear. There is no penalty for early repayment and the online application is simple and fast, allowing you to log onto the platform anytime, anywhere.

Read more at blogqiannow.com and to apply for a loan under 5 minutes, click here.

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

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Banking on the unbanked

TECHNOLOGY, and in particular Financial Technology or Fintech, has the ability to accelerate access to financial services for the unbanked and significantly reduce costs for businesses.

Given that 70% of the ASEAN consumer market are younger than 40 years of age and with the emergence of a highly digitally active middle-class population across Southeast Asia, the internet economy is expected to reach a high of US$200 billion by 2025.

Furthermore, research estimates that there will be more than 480 million internet users by 2020. It comes as no surprise that the Fintech revolution is only just beginning in Singapore and Asia.

On the backdrop of this vast potential and steep growth of Fintech, Minterest was incorporated in March 2016 and licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to facilitate the offering of loans to SMEs from investors around the region. It is a leading online marketplace funding platform founded by a team of former bankers with more than 155 years of collective experience in corporate and structured finance.

By providing quick and efficient access to capital, Minterest seeks to alleviate companies that have difficulties receiving financing from banks through offering an alternative solution to this pain point. Its sister company, QianNow Pte. Ltd. (https://qiannow.com), will also be providing consumer loans to Singpore based individuals at a rate that commensurates with the individual’s risk profile. Individuals will be able to enjoy their own personalized interest rate, instead of a standard rate across the entire population.

Minterest’s marketplace funding platform (https://minterest.sg) is based on the motto “financing made simple, investments made easy”, which is what borrowers and investors will experience when using their platform. Minterest believes that each borrower and its requirements are unique, therefore a one-size fits all model practiced by banks or finance companies will do no justice to the requirements of different SMEs and organisations.

That is why Minterest’s credit assessment process takes into account the exact requirements of each enterprise before delivering an appropriate financing solution. This also allows Minterest to offer well-structured, risk-mitigated investments to its investors.

Instead of using conventional methods of assessing propriety credit, Minterest believes in alternative methods that are more tailored to individual companies and invests heavily in relevant technologies to deliver on this directive.

For instance, they have built and developed their own proprietary credit assessment algorithm (“MintGrade”) to assess an organisation’s or SME’s loan application, leveraging on data obtained from independent third-party sources such as credit payment profiles and litigation searches.

Borrowers are then efficiently and effectively matched with investors using this technology resulting in endless possibilities for borrowers to reach a wide-ranging investor base.

“Using our proprietary credit scoring model with over 350 data points of each borrower, we are able to curate a strong portfolio of creditworthy borrowers who would be underserved or unserved by the traditional credit providers,” explains Minterest co-founder and CEO Charis Liau.

Generally, funding are secured within 2 weeks, or in a matter of days. 97% of all deals listed on the Minterest platform are funded by investors within a day. The speed, efficiency and certainty of Minterest’s process paves a new way of fund raising for corporates.

Diversification is key to successful investing and that is why financial inclusion is at the heart of Minterest and their operations. Minterest offers a variety of loan and invoice finance products to allow its investors to diversify across multiple borrowers as well as across a broad risk spectrum.

They empower investors by allowing them to participate and invest easily in business loans from as low as S$250. Loan sizes range from $30,000 to over $3 million with average tenor less than 6 months.

As marketplace funding gains traction and becomes more mainstream, larger corporates are also seeing the benefits of raising funds through a wide pool of investors. Minterest have welcomed such initiatives as their goal is to build tomorrow’s financial ecosystem to be one that served rather than rules.

As part of its expansion roadmap, it will be investing heavily into blockchain and artificial intelligence technology.

Minterest Group has been amongst the few chosen by the Ministry of Law to pilot new money lending practices in Singapore. Under the consumer finance umbrella, QianNow will serve the needs of consumers in Singapore who require financing for various productive reasons such as medical and healthcare loans.

It employs ground breaking credit analysis taking into account one’s unique personality educational background and job history in assessing the credit profile of an applicant. Psychographic tests are also being incorporated as part of their credit assessment system for a more accurate evaluation.

Minterest’s efforts to develop the Fintech industry have not gone unnoticed. It has been recognized as the Top 25 Fintech Companies in Asia Pacific (2017) and the top 25 Hottest Fintech Companies in Asia Pacific (2018) by the APAC CIO Outlook. Best Peer to Peer Lending Platform, in Singapore by Global Business Insights, 30 Best Small Companies to Watch 2018 by The Silicon Review, Top 30 Most Influential Entrepreneurs to Watch 2018 by Insights Success and now attaining the Business Eminence Award by Dun & Bradstreet Singapore.

With their current endeavors and plans for the next few years, Minterest is achieving its vision of creating a sustainable community in which investors and businesses mutually benefit by collaborating and leveraging on innovations in financial technology.

 

The article was contributed by The Business Times.

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

Members’ Night at The Screening Room – 7 May 2019

On 7 May 2019, we held our third Member’s 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 ‚Äď 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!

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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 ‚Äď 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.

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