总商会圆桌会议 黄山忠吁中小企业主动寻求援助管道

2019冠状病毒疾病对本地企业造成冲击,政府和商界纷纷为受影响企业伸出援手,新加坡中华总商会会长黄山忠呼吁中小企业主动寻求各项援助管道,以应对资金周转不灵和筹资问题。

黄山忠是在中华总商会于昨天(3月5日)举办的中小企业圆桌会议上,发表上述意见。这场会议主题为“如何应对短期资金流动问题”,共吸引了200人出席。

中华总商会上个月针对会员进行一项调查,了解冠病疫情如何影响本地企业。调查显示,本地企业面对的三大挑战是营业额下降、资金周转不灵和供应链遭破坏的问题。令人感到欣慰的是,除了政府之外,各大银行和私人业界也纷纷挺身而出,帮助中小企业渡过难关。

黄山忠说:“这些事态进展都很好,意味着中小企业能寻求不同的援助管道。我希望呼吁那些正在面对或预期将遇到资金流动和融资问题的企业主动接洽银行或非银行业者。在这时期,你可能想要重组贷款计划,或是想向供应商要求更长的信用期。你可能因为一般融资方式受到影响而想探索不同选择,或是想降低融资成本,或是希望更快取得资金以应付流动资金需要。”

昨天参与圆桌会议的代表分别来自华侨银行、网络金融服务供应商Minterest集团、金钟财务服务(Goldbell Financial Services)以及就业与职能培训中心(e2i)。他们各自介绍了为中小企业提供的各项援助配套。

Minterest集团为例,公司通过旗下网络平台让企业申请由亚腾资产管理公司(ARA Asset Management)、海峡贸易(Straits Trading),以及JL家族企业集团联手设立的中小企业资助基金(SME Help Fund)。

该集团联合创办人廖尚莹接受《联合早报》访问时透露,基金至今接获约250份贷款申请,其中超过一半符合资格。大部分申请者来自零售或餐饮业,占了总申请者近三成,其余是资讯及通信、建筑或工程和其他服务等领域。

原文链接:https://www.zaobao.com.sg/sme/news/story20200306-1034706
来源:zaobao.sg

本文著作权归新加坡报业控股所有。商业转载请联系我们获得授权,非商业转载请注明出处。

Covid-19: SMEs across various industries facing liquidity crunch as lenders try to ease pressure

SINGAPORE — Unable to fulfil customer orders, one precision engineering firm is now seeing the backlogs snowball as flight cancellations and mandatory leave of absences wreck its work force.

Another business services company that provides equipment for events had no income in February, and is now hard-pressed to pay their employees. Yet another construction services firm lost business to competitors when several of its suppliers from China were unable to deliver the goods.

These were some anecdotes told during a Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) roundtable on Thursday (March 5), where a panel of credit experts presided.

The anecdotes gave an insight into how small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are facing existential problems during this unexpected and ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, even while they try their best to heed the Government’s call not to shed jobs or slash wages.

Much of the spotlight this period has been on retail, food-and-beverage (F&B), tourism and aviation industries hit hard by the disease that is spreading worldwide, but the session — held at the Trade Association Hub in Jurong — reflected the extent that Singapore’s SMEs are suffering across the board.

One audience member said at the session: “As a mobility services company (formed in May 2019), we had been growing by 30 per cent each month. But we saw a 50 per cent slash in revenue in February alone… We are only a startup, what are my options?”

The panel consisted of Ms Charis Liau, group chief executive officer of crowdfunding platform Minterest; OCBC bank’s group chief credit officer Eric Lian; Goldbell Financial Services’ chief executive officer Alex Chua; and Mr Derek Pang, principal specialist at the Employment and Employability Institute.

In his Budget 2020 speech last month, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced short-term measures to support businesses and workers, including a S$4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package directed at helping businesses retain workers.

Mr Heng also recognised the need to help businesses with cash flow issues, through a temporary bridging loan programme for tourism businesses as well as an enhanced financing scheme for businesses to access working capital.

Ms Liau of Minterest said that such demand for help resolving cash flow issues cuts across industries.

Her company is disbursing a S$5 million SME Help Fund set up by JL Family Office, an investment holding group of companies, fund management firm Ara Asset Management and investment firm Straits Trading Company. It gives out short-term loans to businesses hit by the virus outbreak.

Data from the fund showed a spread of industries among the loan applicants, including retail and F&B, information and communications, construction and engineering, and wholesale trade sectors.

Urging companies to be proactive in engaging banks or non-bank financial institutions on their cash flow issues, SCCCI’s president Roland Ng said it is encouraging that banks and private-sector financial institutions have stepped forward to lend SMEs a helping hand.

A members’ survey by SCCCI done last month showed that the top three challenges to businesses at this time are a decline in revenue, cash flow issues and disruptions in their supply chains, Mr Ng said.

Panel moderator Chia Kim Huat, regional head of corporate and transactional practice at law firm Rajah & Tann, said that cash flow is the lifeblood of SMEs.

He later likened loans to “emergency blood transfusions” for businesses to keep afloat during the crisis, but questioned the panel of business lenders if there were any hidden costs and fees, given the generous lending rates offered by funds that are meant to help firms tide through the outbreak.

It prompted an audience member, property tycoon John Lim, to seek to clarify the issue. Mr Lim, one of the parties sponsoring the SME Help Fund, said that the low interest rates — of 0.5 per cent a month — are meant to guard against loan defaulters and not to profit from them.

“We are not here to try to make money out of it… There is no reason for me to, that is totally ridiculous… We decided that this fund would go out to everyone hit by Covid-19 and that is the principle,” Mr Lim said.

Mr Chua of Goldbell Financial Services, who is from a group of prominent business families that set up another S$5 million Hope fund to help SMEs, said that he, too, is irked by questions about what he stands to gain from giving out these loans.

This is especially so when the reality is that it is difficult to find contributors to the fund because it is not meant to be profitable, he said.

“You’ll be surprised how hard it is, when times are bad, for people to actually put in money (into these funds) when they hear about the interest rates … I have to tell (the contributors) that helping them to not lose money is very good already. I am not here to make them money,” he disclosed.

The article was contributed by Today.

P2P lenders face big test amid virus outbreak

FINTECHS such as peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders have burst onto the scene in the past few years to address a credit gap that they say is untouched by banks.

Now, with the ongoing virus outbreak threatening to break small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggling with cash flow, supply constraints, and dwindling sales, such newfangled platforms may see their biggest test to date when it comes to their lending models.

Checks by The Business Times showed that P2P platforms have already adapted to the heightened risk environment. On the investors’ front, some investors have diversified by funding more debt backed by property. Platforms have also tightened their credit assessment to account for the heightened risks brought on by the virus outbreak. These go some way to determine if loan delinquency rates will tick higher this year for such platforms.

Keoy Soo Earn, regional managing partner, financial advisory, at Deloitte South-east Asia, pointed out that this “black swan event” will be a check against fintechs’ past credit underwriting policies and the current ability for lenders to recover debts.

“P2P platforms, as a key differentiator to local banks, provide unsecured short-term financing to smaller SMEs that can be approved within a short period of time,” he said. “This leaves the P2P platforms limited options of recovery should a loan turn bad.”

This comes as these smaller SMEs are “likely to face greater financial challenges” in this trying period, he added.

Crowdfunding platforms match lenders in the form of accredited investors to borrowers such as micro-SMEs, with the platforms earning a fee from the matchmaking. Some also now do direct lending.

These platforms are seen as an alternative source of funding for small businesses with a lack of track record. Such loans are typically faster but more expensive compared to traditional banks due to the higher risk.

As it is, the government, banks and the private sector have already pumped in significant funds to help SMEs with working capital.

Co-founder and CEO of Minterest, Charis Liau said that the crowdfunding platform expects greater demand for loans during this period. But the fintech will need to balance this with the investment requirements of their platform lenders.

The platform has since adjusted its credit assessment criteria to account for the higher risk during this period. It will also raise its “post-disbursement engagements” with borrowers.

“We do not anticipate any changes to the terms as they involve independent lenders on the platform,” she added. “However, we will be sympathetic to borrowers who genuinely have suffered disruptions to their operations and will assist borrowers to liaise with platform lenders on restructuring the loans, if required.”

While businesses’ cash flows will be affected due to the virus outbreak, Ms Liau stressed that it is “still too early” to say if the portfolio will see an increase in delinquencies. Its loans overdue by more than 90 days was 1.73 per cent in 2019, up from 0.68 per cent in 2018.

Minterest is also now facilitating a fund by ARA Asset Management, The Straits Trading Company and property tycoon John Lim’s family office to provide loans to SMEs that have been hit by the virus outbreak.

For P2P lender Validus Capital, it expects to see SME loans getting stretched as repayments get prolonged and cash flows become slower. It also finances SMEs directly through an earlier tie-up with Lighthouse Canton Group in 2018 to create a S$20 million fund.

Vikas Nahata, co-founder and executive chairman of Validus Capital, said that it will manage re-payments with a “softer touch”. It has introduced a S$50 million VSupport Package to SMEs who are part of its corporate vendor financing programme. This will help businesses with cash flow issues, operational expenses and support their growth through increased financing limits and longer repayment terms, among other things.

“We faced the trade war crunch last year, and that made us more prepared for this new ‘black swan’ event,” he noted. “Our major changes will be making sure concentration limits are tighter, and growth opportunities still remain available for SMEs that work with large corporates who are partners in our ecosystem.”

Its loans past 90 days due was 2.69 per cent in 2019, up from 2.5 per cent in 2018.

So far, he has not seen any pullback in investments from its accredited investor base.

However, the fintech expects investors to be risk-averse during times like this, and will be less inclined to invest in products that are not insured or ring-fenced in nature. Validus is working on launching a scheme with fixed returns for some accredited investors, added Mr Nahata.

Similarly for Funding Societies, its co-founder and group CEO Kelvin Teo has not seen waning interest from investors on its platform.

However, he said there has been increased diversification into property-backed business loans – from 5 to 20 per cent of monthly investments – as investors manage their risks.

In 2020, he expects delinquency figures to be similar to last year’s or higher, depending on the impact of the virus outbreak and the ongoing trade war. Its loans default rate in 2019 was 2.76 per cent, up from 0.11 per cent in 2018. Funding Societies also has a small direct lending portfolio as well.

The platform has likewise adjusted its credit assessment and monitoring, especially for businesses impacted by the virus outbreak.

For key sectors impacted by Covid-19 and businesses with significant exposure to China, Funding Societies is now “more careful” and will ask for more information to estimate impact. Similarly, when there is a late repayment, it also follows up earlier to ascertain root cause, said Mr Teo.

“As a two-sided marketplace serving both investors and SMEs, unfortunately there is a limit to which we can help these companies, beyond leveraging on our expertise to provide short-term financing for quality SMEs,” he explained.

Even with the added risks on the horizon, fintechs are not necessarily at a disadvantage despite their smaller size. “While fintech players do not have a long history of operations, the short-term nature of our loans enables us to be nimble and adjust quickly to market conditions,” said Mr Teo.

The current uncertainty behind the severity and timeframe of the Covid-19 outbreak means that the dynamic nature of these fintech lenders could also work to their benefit.

Sam Kok Weng, financial services leader at PwC Singapore, said P2P platforms could see new pricing levels due to the higher risk environment.

“At different circumstances, they will just have different risk profiles of borrowers and lenders – it doesn’t mean they go out of business during a crisis.”

The article was contributed by Business Times.

From cash flow to marketing, help for businesses flow in amid virus outbreak

LOCAL crowdfunding platform FundTier is the latest to join a number of companies in offering support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, which have faced pressures from the ongoing virus outbreak.

On Monday, Fundtier announced it is offering S$1 million in loans to local SMEs that are keen to use a mobile marketing solution by its strategic partner, Dodoca Information Technology (S).

Each business using the Dodoca Integrated Mobile Marketing Productivity & Solution could get a loan of up to S$10,000. The loan would be interest free for up to six months.

FundTier will also absorb all administrative fees.

In addition to a loan, Dodoca will offer a 30 per cent discount on the original price of the package.

“Given the current Covid-19 situation in which many SMEs have been badly hit, it is timely for SMEs to explore upgrading their marketing and productivity capabilities in order to stay competitive,” FundTier co-founder Christopher Chan said.

FundTier was founded by five former bankers from lenders including StanChart, UOB and DBS in August 2015. It previously operated under the name Ricco Capital.

Separately, Singaporean property tycoon John Lim’s family office, JL Family Office, ARA Asset Management and Straits Trading Company said loans from a fund they set up have been applied for by more than 100 businesses in Singapore, seeking a total of more than S$6 million.

The trio had set up a S$5 million fund earlier this month to extend short-term loans to local SMEs, in a bid to help those that might be facing temporary cash-flow problems as a result of the virus outbreak.

Of the 110 loan applications, close to 60 per cent met the eligibility criteria, said ARA, JL Family Office and Straits Trading in a joint statement on Monday.

The fund has disbursed its first loan, which went to a vegetarian food chain. The loan was approved in less than 48 hours and the funds were issued within 24 hours, according to the statement.

Almost 30 per cent of the loan applications came from SMEs in the retail, and food and beverage (F&B) sectors, which have been hit by “significantly lower” patronage.

ARA Group CEO John Lim said the “overwhelming response” to the fund “attests to the need for SMEs struggling during this period to find alternative sources of cheaper short-term funding”.

The fund has also received a S$3 million contribution from Singapore-based tycoon Gordon Tang – who is a majority shareholder of Singapore-listed property developer SingHaiyi Group – and his family.

Celine Tang, Mr Tang’s wife and the managing director of SingHaiyi, said: “The Tang family has been through numerous business cycles ourselves, and we fully empathise with fellow business owners who feel the stress and pressure during economic downturns.”

Since Feb 15, local businesses had been able to apply for loans of up to S$50,000 for up to a period of six months from the fund, through online crowdfunding platform Minterest.

The interest rate is pegged at 0.5 per cent per month. There is also a 2 per cent processing fee charged by Minterest to cover loan administrative expenses.

To be eligible, the companies must be GST (goods and services tax) registered and be majority-owned by Singaporeans and/or Singapore permanent residents. They must also have been in operation for the past 12 months.

The article was contributed by Business Times.

Offer of loans to SMEs hit by coronavirus outbreak oversubscribed

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Over 100 businesses in Singapore have applied for loans from a fund set up by Singaporean property tycoon John Lim’s family office, JL Family Office, ARA Asset Management and Straits Trading Company, seeking a total of more than $6 million.

The trio had set up a $5 million fund earlier this month to extend short-term loans to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to help those that might be facing temporary cash-flow problems as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Of the 110 loan applications, close to 60 per cent met the eligibility criteria, said ARA, JL Family Office and Straits Trading in a joint statement on Monday (Feb 24).

The fund has disbursed its first loan, which went to a vegetarian food chain. The loan was approved in less than 48 hours and the funds were issued within 24 hours, according to the statement.

Almost 30 per cent of the loan applications came from SMEs in the retail, and food and beverage (F&B) sectors, which have been hit by “significantly lower” patronage.

ARA Group CEO John Lim said the “overwhelming response” to the fund “attests to the need for SMEs struggling during this period to find alternative sources of cheaper short-term funding”.

The fund has also received a $3 million contribution from Singapore-based tycoon Gordon Tang – who is a majority shareholder of Singapore-listed property developer SingHaiyi Group – and his family.

Ms Celine Tang, Mr Tang’s wife and the managing director of SingHaiyi, said: “The Tang family has been through numerous business cycles ourselves, and we fully empathise with fellow business owners who feel the stress and pressure during economic downturns.”

Since Feb 15, local businesses had been able to apply for loans of up to $50,000 for up to a period of six months from the fund, through online crowdfunding platform Minterest.

The interest rate is pegged at 0.5 per cent per month. There is also a 2 per cent processing fee charged by Minterest to cover loan administrative expenses.

To be eligible, the companies must be GST-registered and be majority-owned by Singaporeans and/or Singapore permanent residents. They must also have been in operation for the past 12 months.

The article was contributed by Straits Times.

John Lims Family Office, ARA, Strairs Trading to offer S$5m in loans to help SMEs amid outbreak

SINGAPOREAN property tycoon John Lim’s family office, JL Family Office, ARA Asset Management and Straits Trading Company have set up a S$5 million fund to extend short-term loans to businesses in Singapore amid the virus outbreak.

By doing so, they aim to “lend a helping hand to viable Singapore companies who may face short-term cash-flow problems as a result of the outbreak”, said ARA group CEO John Lim to media on Wednesday.

Chew Gek Khim, executive chairman of Straits Trading, also noted that there are already efforts to help the community and medical workers, but “not much is being done to help businesses”.

“We’re looking at people who have good businesses, and whose businesses are disrupted,” Ms Chew said.

And this mechanism of support is fast and practical, as opposed to handing out grants or funds with no terms, she added, in response to The Business Times‘ queries.

Mr Lim also made it clear that the fund is only meant to help businesses: “We’re not investing in a business, we’re actually doing a help fund.”

Starting Feb 15, local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to apply for loans of up to S$50,000 for up to a period of six months, through online crowdfunding platform Minterest.

The interest rate will be pegged at 0.5 per cent per month – an “attractive” rate compared to industry rates of 7 to 18 per cent, according to Mr Lim.

There will also be a 2 per cent processing fee charged by Minterest to cover loan administrative expenses, although the fee is half of what it usually charges.

Applications can be approved as quickly as within 48 hours upon receipt of all completed documents.

To be eligible, the companies must be GST (goods and services tax) registered and be majority-owned by Singaporeans and/or Singapore permanent residents. They must also have been in operation for the past 12 months.

Face-to-face meetings will also be conducted with borrowers to determine if their capital needs are genuine, Mr Lim said.

The article was contributed by 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.

facebook financing financing twitter financing financing

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.

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.

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