Minterest is the founder member of Singapore Fintech Association’s marketplace lending sub-con

The Singapore Fintech Association announces the launch of the Marketplace Lending committee in response to the rapid growth in the sector. Minterest is proud to be 1 of the founder members of this committee.

The SFA subcommittee in dedicated to ensuring the local crowdlending industry is a trusted, credited and viable mode mode of financing for businesses in Singapore.

In 2016, Southeast Asia’s alternative finance market reached a record US$215.94 million, a growth of 362% compared to 2015. Data for 2016 showed that Singapore’s alternative finance market size was valued at US$163.75 million, more than double the entire value from 2013-2015. This upward trend is reflected internationally.

The global lending market valued at US$3.5 billion in 2013, expecting to reach US$1 trillion by 2050, according to Statista, a market research company.

The core committee is representative of senior crowdlenders in Singapore: Crowdo, Funding Societies, Minterest, New Union and Validus Capital. All of them are licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore of the Capital Market Service License.

Their initial tasks are to design and promote the best practices, industry guidelines and codes of conduct in a collaborative and open manner. This is to encourage transparency between market participants.

Eddie Lee, head of Marketplace Lending Committee, CEO New Union

“Our shared purpose is to support the common interests of the industry. We are looking to nurture and build relationship among crowdlenders, financial institutions, regulators and other stakeholders.”

The committee launch was celebrated via an industry event on Wednesday evening, with the return of the Fintech Titans debate series and a lively panel discussion. Topics under debate included the current lending landscape in Singapore, with insights shared from 5 lending founders.

Chia Hock Lai, President SFA

“With a growing lending marketplace in Southeast Asia, we felt there was a need for a consolidated and cohesive voice to lead the way among the community. Through this committee, we aim to enable Singaporean businesses to access to necessary financing options.”


This article was contributed by Fintech News Singapore

Singapore Fintech Association subcom launch – Marketplace lending

The Singapore Fintech Association has launched a new subcom – Marketplace lending! Our Co-founder and CEO, Charis Liau is part of this sub committee.

The objective of this sub committee is to:

  1. To represent the Marketplace Lenders through coordinated and catalysed actions to support common interests of the industry.
  2. To nurture and build relationship among Marketplace Lenders, financial institutions, regulators and other stakeholders.
  3. To design and promote best practices guidelines and codes of conduct in a collaborative and open manner encouraging transparency between market participants.
  4. To educate, inform and communicate by developing a connected Marketplace Lending ecosystem and channeling effective and relevant information among members and externally.
  5. To raise awareness of the industry and to promote Marketplace Lending industry as a trusted, credible and viable mode of financing for businesses in Singapore.

Lending Landscape in Singapore

On 18 April 2018, the sub committee hosted an event at THE GREATROOM from 6.30pm to 8.30pm – in which they spoke about the “Lending Landscape in Singapore”.

Learn the 5 Golden Rules of Master Investors

Over the years, master investors like Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch have served as role models and inspiration to people to invest wisely.

And i can’t help but notice a few winning habits which are similar to different legendary investors out there.

If you wish to emulate their success when it comes to investing, it pays attention to practise these 5 Golden Rules:

  1. Do Due Diligence

Peter Lynch once said that “One should not invest in something that he/she does not fully understand.”

Before pulling-out money from your pocket, you should do your homework on the company you are investing in. Take for example – Old Chang Kee.

As a curry puff lover, I frequently patronize Old Chang Kee stalls in the shopping mall. However, when i check out their financial results, they do not paint a good picture as profits are ‘eaten’ up by the increasing rental costs.

  1. Invest in Quality Companies

Why would someone not choose to put his money in good companies (aka. bad companies)? This is due to various reasons like predicting what the market will do next or thinking that the beaten down stock has hit a trough and rebound soon (e.g. my favourite stock – noble group).

As per the Arborinvestmentplanner, quality companies demonstrate characteristics like

  • Good management
  • Strong balance sheet
  • An enterprise lifecycle on the upswing
  • An economic moat
  • Sound dividend policy
  • Stable earnings and
  • Efficient operations.

Most importantly, you should hold good quality companies over the long run; which brings us to the next point.

  1. Invest for the Long Run

Question: Guess the probability of you making losses if you held STI over the past 20 years?

Answer: 0%. Yes! You will not lose money, in fact, history has shown that STI Index returns a total of 8% (inclusive of dividends) compounded annually over the long run.

That is why master investors like to dig deep into their thesis and will hold them for the long haul. It prevents them from guessing where the market is heading in the short run and allows them to think in the long run.

weighing machine

This is also how the disciple of Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett always seem to pick undervalued bargain stocks when everyone else is running away in fear.

Indeed, one should not depend on market timing wherein investors invest somewhere near the bottom of the market cycles and then get out when it is near the top. Money flows up and down that it is why what should one consider is investing long-term instead.

  1. Own Unique System

Every Master Investor has developed and tested his own personal system for selecting, buying and selling investments. Be it Warren Buffett, George Soros or even Jesse Livermore (legendary trader), they have become millionaires/billionaires after investing successfully using their own system.

Buffett aims to buy a dollar of value at a bargain price with margin of safety. His criteria for investing can be summed up as: Quality business at the Right Price.

On the other hand, George Soros aims to profit from a change in Mr. Market’s mood. He bases his investment decisions on a hypothesis about the coming course of events – Just like how he broke the Bank of England with his $1 Billion bet against British Pound.

How about you? Do you want to create your own winning system on how to choose, buy and sell stocks?

Click on the link here and download a FREE 10-step guide to create your own winning system.

  1. Learn from mistakes

learn from investing mistakes

Last but not least, as an investor, you will be facing mistakes all the time. Selling a winning stock too early, Buying because your friend says its the next big thing and much more.

Even the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett makes mistakes. Big ones in fact, due to his behemoth empire under Berkshire Hathaway. Here is an excerpt from the Guardian – Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has admitted that “thumb-sucking” over selling his Tesco stake cost $444m (£287.6m), one of the biggest losses in his investment company’s history.

Hence, it is wise to document down your mistakes and learn from them. Just make sure you emerge better than before.


This article was written by James Yeo.

6 Mistakes You Commit In Your 20s That Affect Your Credit Score

The decisions you will take in your 20s can have a significant impact on your personal finance at a later stage. Read on to know about the mistakes that can be avoided in this age bracket to have a healthy Credit Score.

The twenties is an ideal age to decide the course of your financial goals. This is the best time to pick up investments that yield good results at a later stage or buy a Health Insurance cover at a lesser premium. Hence, the decisions you will take in your 20s could have a significant impact on your personal finance and this includes your Credit Score too. A healthy credit score can help you bag the best deal in terms of loans or other financial transactions whereas a low score may affect your loan possibilities. So for people in this age bracket need to be aware of the credit score worthiness and the mistakes they can avoid to keep their credit score healthy.

No Debt = Good Credit Score

A common misconception among most first-time or young professionals is that no loans or debt can get them a good credit score. This line of thought often leads them to make cash purchases and keeps them away from Credit Cards. For credit rating companies like CIBIL, no loans/debt actually equals a bad credit score. Since the credit score of a person is rated based on their historical ability to pay off a loan, the absence of any credit history stops companies from determining whether you have the capacity to pay off a loan.

Applying For Too Many Credit Cards

While having no debt may not get you a good credit score, applying for too many credit cards can also have a detrimental effect. Whenever you apply for a credit card, the company sends an inquiry to CIBIL asking for your credit history. When CIBIL notices that there have been multiple requests within a short span of time, they’ll identify you as a person who has a lower ability to make payments and hence requires multiple lines of credit. So, do not fall prey to the lucrative offers from credit card companies and avoid applying for multiple cards.

Closing Your Credit cards After Repayments

Millennials often use credit cards for big purchases like buying home electronics or automobiles. After they pay it off, they make the mistake of closing the cards, which can affect the credit history. A healthy credit score will typically have a long-term credit history. Closing the card relinquishes that record and lowers the average credit score despite timely repayments and clearing off the debt. So, it is better to retain the card even after paying off the debt.

Being A Guarantor For Someone’s Loan

We often make emotional decisions when we’re young. Being a guarantor for a friend or relative is one of them. When you sign up as a guarantor, you become responsible for repaying the loan in case they default. If you’re unable to pay off the loan, your credit score is bound to be severely affected.

Living Off Your Credit Card

In your early and mid-20s, when you’ve just started to get that taste of independent life, you’re likely to be a spendthrift. Your purchases are often based on your credit card limit and you tend to forget about the repayment clause before the due date. In case you fail to make the payments, your credit score will drop. But even if you do pay up on time, it’s still likely to indicate that your lifestyle is debt-heavy and can affect your credit score. You can control your unnecessary expenses and prioritise your spending based on your needs.

Late Payments

Missing EMI payments or credit card payments will not only attract late fees and interests but also adversely affect your credit score.

For youngsters in their 20s, it is important to enjoy life along with making financially sound decisions that can help them throughout their life.


This article was written by Adhil Shetty.

P2P Lending Platforms 2018: Funding Societies vs MoolahSense vs Capital Match vs CoAssets vs Minterest

One common challenge when running any business is funding. For young businesses especially, getting loans through the banks can be a challenge due to a few reasons:

  • The lack of collateral (necessary for bank loans)
  • Young credit history (which makes banks reluctant to loan)
  • Imperfect financial record
  • Long processing time

With peer-to-peer lending platforms in place, small businesses now have a new avenue to turn to, when in need of funding.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Crowdfunding Platform: Solving Issues with SME Loans

How Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding platform works?

how P2P crowdfunding platforms work in Singapore

  • P2P lending platforms connect the public to businesses in need of funding.
  • Public investors can lend money to these businesses and get returns based on interest rates when borrowers repay the loans.

Pros and cons of investing in P2P lending


  • Low Barrier of Entry: Low investment commitment (minimum investment of S$100, or less for some platforms)
  • Diversification: Alternative investment products to diversify your portfolio
  • Returns: Alternative returns of more than 10% usually (higher than inflation)
  • Monthly Returns: Investment principal with interest earned returned to investors on a monthly basis


  • High Risks: Given that the loans are for SMEs, there is a risk that investor lose their investment when the company defaults on payment
  • Platform Risk: If the platform (the middleman) you invest in closes down, your investments will not be managed efficiently

P2P Crowdfunding Platform Comparison Singapore-01

While having the lowest charges can be one of the considerations for your investment, there are definitely more factors to consider. Hence, real user reviews will definitely give a whole lot more insights to each product before you make a decision on the platform of your choice.


Players: Moolahsense, Funding Societies, CoAssets, Capital Match, Minterest

All the mentioned platforms are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). They were issued with the Capital Markets Services License.

The onboarding process are generally quite easy and fast.

Funding Societies

  • History: Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya founded Funding Societies in 2015 while studying for their MBA at Harvard. Prior to Funding Societies, Kelvin is a management consultant at Accenture and McKinsey & Co., while Reynold is a leading executive in a family business conglomerate in Indonesia.
  • Funding: US$7.5 million Series A. Investors include Alpha JWC Ventures and Sequoia Capital
  • Interface: Modern, clear and rather easy to use.
  • Has a statistics page to allow a quick overview of some of their numbers.
  • Pricing: 18% of the interest rate earned from investors
  • Loans funded: $70.5 million as of 11 October 2017
  • Rate of default: Lowest default rate of 1.28% as of 15 March 2018. This is, however, a combination of all the countries they operate in and we believe that Indonesia might have bumped up the number a little.
  • Risk Management:
     Assessment culminates in an FS Scoring Grade which is a rating of opinion on both the business’ and their owners’ capacity and willingness to repay the loan. Personal guarantor (usually company directors) is required.
    Platform: Funding Societies holds the investors’ funds in a trust account. Should they become insolvent one day, the funds will continue to be handled by an escrow agency, Vistra. Loan agreements in place will continue to be valid and a reputable agency will be assigned to fulfill the service duties.
  • Skin in the game: Funding Societies’ founders invest a bit of their money in every loan they dispatch.


MoolahSense reviews


  • History: First crowd-financing campaign in year 2014. Founded by Lawrence Yong who was a Vice President at Macquarie Capital before he founded MoolahSense.
  • Funding: Undisclosed. Seed round led by East Ventures and Pix Vine Capital.
  • Interface: Modern, clear and easy to use
  • Has a statistics page to allow a quick overview on some of their numbers.
  • Best Pricing: 1% on repayment.
  • Loans funded: $37.9 million as of 11 October 2017
  • Rate of default: 3.48%
  • Risk Management:
    Credit assessment model that assesses potential Issuers according to the nature and outlook of the industry they operate in, the strength of their financials and overall business model as well as the background and character of its Directors.
    Platform: Should Moolah Sense become insolvent one day, DP Information Group to transfer servicing function to ensure that investors continue to receive monthly repayments on the loans that have been dispatched.


Capital Match Reviews

Capital Match

  • History: Established in 2014 to create a more inclusive channel for companies to access debt financing and for investors to generate strong fixed-income returns. Founded by Pawel Kuznicki who was a tech entrepreneur with venture development before founding Capital Match.
  • Funding: Raised US$710K from Series A in August 2015. Investors include Innosight Ventures, Crystal Horse Investments, CE-Tech Invest.
  • Interface: More heavy on numbers, fewer graphics.
  • Best Pricing: The price quote on the platform to investors are net of fees. The net interest (net of all fees) per loan from 14% to 35% annualized with an average net interest of 22%.
  • Loans funded: $54.6 million as of 11 October 2017
  • Rate of default: 5%. Take note that Capital Match is on invoice financing, hence a rate of below 5% is rather healthy.
  • Risk Management:
     Invoice financing offers more secured arrangement over unsecured loans. Only invoices issued to large debtors (corporates, government entities etc.) are accepted, and Capital Match always verifies invoices and in most cases redirect the payment from a large debtor to our bank account. This allows Capital Match a high level of control of the repayments.
    Platform: Should Capital Match become insolvent one day, investors continue to receive monthly repayments on the loans that have been dispatched.



  • History: Established in 2013, CoAssets is Southeast Asia’s first public listed crowdfunding site with offices in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, China and Indonesia. Founded by Getty Goh who founded Ascendants Assets Pte Ltd, a real estate research firm before founding CoAssets.
  • Funding: Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • Interface: Modern, clear and rather easy to use.
  • Best Pricing: 0% on investors. Charges 3%-5% on the fund raised.
  • Loans funded: $9.5 million as of 31 August 2017
  • Rate of default: 1.47% write off rate.
  • Risk Management:
     Investors’ funds are held by a licensed escrow agent. Should they become insolvent one day, the funds will continue to be handled by an escrow agency. Loan agreements in place will continue to be valid and a reputable agency will be assigned to fulfill the service duties.
    Uses CoAssets Risk Assessment Model (CRAM) that was developed together with Ernst & Young (EY) to evaluate the companies they dispatch loans to. Platform: Should CoAssets become insolvent one day, investors continue to receive monthly repayments on the loans that have been dispatched.




  • History: Recently recognised as the top 25 Fintech Companies in Asia in 2017 by APAC CIO Outlook, Minterest is founded by a team of former bankers. Founded by Charis Liau and Ronnie Chia whom both worked together in the same bank for more than 10 years.
  • Funding: Founders and seed investors
  • Interface: Modern, clear and rather easy to use.
  • Best Pricing: 0% on investors.
  • Loans funded: $11.3 million as of 24 March 2018
  • Rate of default: 0% so far on public listed deals. (Note: Loans are considered default after 2 months of non-payment)
  • Risk Management:
     Minterest has its proprietary credit assessment model that reflects both quantitative and qualitative factors taking into account business and financial risks of each borrower and their respective financing requirements. Data is also sourced from third party independent information providers (eg. Dun & Bradstreet, Credit Bureau Singapore) etc. More than 200 data points are processed through their proprietary model to generate a MintGrade rating.
    Platform: Minterest holds the investors’ funds in a trust account. Should they become insolvent one day, the funds will continue to be handled by an escrow agency, Vistra. Loan agreements in place will continue to be valid and a reputable agency will be assigned to fulfill the service duties.

Tips for P2P Investing

Should one decides to invest in any of the P2P platforms, do take note:

  • P2P investing is a high-risk investment. Only invest in the portion of your money set aside for risky investments.
  • Always diversify when investing in P2p. Eg. Instead of throwing all of your S$1,000 into one company on the platform, split them up into 10 companies of S$100 each.
  • Diversify your investment into companies across different industries.


This article was contributed by Seedly Singapore.

Saved S$100,000? 5 Investment Options to Make Your Money Grow in Singapore

If you are reading this article, the chances are that you have already saved up S$100K or are very close to the number, so congrats! At the same time, it has to be considered that in an expensive country like ours, S$100K may not stretch too far on its own. What with rising GST also on the anvil, things are bound to get tougher.

To put things into perspective, this amount will just be enough for a downpayment of a loan for a 4-bedroom resale flat in central Singapore. However, S$100K as a ready-to-invest corpus is still a very sizeable sum to add to your long-term life savings and goals.

Two tips to remember when thinking about investing your money

#Tip 1: Build a diversified portfolio

To maintain healthy finances in this volatile financial world, you need to diversify your investment portfolio. Your appetite for risky investments should inversely correlate with the amount of grey hair at the time of investing! So make sure your portfolio consists of low-risk investments, medium risk, and high-risk instruments like stocks, exchange-traded funds, cryptocurrencies, etc.

#Tip 2: Factor in compound interest

If you want to see your money multiply, know that compound interest is your best friend. Simply put, compound interest is when your interest from investments generates further interest. Who wouldn’t want to make money out of money they don’t even have? To see this in action, you must take a long-term view of your investments, and hold it for a very long period of time (decades).

Now that we’ve covered some basic tips about investing, here are some investment options you should consider to make the most of your S$100K savings.

Ok, disclaimer here: You don’t actually need $100k to begin investing in these options. You can start even if you have only S$500.

1. Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB)

SSBs are Singapore government-backed securities that offer you a low-risk way to grow your money, albeit slowly. With SSBs, this is as safe as it gets. SSBs are ideal for the risk-averse, guaranteed-return-seeking investors. We don’t recommend putting all your money in here, since the return isn’t very high. But what makes them attractive is that unlike other instruments, you are not penalised for withdrawing anytime during your investment.

Here’s a possible idea: If your savings in your high-interest savings account have maxed out the limit for bonus interest, and you’re thinking of waiting for the next market correction or bull market before you enter, consider putting a small sum of money into SSBs. When the market corrects, use your cash first, and you can liquidate your bond investments within a month. At the very least, your money won’t be left idle.

Read more about SSBs here.

2. CPF Special Account:

If planning for retirement is one of your goals, then this is the choice for you. CPF Special account is as safe as SSBs but guarantees a higher return (up to 5% vs 2.4% for SSBs). The only caveat, however, is that you cannot withdraw this money till you turn 55. So, know your end goal.

Find out how to make top-ups to your special account here and you can also get tax relief when you make top-ups to your CPF SA.

3. Straits Times Index, Exchange Traded Fund (STI ETF):

Designed for those who are moderately risk-averse and would like to include some high performing shares in their portfolio. The simplest way to understand this is that STI ETF tracks and invests in the top 30 best-performing stocks on the Straits Times Index in different levels of allocation. The benefit of an STI ETF is the diversity it provides along with the high-quality, high-return stocks. The two primary funds to invest in are SPDR STI ETF and NIKKO AM STI ETF.

4. S-REITs: Singapore Real Estate Investment Trusts

Given Singapore’s small size, increasing population, and business-friendly nature, the property market will always be in demand for the foreseeable future. While S$100K may not be enough to buy property in Singapore, it is still sufficient for you to invest in property. REITs allow you to invest in various types of real estate investments like malls, offices, hotels etc.

These investments typically tend to give a higher return than safer investments but are also tied to the volatility of the economy and property market. Do you research carefully to select good performing REITs and REITs with potential.

Get updated S-REIT data from The Fifth Person here.

5. Robo-Advisors

If you believe that robots can outdo humans at certain jobs, then read on. Robo advisors are algorithm-based investment advisors. They are the ‘Siri’ of investing. Robo-Advisors ask you a few questions to gauge your risk appetite and goals, crunch the numbers, and recommend a customised portfolio. Also, Robo Advisors charge much lesser management fees than traditional services like mutual funds and brokers. Popular ones in Singapore are StashAway and AutoWealth.

There are many ways to invest your money and grow them, and these are just a small number of options. Regardless of which way you prefer, bear in mind that money that doesn’t grow will simply be eaten away by inflation. Start thinking of how to grow your money today for a more secure future.


This article was contributed by BankBazaar.

Fundraising Using Retail Investors

Why are SMEs losing out when fundraising from banks and financial institutions? And what can be done to empower their personal economies?

In our feature with Smartup, our very own COO & co-founder Ronnie Chia shared on how our online platform bridges gaps between underserved borrowers and retail investors.

Plus, tips on how investors can better diversify their portfolios. Read on to find out more!

Bridging the gap between retail investors and underserved borrowers

It all started with a single Whatsapp message in February 2016.

The burning question: how do we empower underserved SMEs and small businesses? With that goal in mind, founder and CEO Charis Liau started Minterest with her team.

Launched in May 2017, the digital platform connects businesses with retail investors. Since then, the Monetary Authority of Singapore-licensed startup has facilitated $11 million worth of transactions.

With over 120 years of combined banking and financial experience among its founders, Minterest generates quick, verified credit ratings, and closes deals efficiently. “Our deals get done as fast as one minute for a $50,000 loan to – the fastest for a $200,000 loan— less than three minutes. Otherwise, it takes 30 to 60 minutes for deals to be completed,” shares co-founder and COO, Ronnie Chia.

Minterest also enables retail investors to easily and conveniently sign up, top up their e-wallets, view loan requests, invest, and view real time analytic reports of their investments on one single channel.

minterest, invest, fundraising, SME, smartup, digital transformation, entrepreneur

Ronnie Chia, COO & co-founder of Minterest.

But why are banks reluctant to loan smaller businesses money?

  1. It’s cost-ineffective

“It sometimes costs them more money to process your loan than the amount loaned in itself!” says Ronnie.

Moreover, SMEs tend to incur higher capital requirements. Each time a bank lends money, it needs to set aside capital.

Here’s where it gets problematic: SMEs tend to be high-risk, meaning there is a higher chance they might not be able to repay debt in time. As such, banks need to set aside more capital to anticipate this possible failure.

Minterest uses its automated credit rating system to make borrowers access loans easily. Thanks to its proprietary algorithm to churn out ratings, the startup uses a much shorter chain of communication compared to banks.

The result? Faster credit rating results, a more cost-effective process, and better access to loans.

minterest, invest, fundraising, SME, smartup, digital transformation, entrepreneur

  1. There’s little return of investment

“There’s also no foreign exchange for banks to make from SMEs, no cash management, no other business or cross-selling opportunities. So, banks will ask, ‘Why should I bother?’

As such, many banks—especially international banks—are moving away from SME businesses because it costs them too much money.”

minterest, invest, fundraising, SME, smartup, digital transformation, entrepreneur

How does Minterest help retail investors?

It opens up a variety of new investment possibilities for them.

According to Ronnie, investors want to diversify their portfolio. However, they often face difficulties investing in any business they please. After all, most SMEs would first have to go to a bank, finance company, or private investor.

Here are 3 tips for investors:

  1. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket

“If you have $50,000 to invest, do not invest in 2 or 3 deals. Use that $50,000 and invest in 20 deals. The whole idea is to diversify your investments. Diversify so you can earn returns you are happy with.”

  1. Invest in industries that have a low co-relation with each other

“Let’s take Real Estate and Building Construction as an example. If something goes wrong with Real Estate sector, all your investments in Building Construction get hit. But if you invest in something else like F&B, you avoid huge negative impact.”

  1. Don’t favour a specific industry

“No matter which economic cycle you’re in, every sector has an equal potential to be a winner or loser. It’s more about picking winners and avoiding as many losers as you can.”


Future plans

There are 700 million people in Southeast Asia. Of this group, 70% are unbanked. It’s no surprise then that Minterst plans to take its platform to this region of opportunity.

“Over the next 12 to 18 months, we’re looking to move our services to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines—possibly India too,” shares Ronnie.

“Many SMEs consist of mom and pop stores between 5 to 10 employees. By helping them with fundraising, we hope to positively impact their lives and change their personal economies.

Charis Liau CEO Minterest, invest, fundraising, SME, smartup, digital transformation, entrepreneur

“Yes, many of them do not have a bank account, but they have mobile phones and an internet connection.

So, even a farmer or lorry driver in a small town can gain access to loans beacuse of social and mobile data. We can send money to them through sundry shops around the corner.

That’s where we see the value of of having an MAS-regulated business going out to other regions, bringing along our processes, technology, compliance and governance so we can create trust among investors.”


This article was contributed by Smartup 

Minterest: Top 9 Finalists for Best Lending Platform for the 2018 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards

The Benzinga Global Fintech Awards are a yearly showcase of the best and brightest in fintech. Minterest has emerged amongst many to qualify as 1 of the top 9 finalists for the Best Lending Platform for the 2018 Benzinga Global Awards.

This is our feature by Benzinga:

What does your company do? What unique problem does it solve?

Ronnie Chia, co-founder and COO: Minterest operates a peer-to-business online lending platform connecting small medium enterprises (“SMEs”) with investors in respect of the former’s borrowing requirements. Simply, we operate a financial market place where loans are requested by companies and invested by the public. We aim to empower both borrowers and investors to achieve their financing and investment objectives through financial inclusion. We aim to bridge the financing gap for the underserved and unbanked businesses in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. The founding and management team has more than 155 years of banking experience and brings strong financial expertise to assist borrowers in their financing requirements, thereby delivering well-structured investment solutions to the investors.

The matching of borrowers and investors are seamless and carried out digitally using our online platform. Investors have a dashboard to monitor their investments on a real time basis and an e-wallet where money used for investments and their returns are stored. Every deal is run through our proprietary algorithm where static and dynamic data are used to analyse the creditworthiness of each borrower. Only those that clear our requirements are listed on the platform for investment.

Minterest is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and holds a Capital Market Services Licence to deal in securities.

Who are your customers?

As we are essentially a lending market place, SMEs and investors are both our customers.

How long have you been in business?

We have been in business for nine months, have arranged a total of SGD11 million worth of loans for our SME borrowers.

Where are you located?

We are located in Singapore.

Who is your company’s leadership? What kind of experience do they have?

The company was founded by three former bankers who have worked with and known each other for between 12 to 17 years. It is the common vision of bringing financial inclusion that brought us together to deliver on a vision and mission where we aim to contribute to a financial ecosystem that serves rather than rules. The three founders have a combined financial and banking experience of 70 years and together with other members of the top team, boasts a combined 155 years’ of experience in international banks.

Who are your investors, if any?

The company is currently funded by the three co-founders and other investors.

Is there anything else Benzinga should know about your company?

We were recently recognised as the top 25 Fintech Companies in Asia Pacific by APAC CIO Outlook.

For further details on Minterest, please visit us at


This article was contributed by Benzinga

Minterest Group Chairman Interview on The Breakfast Huddle with Elliot Danker and Yasmin Jonkers (MONEYFM 89.3)

CL Interview – The Curve with Michelle Martin & Desmond Wong (MONEYFM 89.3)

Charis Liau, Lim Cheng Teck, Ronnie Chia

Digitalisation and fintech are major disruptives forces for traditional financial institutions and was a key discussion area at the German-Singaporean Financial Forum on the future of banking. One of the speakers, Charis Liau, Co-Founder and CEO of Minterest, shares with us how this lending platform is shaking up the traditional banking setup.

Many thanks to Michelle Martin and Desmond Wong, MONEY FM 89.3, for the coverage of the event. And a superb job organised by the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

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Minterest appoints former StanChart Singapore Chief Executive as Chairman

Mr. Lim retired as ASEAN Vice Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank in May 2017. He was with the bank for over 28 years and had held many senior roles, including Regional Chief Executive of ASEAN, Chief Executive of Singapore, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited.

Mr. Lim had also served on several of the bank’s subsidiary boards. He is recognised for his leadership in driving the growth of Standard Chartered Bank’s China franchise and the transformation of its Singapore and regional business.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Lim Cheng Teck as Chairman of the Board of Minterest. Mr Lim’s extensive background and wealth of experience in the finance and banking sector will be instrumental in steering Minterest’s efforts in offering innovative financing solutions for the unbanked and underserved SMEs in Singapore and around the region. We look forward to working closely with Mr. Lim on various strategic initiatives to build a stronger and more inclusive financial eco-system, one that serves and not rules,” – says Ms. Charis Liau, CEO and Co-founder, Minterest.

” I have known the Minterest founding team for over a decade. The financial services industry is facing a wave of digital innovation that will ultimately reshape the way we see and approach the financial sector. I believe that with financial inclusion, people’s lives will experience a positive change. Having worked with the Minterest founding team previously, I am confident that Minterest, through the use of finance and technology, will be in a position to empower the underserved and unbanked in this great region that we live in. I look forward to sharing my perspectives and expertise to continue the growth of Minterest, ” – says Mr. Lim Cheng Teck, Chairman, Minterest.

Minterest is an innovative digital peer-to-business lending platform, set up with the aim to connect and empower SMEs borrowers and investors to achieve their respective financing and investing needs through financial inclusion.

Through technology, Minterest bridges the SME loan financing gap in a fast and efficient manner, empowering borrowers and investors onto the Minterest platform such that borrowers and investors can be matched together, fulfilling their financing and investment needs respectively and effectively.

Minterest’s propriety credit scoring model, algorithm, and work flow allow loans to be processed within hours thereby empowering SMEs to raise financing quickly to turbocharge their businesses, bringing their future to the present. Investors are empowered to take charge of their investments through easy diversification of bite-size deals and convenient real-time online monitoring of their investments.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Lim join us on this journey to build the leading pan-ASEAN digital lending platform” – adds Ms. Liau.

Mr. Lim currently serves on the advisory board of Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (Singapore Management University) as well as the board of Special Needs Trust Company Limited (SNTC) and is presently Chairman of Bright Vision Hospital. He has an MBA from Brunel University London, and a BA in Economics from the National University of Singapore.


This article was contributed by Fintech News Singapore

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