Exerting a Gravitational Pull - Singapore Fintech Festival 2017

Guest Author

Mark Smedley, VP FS Industry Solutions, Oracle

Sharon Tan, Strategic Marketing Lead, Oracle Financial Services

By: Mark Smedley and Sharon Tan

The recent Singapore Fintech Festival 2017 revealed the power of gravitational pull - where the strength of the force increased exponentially as objects moved closer together.

The festival successfully pulled together market resources into close proximity. We see the community mobilized - financial instuitions and start-ups alike with a mission mandate to solve a series of 100 banking problem statements.

Here’s our take on what’s generating the gravitational pull:

4 value propositions and takeaways dominating the FinTech and Innovation landscape.  

Consumers in Orbit: Omnipresent Service Triggered by Open APIs

Gravity is a force of attraction that pulls objects into its orbit. We’ve observed that the model is shifting from push to pull as banks are looking to a strong API strategy to avoid being ousted out of the consumer ecosystem or orbit.

The ‘digital switch’ to omnipresent service experiences has been triggered by the leap forward with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Open banking and the rise of FinTechs.

As part of the broader Smart Nation agenda, Singapore is taking the lead in the Fintech 2.0 Journey and moving at full speed to an open API economy.

Banks are looking to build strong API strategies to integrate and deliver services and data to the digital economy with the right devices and user interfaces, which enables them to retain or regain relevance to their customers

Local banks are taking open architecture seriously with the likes of DBS Bank launching their API developer platform with more than 170 APIs and over 50 successful collaborations.

At Oracle, we’ve built our Open Banking Platform with 600+ Open APIs from Oracle, in addition to a growing list of FinTech and FSI APIs, which the Oracle ecosystem participants can use to collaborate and deliver innovation at scale.

Force Generators & Multipliers: FinTechs & TechFins

Non-banks are leading as a force generator and multiplier. Besides FinTech start-ups, TechFin giants like Tencent, Ant Financial and GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) are all vying to provide payments, lending or other financial services.

FinTechs at the festival like Creditease,  Flywire, Blocko and Trunomi are actively filling in the gaps of underserved market segments. They are jumping in to adopt the latest in Blockchain, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence and cognitive learning to solve front-end customer problems. We also see new business models emerging around the needs of millennials, overseas workers and small businesses etc.  

Our Oracle team had the privilege to mentor 2 of the Top 20 Finalists of the Global Haccelerator -- ERNIT, the world's first smart piggy bank, and SnapCheck's blockchain-enabled Digital Checking Platform.  Both leveraged our Open Banking and API Platform to build and present market-ready solutions for the Financial Industry.  

In the new age of collaboration, banks are increasingly realizing that to succeed, they must adopt the habits and culture of digitally native companies: opening up the banks’ APIs to the FinTech community, pursuing agile development, or hosting hackathons to foster intensive digital collaboration.

The Force Awakens: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Data Analytics

On the back of MAS launching a S$27 million Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics Grant (a part of the S$225 million Financial Sector Technology & Innovation Scheme) the industry is turning their focus to follow ‘smart’ money.

Real-world use cases to solve demonstrable problems using artificial intelligence and machine learning were fleshed out amongst the banks, FinTechs and technology leaders present. This represents an inevitable progression as FinTech capabilities mature and traditional banks and financial services companies seek to commercialize the best innovations available.

In our view, the use of AI to properly harvest data to directly support business strategies, creates a data-driven culture that can readily operationalize customer data. The key is to bring digital and data together to build customer experiences and sustained digital interactions, resulting in customer insights that foster superior acquisition and loyalty.

Exerting Influence: Collaboration is the key

Gravity exerts influence even at distance. Collaboration will be the gravitational force driving partnership, solving key problems such as Financial Inclusion, Regtech, Cyberfraud etc

We see headway in the industry led by initiatives around cross-border payments such as Project Ubin, a move to share blockchain source codes to spur innovation and the linking of PayNow in Singapore and PromptPay in Thailand.

Another great initiative that will deepen financial inclusion and digital financial services is the launch of an industry sandbox: ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) - a platform for ASEAN banks, microfinance institutions, non-banks and FinTechs to partner.

Reaping benefits of collaborative influence will come when banks start to create the right affiliations, cross-sell opportunities, sub-brands or alliances to knit together an ecosystem to capture revenue and valuable data.

We are in a perfect storm of innovation and digital-driven transformation in Financial Services.

It was a tremendous opportunity for all participants to share leading ideas and for many players to unveil some of their latest, most exciting projects to capture the imagination of the industry.

As we wrapped up a very busy week at the Singapore Fintech Festival, we have never been more excited about Oracle’s direction and potential to support the commercialization of technologies to help financial institutions achieve their digital strategies, and to help leading FinTechs gain relevance.

Follow us on Twitter @OracleFS and LinkedIn to find out more.

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