Asian FinTech Roundup

Across Asia it has been another dynamic week for the technology sector as the Asian Wealth Times has already reported here and here. Below is a round up of the most prominent stories since midweek.

Earthport Opens Singapore Base:

Earthport, the largest open global bank payment network, has today announced Singapore as its new regional base in Asia. Building on its extensive and growing links, the new office will provide a physical base in Singapore as a FinTech hub for the region, supporting further expansion in emerging trading nations across South East Asia.

Earthport’s Asia business is led by Sajeev Viswanathan, with extensive experience in Banking and Payments including 19 years at Citigroup in the UK, India and Moscow. He will be joined by Rohit Bammi, a Singapore national, with over 25 years of experience in banking and financial services industry in emerging markets, including as Partner and Head of Financial Risk Management at KPMG in Singapore and India, and through executive positions at Deutsche Bank and Citibank.

This announcement has been made to coincide with Earthport’s participation in a trade visit to Singapore with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Hank Uberoi, Chief Executive of Earthport said: “The opening of our Singapore office is an important milestone in the continuing expansion of Earthport’s global footprint and underlines our commitment to the Asia-Pacific market.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “British companies like Earthport are flying the flag and unlocking the economic potential of the fast growing economies of South East Asia. I’m delighted that they have joined me on my first trade mission of this government and I hope that we can work together to create jobs and growth for the UK.”

Citibank And MasterCard Launch Digital Wallet In India

Citibank India and MasterCard have announced the launch of Citi MasterPass, the first global digital wallet in India, making Citibank debit and credit card customers the first in the country to be able to shop at more than 250,000 e-commerce merchants, located in India and worldwide, with a safe, simple and quick online payment experience.

Citi MasterPass safely stores Citibank customers’ card and shipping information all in one place with MasterCard. By selecting “Buy with MasterPass” as the payment option at checkout, customers eliminate the need to fill in details repeatedly across online merchants. This reduces the risk of customers abandoning their shopping carts due to cumbersome payment processes or exposing their personal information over potentially unsafe networks.

“Over the last two years, we have seen an increase of over 76 percent in e-commerce transactions by our customers. These customers are constantly looking for simple, quick and secure experiences while shopping online. Citi MasterPass significantly reduces the checkout time across thousands of e-commerce merchants ensuring this would be the payment solution of choice for consumers in India,” commented Kartik Kaushik, Head of Consumer Banking, Citibank India.

MasterPass is present across 24 countries worldwide and is available to over 40 million consumers in Asia-Pacific alone. India is the first market in Asia Pacific where Citibank card customers will be offered the co-branded MasterPass solution. Today, around 41 percent of all Citibank card transactions in India are performed online, underlining the growing importance of global wallet solutions such as Citi MasterPass.

Speaking at the occasion Vikas Varma, Executive Director, South Asia, MasterCard said, “As Indian consumers embrace a more digital lifestyle, Citi MasterPass will enable efficient, secure and quick checkout experiences for shoppers. We believe Citi MasterPass is a significant step forward in the evolution of electronic payments. Beyond a platform that hosts digital wallets, Citi MasterPass will also provide the technology for merchants to offer new and innovative services, and unique features for shoppers.”

Not only does Citi MasterPass optimize the checkout experience, it is also expected to contribute to expanding e-commerce sales in the country, by reducing the cart abandonment rate with its simple, yet secure payment process.

Citi MasterPass will be available at over 100 online merchants in the country, with more to come in the future. India’s e-commerce industry is expected to cross 1.08 trillion rupees (USD17.2 billion) at the end of 2015.

Bendigo & Adelaide Bank Select Appian:

Appian, today announced that Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, the fifth-largest national bank in Australia, is using Appian to modernise financial service offerings through a series of business applications deployed on the Appian BPM Platform.

By leveraging Appian, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank will deploy a dynamic business process management solution throughout the entire organization designed to improve the customer and external partner experience.

Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is an Australian financial institution serving 1.5 million customers in more than 500 communities Australia-wide. Priding itself as a "community bank' committed to socially responsible practices, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank needed a way to update their legacy IT solutions to ensure quality for a diverse range of products and services to satisfy customer needs. The bank is currently undergoing a "Lift and Shift" of its existing BPM solutions on to the Appian application platform in order to create a more modern operating system across the organization.

"Our vision is to be Australia's leading customer connected bank," said Andrew Watts, Executive Customer Service Improvement, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank. "To do so, we must respond quickly to the changing needs of our customers. We selected Appian as a tool that allows business processes to be simplified and implemented quickly using agile approaches."

Appian enables a modern approach to financial service operations, creating a faster time to market for new products and accelerated client on-boarding while mitigating operational risks. Appian's reporting capabilities offer full audit trail views accessible via an intuitive social collaborative interface, allowing employees to have easy access to critical information and make faster business decisions from any device. This approach to custom software allows these organizations to transform business challenges into an integrated workflow-based solution to deliver agile and adaptive products and services desired by customers.

"Financial service institutions continue to find value in custom software solutions to best manage operations organization-wide and maintain competitive advantage," said Matt Calkins, President and CEO at Appian. "By using an application platform to modernize key components of business, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is able to quickly adopt modern enterprise IT solutions unique to their business in order to preserve a standard of service excellence."

As part of a broader program to provide an automated loans servicing platform for Consumer Lending and Residential Mortgage Lending, initial solutions deployed include the Mortgage Discharge application which provides a process-automated approach to the approval and pay out of mortgages, where fixed business rules route individual cases to the appropriate bank department to ensure mortgage resolutions are provided to customers in a timely manner. Additionally, the Progress Payment application has also been deployed and is progressively releasing construction loans for customers building new houses. Progress Payments are the initial step in the post-settlement stage of the construction loan lifecycle, where mortgage funds from the Bank (the lender) are released in stages during the build in order to reduce risk. The bank is using Appian to manage its process of welcoming new customers to the bank who open accounts online.

JCBI And Bank Of Mongolia Agree On Credit And Debit Card System:

JCB International Co, Ltd. ("JCBI"), the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., and Bank of Mongolia ("BOM") have announce the signing of a system network agreement for T-Card JCB credit and debit card issuing.

BOM established a nationwide payment network in 2010 in order to provide uniform card payment services for the people of Mongolia. JCBI entered a master acquiring license agreement with major commercial bank Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia in May 2013 resulting in JCB card acceptance at almost all card merchants and ATMs throughout the country. Currently four major banks act as gateways to the payment network for all domestic banks in Mongolia, which have issued about 1.5 million T-card bank cards to their customers. The new agreement with BOM enables these network member banks to start issuing credit and debit cards carrying both the T-card and JCB brands starting in early 2016.

Mongolia's economy is growing fast and the country is seeing an increase in overseas travel for both business and leisure. In 2013 about 1.35 million Mongolian people traveled to nearby Japan, China, Korea and Russia, where JCBI has a strong presence. With the new agreement T-Card JCB co-badged cardmembers can enjoy international acceptance for their T-cards via the JCB network in 190 countries and territories worldwide.

Koremitsu Sannomiya, President & COO of JCBI, said, "BOM and JCBI have had a partnership since 2013 aiming to develop the payment industry in Mongolia. This agreement will ensure further economic growth by sharing our experience and knowledge of payment business with BOM. It is expected that more and more Mongolian people will travel abroad and we believe this partnership for issuing co-badged card will definitely contribute to the convenience of payment outside the country."

Batshugar Enkhbayar, Deputy Governor of BOM said, "We truly value JCBI's desire to continue to expand its financial products worldwide with motivation to involve globalization. We, the Bank of Mongolia fully empower payment card development projects and pledges the necessary supports to all banks that introduce new products for the benefit of their clients. I believe that the company with over 50 years of experience would bring an excellent, continuous development between our organizations. On the other hand, we will ensure all necessary supports, in the legal framework, needed from JCBI."



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