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How UOB is leading the charge for FinTech innovation in the region

Yon Heong Tung
UOB

By supporting FinTech startups in The FinLab Accelerator programme and collaborations with ecosystem partners, UOB aims to be at the forefront of tech innovation in the financial sector

The financial buzzword of the year is FinTech.

Singapore, being the hub of corporate financial activity in the region, is well poised to ride on this wave of innovation. Many financial institutions and banks are cognisant that engaging with ecosystem partners is key to enhancing their business models and remaining relevant and attuned to the evolving needs of their tech-savvy customers.

United Overseas Bank (UOB) is leading the charge on the FinTech front. It has launched numerous initiatives, pairing its eight decades of expertise in banking and finance, with the innovation agility of startups.

Supporting the startup ecosystem

An example of these initiatives is The FinLab, a joint venture set up in November 2015 with Singapore’s Infocomm Investments Private Limited. The FinLab provides mentorship to a broad spectrum of early stage startups helping them on their product-market fit and validation of their business models.

Also Read: UOB to launch online marketplace for SMEs to purchase business services

Aside from The FinLab, UOB has teamed up with equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd to provide innovative businesses access to alternative funding options. This unique partnership has been nominated for the MAS FinTech Awards.

UOB has also partnered with Temasek Holdings to set up InnoVen Capital, a dedicated platform providing venture debt for up to high-growth early-stage companies throughout Asia to accelerate their business aspirations, growth and expansion plans.

A complementary approach through partnerships with ecosystem players

Beyond actively supporting the startup ecosystem, UOB also collaborates with partners that can complement its banking solutions to deliver innovative solutions.

An example is BizSmart, a cloud-based integrated business solution composed of five integrated applications that come with direct bank feed, aimed at helping small businesses improve their productivity.

The BizSmart solution is the first of its kind in Singapore, and is expected to reduce time spent on business processes by 40 per cent.

Investing in the growth of FinTech

To support Singapore’s ambition to be a Smart Nation, MAS seeks to create a Smart Financial Centre, where technology is used pervasively in the financial industry to improve lives. Last year, it pledged S$225 million (US$166.5 million) to grow Singapore’s FinTech sector, and this year it opened an innovation lab for FinTech.

Also Read: UOB partners with cloud accounting firm Xero to ease SMEs’ bookkeeping woes

In another initiative, the MAS has partnered with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to organize a week-long inaugural Singapore FinTech Festival in November, which aims to foster an atmosphere to drive innovation and collaboration in the financial sector.

As one of the festival sponsors of the Singapore FinTech Festival, UOB will be actively participating in discussions on the future of FinTech in the conferences, and showcasing the bank’s innovative solutions that are designed to make banking easier for customers.

The early success of UOB’s efforts in the FinTech space is evident. Attores and Turnkey Lender, both alumni from The FinLab’s accelerator programme, have been nominated for the FinTech Awards at the Singapore FinTech Festival, while Cardup, another alumnus from The FinLab, beat 655 startups to be one of the 20 finalists of the Global Hackcelerator programme in the FinTech Festival.

Conclusion

As one of the leading banks pushing innovation in the financial sector, UOB actively engages and collaborates with ecosystem partners and startups. Together, they are leveraging emerging tech, such as big data and mobile-first platforms to deliver tailored and groundbreaking solutions that enable customers to conduct their banking and manage their finances seamlessly.
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Image Credit: UOB

Disclosure: This article was produced by the e27 content marketing team, sponsored by UOB.

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