The Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) will come together for the first time as SFF x SWITCH. Running from 11 to 15 November, this event will gather the global innovation and business community in Singapore. There will be over 400 speakers, more than 900 exhibitors, 41 international pavilions, and about 60,000 participants from 130 countries.
2. Sustainability and Climate Change is the overarching theme of the combined conference this year, given the growing calls for the technology and financial sectors to be enablers and change agents for sustainability. This theme is reflected in the content of the conference, the design of the event space at the Singapore Expo and through the provision of food from sustainable sources. Please refer to Annex A for more details.
3. The inaugural SFF x SWITCH will feature innovative technologies across five key sectors – FinTech, Urban Solutions and Sustainability, Health and Biomedical Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, and Services and Digital Services – to catalyse cross-industry exchange and learning in technology adoption, application of R&D, and commercialisation of new solutions.
4. The event will kick off with the three-day SFF x SWITCH Conference (11-13 November) at the Singapore Expo. The Conference comprises nine stages, where prominent speakers will discuss topics on Sustainability, Finance and Tech; Future of Finance; Investment and Global Markets Opportunities; Exponential Technologies; Global Access to Innovation; Future Directions with Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Healthcare Innovation; Powering Cities of the Future; and Sustaining the Future of Humanity.
5. Among the speakers at the Conference are Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands; Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Singapore; Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education, Singapore, and Board Member, MAS; Agustin Carstens, General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements; Pavan Sukhdev, President, World Wildlife Fund International; Kees Immink, President, Turing Machines Inc; Pat Bajari, Vice President for Core AI, Chief Economist, Amazon; and Sergey Ryazanskiy, Pilot-Astronaut and Hero of the Russian Federation.
 As at 10 November 2019
a. Debuting this year is the Sustainability, Finance and Tech Summit (11-13 November), featuring over 50 speakers who will take the stage to discuss how they are paving the way for a more sustainable future in the world of finance and beyond.
b. The annual Global Investor Summit (11 November) will bring together 17 venture capital, corporate venture capital and family office investors from San Francisco to Tokyo, to share their strategies for unlocking growth, impacting inclusion, and delivering long-term value creation in the FinTech and Deep Tech ecosystems.
c. Leading the Deep Tech conference, the Global Access to Innovation track (11 November) will feature perspectives from a myriad of movers and shakers in Asia’s innovation ecosystem. From founders of tech unicorns to senior leaders from both the private and public sectors, conference participants can look forward to finding out more about the opportunities in market access, innovation and investment, in Asia and beyond.
d. A new summit created this year to spotlight key issues faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is SME Digitalisation and Platforms – Business sans Borders (BSB) (13 November). The sessions in this track will cover pertinent issues such as ‘SME Financing Reimagined’, the ‘Impact of Trade Wars on SMEs and Platforms’ as well as the ‘Roadmap for BSB Beyond 2020’. The discussions will take place at a new Coral Triangle stage, which is designed for more intimate and interactive conversations.
6. Alongside the Conference is the combined SFF x SWITCH Exhibition curated by SingEx, which showcases innovative solutions in FinTech and Deep Tech from around the world. The 41 international pavilions will display solutions from their respective countries or regions. Visitors can also interact with 20 international financial regulators at the Regulators Zone to learn more about business opportunities and regulations in those countries.
7. The Innovation SG booth, featuring an interactive TechXperience Zone, will present technology, innovation and enterprise initiatives led by local and international players. From deal-making sessions and workshops, to industry launches and networking events, the showcase presents Singapore’s role as a vibrant Global-Asia node of innovation.
8. Three exciting Competitions for the global innovation community will reach its conclusion at SFF x SWITCH:
a. The Global FinTech Hackcelerator Demo Day, taking place on 11 November, will present 20 market-ready FinTech solutions intended to solve real-life industry problems in financial inclusion, insurtech, RegTech and SupTech, and a general category. Winners will be revealed later on the same day.
b. Winners of the FinTech Awards will be announced on 11 November, recognising innovative FinTech solutions that have been implemented by FinTech companies, financial institutions and technology companies. Attendees can also catch the finalists presenting their 5-minute company pitches on 12 November at the Open Stages.
c. SLINGSHOT 2019 (11 – 13 November), Startup SG’s marquee startup pitching competition that highlights the best global startups, has a focus on increasing deal-making this year. Semi-finals will take place over the first two days where the SLINGSHOT Top Global 100 Startups across six key tracks will pitch their solutions to over 200 judges comprising industry veterans, corporates, tech giants and investors. More than S$2 million worth of prizes will be awarded. The top 12 startups will vie to be the Grand Winner at the Grand Finals happening on 13 November.
 International Pavilions representing Armenia, Bahrain, Canada, Catalonia, Central and Eastern Europe, Chongqing, Commonwealth, Denmark, Dubai, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Latin America, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, New Zealand, Nordics, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suzhou, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States of America.
 The Regulators Zone will include Abu Dhabi Global Market, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, National Bank of Cambodia, Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, Dubai Financial Services Authority, Autorite de controle prudential et de resolution, Autorite des marches financiers, Bundesbank, Astana International Financial Centre, Central Bank of Kenya, Korea Financial Services Commission, Bank of Lithuania, Securities Commission Malaysia, Central Bank of Nigeria, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Polish Financial Supervision Authority, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Bank of Thailand and UK Financial Conduct Authority.
9. Investors and companies can look forward to the following Deal-Making Opportunities at SFF x SWITCH:
a. Daily Mixers (11 and 12 November), taking place at the Innovation SG booth, will host some of the best-in-class global companies and investors and feature intimate Q&A sessions with top investors.
a. TechInnovation (11 – 13 November), the premier technology-industry matching event, will showcase over 150 enabling technologies available for technology commercialisation or licensing. A special UK-Singapore innovation seminar and a thematic track on design-led innovation will also debut at TechInnovation this year.
10. The Innovation Lab Crawl (14-15 November) will feature research facilities and in-house laboratories from 53 partners in the areas of FinTech, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Urban Solutions and Sustainability, Health and Biomedical Sciences and Services and Digital Economy. Interested parties can sign up at http://fintechfestival.sg/innovation-lab-crawl to see where new product and solutions are tested, learn about how these labs leverage the latest technologies and network with start-ups and key innovation executives.
11. Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “Each year, in running the Singapore FinTech Festival, we strive towards achieving our vision of making it a global platform for knowledge sharing. This year, our partnership with SWITCH has given us that opportunity to draw a larger technology-focused audience beyond the financial services sector. It has helped propel SFF x SWITCH into a platform for the world to share thought leadership, make meaningful connections and to build better ideas that will benefit our community.”
12. Mr Edwin Chow, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Innovation & Enterprise), Enterprise Singapore, said, “With SFF x SWITCH as one event, we will bring together international tech communities, startups, investors, corporates and other enablers to network, share ideas and discuss collaborations. More than 40 international pavilions will present the latest innovative solutions and technology spanning across diverse sectors and disciplines. SFF x SWITCH presents opportunities for participants to start solving economic and industry challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship.”
 These stages are located at the Exhibition and open to trade visitors.
 The six tracks are i) Consumer Products & Services, Media & Advertising, Retail & Food Services, ii) FinTech and InsurTech, iii) FoodTech and AgriTech, iv) HealthTech, BioTech and MedTech, v) Manufacturing, Logistics & Transportation and vi) Urban Solutions, Sustainability & Energy.
13. Dr Cheong Wei Yang, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NRF, said, “SFF x SWITCH brings out the best of both the Singapore FinTech Festival and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology. It is symbolic of Singapore’s national effort to integrate research, innovation and enterprise as an iterative, interactive ecosystem – so that each one will spur the others to greater heights, with the aim of improving lives in Singapore and globally. It will ensure that deep technologies born out of basic science research in Singapore will see impact via the right economic structures and business models, enabled by innovative financing modalities and payment systems. I look forward to seeing many more products and services being launched into the region and the world, from Singapore.”
14. SFF is organised by MAS, in partnership with The Association of Banks in Singapore, and in collaboration with SingEx Holdings. SWITCH is organised by Enterprise Singapore, NRF and Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI) in partnership with SingEx.
SOURCE Monetary Authority of Singapore
Klarna Opens Tech Hub in Berlin
Klarna, one of the world’s leading payment providers, today announced its plan to open a tech hub in Germany’s capital at the beginning of next year. This will enable Klarna to further build out its product portfolio and services, better serve its fast-growing merchant and consumer base across Europe and the US and tap into the cities’ rich talent base.
The new Berlin site will be based in the very heart of Berlin’s thriving technology scene in Berlin Mitte and offers Klarna employees space of around 7,400 square meters in a modern and functional repurposed car garage. In the future, it will house more than 500 employees focusing on product, engineering and commercial growth and will be an addition to Klarna’s German offices in Munich and Linden, each with approximately 100 employees.
“Berlin is one of the most exciting tech and entrepreneurial hubs worldwide and attracts exceptional local and international talents from all over the world. We are very proud and humbled to be part of that thriving ecosystem now. This site will enable us to further scale our footprint in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and new markets, but at the same time build new products and services to solve people’s shopping pain points across Europe and the US. We are on a very exciting journey from a pure payment provider to a global shopping ecosystem and our team in Berlin will play a decisive part to reach our ambitious goals.” says Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO Klarna.
Robert Bueninck, General Manager DACH, adds: “The DACH market as a whole developed fantastically throughout the past years and we have a very strong momentum and growing brand awareness in the region. With several thousands of new merchants which went live with us this year and many millions of consumers using our services, Germany is hugely important to the company to drive volume and revenue growth. The new site in Berlin is testament to our strong track record locally and our commitment to becoming the most favorite way to buy in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.”
Klarna currently employs over 2,500 employees in Stockholm, Los Angeles, New York, Columbus, Madrid, Brussels, London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin, Linden, Munich, Oslo, Helsinki and Uppsala. In August 2019, the company received a 460 million US dollars funding round on a 5.5 billion US dollars post-money valuation, which currently makes Klarna the highest private FinTech company in Europe. Earlier this year, the company tapped into new business verticals by launching new products such as the Klarna Open Banking Platform and Global Authentication Platform. On the consumer side, Klarna introduced the Klarna Card and Klarna’s Instore solution in Germany as well as various new features in the Klarna app that fundamentally change the way how people shop and pay. This underpins the company’s versatility in opening up new revenue streams and ambition to become the go-to destination when it comes to online and offline shopping.
Progressive Approach in Embracing the Digital Finance Key to Labuan IBFC’s Growth in Financial Innovation
“Labuan International Business and Financial Centre’s (Labuan IBFC’s) ‘digital family‘ continues to grow in recognition of the progressive approach the centre has taken in embracing the digital revolution by being as facilitative as possible to enable innovative digital business to take root in Labuan,” said Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA) Director-General, Danial Mah Abdullah at the inaugural Connecting Digital Ecosystems in Asia 2019 (CoDE Asia 2019) conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
Mah added: “To this extent, the centre has used legacy licences like money broker, credit token licenses to provide the regulatory umbrella for the digital business to be carried out. Now that is innovation by itself. Thus, the centre has a ‘toolbox‘ of solutions to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding digital industry, whether from the supply or demand side”.
He went on to add that the digital business model must be legitimate, meeting international standards of compliance, transparency and prudential requirements. Thus, prospects would need to obtain Labuan FSA’s prior approval for any proposed digital business if the activities fall within the ambit of Labuan Financial Services Securities Act 2010 or Labuan Islamic Financial Services Securities Act 2010.
Labuan IBFC’s digital journey began in 2017, with eight licenses up to 2018 and 2019 has seen an exponential growth in the number of players in the centre with more than 30 licenses approved to operate as digital entities.
“Our bespoke and curated approach is an ideal match to the demands of a fast-evolving digital marketplace,” said Farah Jaafar-Crossby, CEO of Labuan IBFC Inc, the jurisdiction’s market development agency. She added Labuan IBFC’s tax neutrality and currency agnosticism adds to the appeal as a digital hub, especially since the digital marketplace is inherently borderless in its application.
“We have seen a significant increase in interest of our digital ‘toolbox‘ from regional and also international entities,” she said and cited Memorandum of Understandings signed between Labuan IBFC Inc with China Construction Bank, Labuan as well as Huobi Group of China, both in relation to the advancement and development of Labuan IBFC’s digital ecosystem.
She added the fast-growing ecosystem in the jurisdiction had also prompted the establishment of an industry-led Labuan Fintech Association, which is open to any party interested in participating and contributing to Labuan IBFC’s growing “digital family”.
Labuan IBFC which will celebrate its 30th year of establishment in 2020, is home to more than 6,000 active companies which includes top-ranked financial institutions comprising 55 banks, 217 insurance companies, 61 corporate service providers, more than 300 leasing companies and 43 commodity trading companies. Labuan IBFC entities employ more than 6,000 people, making the IBFC the largest employer compared to other industries in Labuan.
The Connecting Digital Ecosystems in Asia 2019 (CoDE Asia 2019) conference was attended by more than 250 delegates and featured a lineup of regional industry players and subject matter experts, discussing topics catered towards developing a holistic digital ecosystem in the region. For more information on Labuan IBFC and its offerings, log on to www.labuanibfc.com.
OneConnect wins prestigious award at the 2019 Kotler Future Marketing Summit for its outstanding global marketing efforts
OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd (OneConnect), an associate company of Ping An Group, won the “Kotler New Marketing Year Successful Overseas Marketing Award” at the prestigious “2019 Kotler Future Marketing Summit” held in Beijing on 12 October. OneConnect’s win is an affirmation of its outstanding global marketing efforts that successfully export Ping An’s technologies to leading financial institutions outside of China within a short span of one year or so. Philip Kotler, known as the “father of modern marketing”, graced the event at the Wangjing Hyatt Hotel in Beijing.
The yearly Kotler New Marketing Awards aim to establish industry benchmarks and recognize successful experiences, further inspiring enterprises to carry out marketing innovations and pave the future of marketing. The summit focused on two main themes: cutting-edge marketing and growth marketing.
OneConnect celebrated the opening of its Singapore Office in November 2018 to spearhead regional expansion, and in February 2019, celebrated the launch of its Indonesia Office. Within a short span, OneConnect made remarkable progress inking maiden deals with leading financial institutions in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Japan and Abu Dhabi.
Ms Tan Bin Ru, CEO of OneConnect Financial Technology, said: “Over the past one year or so, OneConnect has built an impressive footprint with customers in about 10 countries outside of China. More Asian banks are looking to strengthen their technological capabilities to serve the millennials and the unbanked and underserved segments. We are making an impact in enabling banks and insurers in their transformation journey.”
OneConnect has served more than 600 banks and over 80 insurance companies, and is expanding its operations. In August, OneConnect announced a strategic joint venture partnership with SBI Holdings, Inc. to enter Japan market. SBI OneConnect Japan will fully leverage SBI Neo Financial Services and other SBI companies to introduce OneConnect’s fintech services to financial institutions and businesses across Japan.
In June, OneConnect and UBX Philippines Corporation, the wholly-owned fintech subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines, entered a partnership to build SeekCap – the country’s first lending platform to meet the banking needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). SeekCap was launched by UBX within four months in November, demonstrating OneConnect’s strong tech capabilities. Today, SeekCap is a true loan marketplace with multiple lenders showcasing their loan products for borrowers to choose what best suits their business needs, and apply for loans digitally and seamlessly on a single end-to-end platform. Loans can be approved on the same day, and disbursed within three working days. This drastically shortens turnaround time as compared with traditional loan applications in the Philippines.
In Indonesia, OneConnect is the choice tech partner of Sinar Mas Financial Services Group, the financial arm of conglomerate Sinar Mas. As a key strategic partner, OneConnect is partnering with Bank Sinarmas, PT. Kredit Biro Indonesia Jaya, the country’s first private credit bureau to provide banks and micro-finance organizations with better lending decisions, and ASPARINDO, an association for retailers in Indonesia, to build a smart lending ecosystem. OneConnect is also partnering with Asuransi Sinarmas to build a smart auto claims solution, as well as Sinar Mas Multi-finance to build a smart retail lending platform for Indonesians to gain easy access to loans.
In Malaysia, OneConnect is partnering with one of the country’s top banks to build an SME lending platform. In Thailand, OneConnect counts three of the top 10 banks as its customers.
In Abu Dhabi, it is building a financial ecosystem with the Abu Dhabi Global Market to spur fintech innovations, collaborations and market opportunities. The first initiative was the launch of an innovation lab at the Fintech Abu Dhabi in October. The lab will use OneConnect’s technology to connect legacy systems of financial institutions to fintech applications through enabling the creation of APIs, System Virtual Machines, data and applications in a cost-effective and scalable manner. It will enable financial institutions to transform digitally, accelerate product development, drive innovation, as well as embrace interoperability, partnerships and collaboration within a truly inclusive financial ecosystem.
Beyond Asia, OneConnect is partnering finleap connect to offer its fintech software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology to the European market. finleap connect is a business unit of finleap, Europe’s leading fintech ecosystem, which is based in Berlin and has offices in Milan, Paris and Madrid.
These achievements underscore OneConnect’s mission of using technology to make finance easier, and its vision of becoming a technology partner that financial institutions trust to ride the wave of digital transformation.
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