UOB Asset Management Ltd (UOBAM) and Value3 Advisory Pte. Ltd. (Value3), a financial technology (FinTech) start-up, today announced their collaboration to launch an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled credit rating, research and reporting service in ASEAN. Through their collaboration, both organisations aim to help bond investors obtain credit insights in real time so as to make more effective investment decisions. UOBAM will also harness AI to enhance the market research and insights capabilities of its fixed income team.
UOBAM will combine its regional investment expertise with Value3’s machine learning and natural language processing technologies for thorough predictive analytics of ASEAN corporate bond issuers’ financial and non-financial data collected from diverse sources. UOBAM will also provide regional market and industry insights to help Value3 roll out in ASEAN its proprietary AlgoCRED AI-platform, an online portal offering automated credit ratings, research and insights, for the region’s corporate bonds, including unrated bonds. Automated quantitative and qualitative assessments will then be conducted to derive credit ratings, to create credit risk indicators with real-time alerts and to generate detailed credit rating reports.
For the first time, asset managers, financial advisory firms and institutional investors will be able to access independent credit ratings for unrated bonds in ASEAN by subscribing to the AlgoCRED AI-platform. This will enable the bond investors to evaluate the issuers’ creditworthiness and the issuances’ investment merits more accurately.
 Value3 is a finalist of the 2019 FinTech Awards at the Singapore FinTech Festival.
 Value3’s AlgoCRED AI-platform is currently available in Switzerland, covering approximately 1,400 Swiss franc bonds.
 Refer to bonds that have not received a credit rating from one or more of the three global rating agencies: Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
 Corporate bond issuers do not have to pay fees for their issuances to obtain credit ratings on the AlgoCRED AI-platform.
Mr Chong Jiun Yeh, Chief Investment Officer (Equities and Fixed Income) of UOBAM, said, “Across ASEAN, many corporate bond issuers may shy away from seeking ratings for their bond issuances due to the high fees that may be incurred or the time needed to obtain and to maintain the rating. As a result, investors including asset managers such as UOBAM have to rely on internal resources to determine the issuances’ investment merits. Greater visibility of credit ratings of bond issuers will also help benefit the corporate debt markets in the region.”
Mr Abhinav Mishra, Co-Founder and CEO of Value3, said, “Different financial institutions will typically rely on their own methodology to assign credit ratings to unrated bonds, leading to inconsistent ratings in the market. Through our collaboration with UOBAM, we will bring our proprietary and award-winning AlgoCRED Al-platform to ASEAN to address the demand for standardised credit rating services for unrated bonds. This will help corporate issuers, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, to be more transparent in their disclosure and to attract more investors for their bonds.”
UOBAM will also work with Value3 to embed environmental, social and governance considerations into an exclusive credit rating model on the AlgoCRED AI-platform to facilitate its own responsible investing efforts.
Mr Chong said, “UOBAM has a strong track record in fixed income investing and is committed to using technology to deepen our capabilities. Through our collaboration with Value3, we will tap AI to automate our credit research and assessment processes and be far more efficient in our fixed income evaluation and investment management.”
The credit rating, research and reporting service is expected to be launched first in Singapore in December 2019 and subsequently in the other ASEAN markets.
SOURCE UOB Asset Management
InfraRisk Expands Auto Financing Cooperation with Toyota Finance, Taurus Motor Finance
InfraRisk Pty Ltd. (InfraRisk), a leading supplier of credit management solutions in Australia, today announced it has expanded cooperation in auto financing with Toyota Financial Services to Germany and Austria to facilitate its credit process when lending to dealerships and large fleet customers.
Toyota Financial Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of the world’s largest carmaker Toyota Motor Corp, specializing in offering a comprehensive financial services lineup that caters to customers’ diverse needs while strengthening the core auto sales finance operation.
Nicholas Davies, founder and CEO of InfraRisk, said, “These two new European deployments complement existing ones in Europe and Australia demonstrating our platform’s ability to operate across multiple geographies catering to a range of country specific factors including policies and languages, with modularity being the key architectural design.”
InfraRisk has been in partnership with the car loan provider since 2016, offering them a fully featured credit management platform – Credit Value Maximiser, or CVX, to Toyota’s broad base of customers.
The modularized tool is built around key origination functionalities, from profile to pricing, with each module connecting via defined APIs. By harnessing the power of big data analytics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, InfraRisk’s auto financing solution will enable a more efficient and effective, as well as regulatory compliant credit process.
Meanwhile, InfraRisk announced today a new partnership with Taurus Motor Finance, a start-up car loans provider based in Australia with a digital, automated and real-time credit assessment and approval process. The lender is implementing InfraRisk’s cloud-based and intelligent CVX platform to facilitate its commercial lending business as it looks to scale up operations.
“InfraRisk’s deep experience in the auto finance sector along with the system readiness to manage the capture of industry specific data fields has grown us into a leading provider of auto finance SaaS solutions,” said Victor Li, head of Pintec International Business. “We will continue to invest in the ongoing research and development with committed efforts and build the platform into a smarter and more advanced tool catering to particular ecosystems.”
InfraRisk is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pintec Technology Holdings Limited (“Pintec”, Nasdaq: PT), a leading fintech solutions provider that specializes in intelligent retail finance covering point-of-sale installment loans, personal loans, SME loans, corporate and commercial segments, wealth management and insurance services.
Montreal Fintech FlexPay Raises $6M from Impression Ventures and BMO Capital Partners
FlexPay—which uses AI and machine-learning to help merchants recover lost revenues from declined transactions—is proud to announce they raised $6 million dollars, led by Impression Ventures, with participation from BMO Capital Partners, Anges Québec and strategic partners.
Credit card issuers report that 24% of recurring credit card transactions are falsely declined, costing online and telephone merchants $300 billion in lost sales and customers in the US alone. A false decline is a transaction that should have been approved, but wasn’t, for reasons out of the customers and merchants control. As the economy continues to shift to online and subscription-based revenue, this problem for customers and merchants is only getting bigger.
Using AI and machine-learning, FlexPay analyzes billions of transaction records to reverse-engineer exactly why risk-mitigation systems are falsely declining transactions. FlexPay then uses this real-time data to optimize credit card recovery and get valid transactions approved.
“Before learning about FlexPay, we didn’t know decline-salvage firms existed, to be honest. When we learned FlexPay’s fees are only charged on additional recovered customers, it was an easy decision for us at Masivo,” explains President Noam Egosi of Masivo Media. Following FlexPay’s integration, Masivo’s salvage rate rose from 10.0% to a staggering 42.4% average since March 2019, representing a 324% performance improvement. As a subscription business, this notable spike in recovery has also produced a 12% jump in precious LTV (Lifetime Value), and increased Masivo’s bottom-line profitability by 50%. “I tell everybody that will listen to us, to use FlexPay,” Egosi enthusiastically beams. “We’re big fans.”
“2019 was a year of significant in-roads,” reflects Darryl Hicks, CEO of FlexPay. “We surpassed the 2 million declines-processed mark and multiplied our integration points 8-fold, giving us access to a pool of 4 billion dollars in annual declines, 40,000 merchants and 80 million end-customers. The next logical step was to invite venture partners to join us and add their capital and expertise to accelerate us to help billions of end-customers get their transactions approved.”
Impression Ventures, based in Toronto and Montreal, led the round, marking their first investment in Montreal. “We believe FlexPay to be the best-in-class solution in a massively underserved market,” reflects Maor Amar, Managing Partner, “The company’s AI powered systems provide a solution to the large and rapidly growing problem of false credit card declines. FlexPay’s management team has an impressive entrepreneurial track record, in depth knowledge of this market and the passion and energy required to succeed. We are thrilled to join them on this journey.”
BMO Capital Partners added: “we are happy to support a talented team, committed to solving a real problem in the e-commerce space with state-of-the-art technology.”
“We thank our advisors, investors and board members for their ongoing help with FlexPay’s vision and traction,” adds CFO Laurent Binda. “Securing this specialized group of institutional investors gives us the capital, experience and network we need to accelerate our progress in solving falsely declined credit card transactions.”
35 Innovative Products, Services and Organizations Honoured International Innovation Awards 2019 in Singapore
Enterprise Asia announced the winners of the International Innovation Awards 2019 in Singapore. Thirty five products, services and organizations are named as award winners from over 160 submissions.
Among the notable recipients of the InnoCube are AIA Malaysia, Taiwan’s HIWIN Technologies Corp., Singapore’s Olam International Ltd., Philippines’ Unilever, Indonesia’s PT MRT Jakarta, and United Arab Emirates’ Roads and Transport Authority.
“There are not conventional ‘innovations’. When we set out to identify winners of the IIA, our goal is to present a broad spectrum of innovations that could spur greater innovation in the recipients’ respective countries and industries. Just as innovation itself is continuously self-redefining, the awards are meant to promote continuity in innovation,” said Dato’ William Ng, president of Enterprise Asia.
“Innovation is moving faster than at any other point in history. Organizations cannot afford to rely on current practices and hope that they will work in the future. Organizations that fail to innovate are setting themselves up for failure,” Ng added.
“The award recipients also receive the InnoMark, the global certification for innovation. The InnoMark, like the International Innovation Awards, adopts our proprietary 8-Dimension of Innovation – which includes areas such as defendability and enforceability, impact and measurability as well as ideation and creativity. This will not only help define the best practice in innovation but provide a platform through which companies could showcase the results of their innovation,” shared Ng.
Organized annually by Enterprise Asia, the International Innovation Awards is among the most coveted global awards for innovation, and aims to recognize best innovations in the categories of Product, Service & Solution, and Organization & Culture. This year’s judging panel include Martin Daffner, founder of Innobrix, Professor Nadia Thalmann of Nanyang Technological University, Professor Natcha Thawesaengskulthai of Chulalongkorn University, Makoto Shibata of FINOLAB, The FinTech Center of Tokyo and Anna Simpson of Flux Compass.
In conjunction with International Innovation Awards 2019, Enterprise Asia also organized the International Innovation Summit 2019, themed “Innovation Trailblazers: Creating for Disruption”, the summit convened over 400 innovation experts, industry leaders and policy makers over three days. Following two successful editions in Shanghai and Macau, the Summit is held in Singapore and supported by the Singapore government this year.
At the opening of the Summit, organizing chairman and former minister of human resources of Malaysia, Dr. Fong Chan Onn said that the Asian economy need to reduce its reliance on foreign technology and develop its own in order to insulate its economies against global events such as the on-going US-China trade spat.
According to Dr. Fong, “Companies wedded to the old business model lose ground, and some are pushed out of business. Challengers that embrace innovation gain advantage and will take a dominant position in the market. The goal of this year’s International Innovation Summit is not only to discuss what to expect from the future of disruption in innovation, but also in defining the innovation culture that we must adopt for our organizations to compete in this revolution.”
“More importantly, governments must urgently work with the private sector to define the innovation agenda for their respective economy, and to work with other countries for a regional framework to advance the culture of innovation in each country,” Dr. Fong said.
This year’s keynote speakers include Koert Breebaart, vice president of SAP Asia; Ken Ding, head of product innovation of Samsung Electronics; Yat Siu, founder and CEO of Outblaze and Animoca Brands; Ajay Mohan of Intel Corporation and Jing Jang of Haier Group Corporation.
The International Innovation Awards 2019 is supported by Singapore Tourism Board through Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau, Eastern European Chamber of Commerce (Singapore), The Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, Sri Lanka, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC), Malaysia, Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (NIEI), Royal of Cambodia, Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SMCCI) and Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce; Singapore Airlines as official airlines; Resorts World Sentosa as official venue partner; PR Newswire as news release distribution partner; and BusinessWorld, Commercial Times, Kumparan, SME Magazine, Techsauce, The Nation and Tuoi Tre News as the official media partners.
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