“What US Fintech Companies don’t know—BUT NEED TO!”

by Jamie Brown

Also, RegTech becomes the new FinTech, we learned of various Standards, Data Science and the use of BlockChain technology that is helping to reduce the complexities of such a large but much needed task.   I asked Ms. Jones about the briefing and her response was, “Wow, Singapore is positioning itself to be the global authority on intellectual property rights, FinTech and RegTech. There is a great opportunity in this region to create and collaborate to significantly improve the lives of millions of people. To hear terms like ‘Unicorns’ and ‘Disrupters’ to come from this region is very exciting,” she concluded.

We left and proceeded to Singapore Management University [SMU], School of Accountancy.  At SMU, the Delegates presented their company and their products to an auditorium of potential partners, investors and Singapore government representatives. The presentations were presented in a “Ted Talk” style.  Barbara not only took the podium but she commanded it. Her presentation on the FinTech Returns Fraud product, “Freeing Returns” was met with great applause. It outlined how Freeing Returns is the only retailer-integrated mobile- based application that streamlines retail returns, eliminates receipts and improves the overall customer experience. Her solutions regarding “Fraud” also aroused many onlookers and attracted several attendees. Her visions of establishing an office in Singapore were becoming her focus. The momentum was still building.  

After lunch we did a site visit to the DBS Innovation Facility where the Delegates received a warm welcome from a representative of the Partnerships and Culture Department. Here we heard about the “Know Your Customer” [KYC] initiative. Through this initiative we saw innovative technology using Message Bots to perform banking tasks that we in the US have to go into the bank to perform. The Singaporeans are performing these tasks via Text Messages!  We were also greeted by Bank Greeters from the Jetsons!   Here’s the process -- A Robot greets you at the entrance of the bank and performs inquiries, deposits and other Teller related duties. 

Also, RegTech becomes the new FinTech, we learned of various Standards, Data Science and the use of BlockChain technology that is helping to reduce the complexities of such a large but much needed task.   I asked Ms. Jones about the briefing and her response was, “Wow, Singapore is positioning itself to be the global authority on intellectual property rights, FinTech and RegTech. There is a great opportunity in this region to create and collaborate to significantly improve the lives of millions of people. To hear terms like ‘Unicorns’ and ‘Disrupters’ to come from this region is very exciting,” she concluded.

On November 15th, Lillii RNB Founder/CEO, Barbara Jones attended the Singapore Fintech Festival. With over 15 years experience in technology working for some of the largest retailers in the world, Ms. Jones had expectations of  teaching Singaporeans about Financial Technology(FinTech). It turned out to be just the opposite---they taught her.  Not only did they teach her but she realized something extremely concerning right from the start---The US is no longer considered the Global Leader when it comes to Fintech!  “There’s just so much US Companies don’t know but need to,” she stated.  “My principle objectives for going to Singapore were to attract investors to my fast growing start up tech company.   I want to work with Retailers’ in the ASEAN or who are looking to expand to the ASEAN region. Also establishing relationships with developers in this region is very important.”  Barbara’s goals were met and so much more. When asked about the trip she replied, “It was an amazing experience.  It was such an empowering, business changing and eye opening experience for me.  I’m sure I can speak for the other delegates that attended. For most of us, this was our first visit to Singapore and now we’re all family!” There are over 3600 US Companies that call Singapore “home.” ---  Google, Visa and Oracle, just to name a fraction. She concluded by saying, “Lillii RNB is going to have an office in Singapore, it’s time to expand. Yes, Lillii RNB is going global.”

Barbara began her visit to Singapore with a Delegation Briefing and Reception where she had the opportunity to meet and network with other delegation members.  They were greeted by  the Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs – ASEAN, US Commercial Service. The Counselor shared an inspiring story about Singapore - once a swamp land just fifty years ago - and now a budding world power in FinTech. Then two powerful messages where delivered:  Location, location, location---Singapore has the second largest trading port in the world. With an expanding middle class, this is great news for Retailers because 70% of Singaporeans are shop-a-lolics!  Intrigued by what she heard, Barbara was anxious to embrace all that awaited her and Lillii RNB Inc.  

The next morning began with a delightful breakfast briefing as the Minister Counselor started with the opening remarks. Breakfast was quite tasty by the way. Prior messages were reiterated before the Chief FinTech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore(MAS), was introduced. All the delegates received an informative overview of the MAS. The Singapore government and the MAS made a firm commitment to fund and incubate FinTech startups, who have apps or even just an “idea” for an app that the MAS finds intriguing and innovative. Barbara was really moved and excited by the introduction and the commitment to Fintech Startups. Last to speak was the IP Attache’ to ASEAN, from the US. Patent & Trademark Office.  The Delegation learned that there have been successful IP cases which have been fought and won in this region with infrastructure put in place by the Singapore government. In a region where over 1 Billion people are unbanked due to distrust of Banking institutions, the advances in Regulation Technology[RegTech],  will help to significantly decrease this number.

Afterwards we did another site visit to OCBC- The Open Vault. We were greeted by Altona Widjaja from OCBC Bank. She talked about the FinTech and Innovation Group- [The Open Vault].  Ms. Barbara Jones and the delegates offered several impactful questions.  Altona was very open, honest and gracious with her direct answers. For Barbara, this was another Wow moment! The Banking institutions in this region were partnering with FinTech startups on KYC. They are funding and incubating these same startups to build innovation in partnership with the Banks. 

The final stop of the busy day was a final site visit to Visa Innovation Centre Singapore. This is where Visa “provides developers, clients, and partners an innovative space to jointly develop the next generation of commerce applications. This was a great climax to the day for Lillii RNB, who specializes in Retail Point of Sale Consulting and works with Payments and Payment Processing on a daily basis. To see cutting edge technology in its infancy that will soon be in the hands of consumers, banks and retailers throughout the world was a highlight of the day.

This was just the Delegations FIRST day! Over the next three weeks we we’ll highlight and dig into some of the things we learned and saw on this trip. Next week, we will go into more detail on what we are putting in place for our clients who are already in this region and those who are looking to expand to the ASEAN.       

Stay tuned…

Jamie Brown - Director of Marketing & Client Relations - jbrown@ru-lillii.com

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