Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions Asia Pacific recently hosted a virtual three-day event featuring 12 financial technology firms who presented solutions for the digital economy across three themes – seamless payments & receivables, the future of open banking, and data empowerment.
Called Mega FinTech Accelerator, the event was designed to explore and accelerate the delivery of innovative solutions for clients. It focused on three countries, namely Australia, China and South Korea. Led by the Treasury and Trade Solutions Innovation Lab in Singapore, over 40 problem statements were identified.
The Citi Innovation Lab in Singapore is part of Citi’s Global Innovation Lab Network. The labs serve as change agents, driving innovation and making it mainstream by co-creating and collaborating with internal partners, clients, as well as the broader fintech ecosystem.
A total of eight problem statements across the event’s three themes were selected to align with the priority areas of the participating geographies. The 12 finalists were selected after an initial outreach to over 3,500 fintechs globally and from a shortlist of 140 firms.
In the lead up to the event, which took place in early November, the Innovation Lab team along with over 100 colleagues across treasury and trade solutions and other Citi business units in the region mentored and worked together to develop “proofs of concept” with the selected fintechs.
Scott Southall, Asia-Pacific head of innovation, treasury and trade solutions at Citi, comments: “Citi’s engagement with fintechs is significant and growing. Initiatives like the Mega FinTech Accelerator complement our global network and extensive product development efforts by solving for last-mile gaps and providing tangible value to our clients. The problem statements we chose to focus on represent consistent themes across multiple markets. As the payments landscape continues to evolve at an ever-faster pace, partnership with fintechs become increasingly important.”
Across each theme, a “Fintech of the Day” was named to recognize the potential impact and effectiveness of their solution. Various finalists were also recognized for their leadership in client-centricity, scalability and user experience.
For seamless payments & receivables, Australian company Azupay stood out on the back of a solution which enables businesses to use QR codes to accept and reconcile payments in real-time from their end consumers by leveraging Australia’s New Payments Platform.
India-based Omniscient was named “Open Banking FinTech of the Day” for its Liquidice product solution. Liquidice is a multi-entity, multi-bank, open-banking solution that facilitates a single view of banking accounts and cash forecasts. It also enables automated fund movements for account balancing and cash concentration in real-time.
“Data Empowerment FinTech of the Day” was Chinese firm Hexasino. Leveraging artificial intelligence technology, Hexasino showcased a system that enables users to set customizable inspection rules based on new and updated regulations that are automatically captured by the system. The system enables simplified and efficient regulatory requirement updates and auto-compliance for payment transactions.
Citi will further assess the potential viability of the earmarked solutions, with the possibility of forging formal partnerships in the future.
The Mega FinTech Accelerator follows the success of similar initiatives in Asia-Pacific including India and Asean Fintech Days.
Partnerships sealed in the region include one with Payoo in Vietnam to further the delivery of last-mile digital solutions. In India, Citi is engaging with various fintechs through a number of initiatives. One such partnership with Jocata is helping clients submit their Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements in a manner that is quicker, more efficient and flexible.