Philippines: Fintech firm Tagcash targets to raise $16m via ICO

Tagcash recently posted online a draft of its ICO white paper following the announcement by the Banko Sentral ng Pilipnas (central bank) last January of the regulatory guidelines for virtual currency (VC) exchanges in the Philippines. 

Vernon noted the token sale is likely to take place in January 2018, unless there is interest to buy before the date. 

Read more at: https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/philippines-fintech-firm-tagcash-raising-16m-via-ico-84365/

Micropayments platform Tagcash is seeking to raise up to $16 million (P800 million) through its initial coin offering (ICO).

Bank Indonesia draws up rules to monitor fintech

Ida Nuryanti, policy and payment system supervision director at Bank Indonesia, on Thursday said the central bank would issue new regulations as early as this month that would keep in check new fintech services that do not fall under existing licensing regimes.

The regulations will allow unregistered fintech startups to participate in a so-called "regulatory sandbox," a six-month program to test their services under the supervision of Bank Indonesia, who will then determine whether those services can be rolled out commercially.

"BI has regulations on e-money and payment transaction process," Nuryanti told reporters. "If they offer new kinds of services, BI can develop new regulations."

BI's role as a regulator has come under the spotlight in recent weeks after it orderedthe suspension of the top-up function in electronic wallets for e-commerce services companies Tokopedia and Shopee, ride-hailing app Grab, among others. In a country where the majority of the population does not carry credit cards, e-wallets have become increasingly popular as a way to pay for online shopping and taxi rides.

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Grab recently suspended the use of the top-up function of its electronic wallet.

E-Wallet service providers with active users of 300,000 or more are subject to BI licensing, according to a regulation introduced in November 2016. Most operators of the suspended services said they were in discussions with the central bank to obtain licenses, and that users were still able to access the remaining balance in their e-wallets.

Junanto Herdiawan, who heads the central bank's fintech office, said these companies fall under the traditional licensing framework and would not be required to take part in the sandbox program.

This year, e-money transactions had already reached 6.6 trillion rupiah ($488 million) as of August -- 94% of 2016's figure, according to BI data. Nuryanti warned that the growing interconnectivity of fintech services can create "systemic risks" in the financial system.

"If fintech [services] grow, and they have high transactions and high interconnectedness, while they are not registered and we can't monitor them, there will be a shadow economy," she said. "Consumer protection must go on."

Bank Indonesia is stepping up efforts to draw up a regulatory framework for emerging financial services in the wake of a surge in online payment services
Prudential to host its first global fintech partnership programme in Singapore

The PRU Fintegrate Partnership (PRU Fintegrate) aims to collaborate with global fintech startups and to co-develop digital solutions for customers. These solutions will be applied across the entire value-chain - from helping customers understand how to bridge their protection gap, to simplifying their insurance purchase and claims process, the insurer said in a media statement.

Unlike a traditional incubator model, PRU Fintegrate is a deployment programme offering startups the opportunity to build and to validate prototypes at scale and speed.

PRU Fintegrate is open to fintech startups from around the world, and will work with startups that offer a solution to one of the 19 insurance-related problem statements listed in the global fintech hackcelerator programme and as selected by Prudential. This programme is part of the Singapore Fintech Festival to be held in November

PRUDENTIAL Singapore (Prudential) on Thursday launched its first global fintech partnership programme in Singapore
Jim Rogers invests in fintech bank

ITF, a fintech bank that U.S. investor Jim Rogers has invested in, will set up its headquarters in Hong Kong and aims to start operating next year. The venture will also focus on Singapore to tap the Southeast Asian market. ITF has applied for licenses in Hong Kong and Singapore.

ITF was set up by Lim Hui Jie, the former CEO of the Australia's Digimatic Group. Rogers, the Singapore-based co-founder of Quantum Group of Funds, and George Lam, the chairman of Cyberport Management Hong Kong, are among investors in the bank.

The Future of Banking

The new bank will provide online and mobile banking and financial services and aims to work with fintech companies in Hong Kong to develop products and services in banking, wealth management and other financial services.

Rogers invested in ITF because fintech will be the future of banking, he told the «South China Morning Post». «The traditional banking branch will disappear. Physical cash will disappear. If you go to China, everybody uses their mobile phone to pay. The rest of the world will follow the same trend,» the investment guru added.

Boost to Hong Kong

ITF reached an agreement in August to acquire 70 percent of the economic rights of an international bank in Vanuatu, which is still subject to regulatory approval. It has also established correspondent banking relationships with Bank of Communications Shanghai and Bank of Communications Hong Kong.

The move is a boost to the Hong Kong monetary authority who recently announced seven initiatives it said would open up a new era of smart banking in the city.

Hong Kong will become the home of a new fintech bank in which veteran U.S. investor Jim Rogers acquired a stake.
Fintech funding dips in Q3 but Asia on track to see new highs in 2017

According to the latest report by venture intelligence platform CB Insights, Asia recorded a total of 77 fintech deals in Q3, compared to 79 in the previous quarter. However, funding saw a steep drop as total deal value plunged 48 per cent to $1.4 billion in Q3 from $2.7 billion in the previous quarter.   Why the decline in Q3? A sharp quarterly decline in fintech funding in India appears to be the primary reason. A blockbuster second quarter, which saw Paytm’s parent One97 Communications raising a staggering $1.4 billion from SoftBank, proved to be a tough act to follow. The year 2017 so far for fintech funding in Asia  The decline in Q3 notwithstanding, the region is on track to witness a strong year. Total fintech deals in the year so far grew to 203, only 10 deals short of 2016’s total. At $5 billion, funding so far is also on pace for a record year. At the current run rate, VC-backed fintech deals in Asia are on track to rise 29 per cent from 2016, CB Insights noted in its report. A notable stat here is that, in Q3, Asia saw six VC-backed fintech companies raise rounds of over $50 million, marking a five-quarter high. Overall, Asia’s $50-million+ fintech deals were worth $864 million of funding during the last quarter. Deal share by stage: The share of seed stage fintech deals in Asia declined slightly to 34 per cent from 38 per cent in the previous quarter. Both Series A and Series E+ deals saw an increase in their share of the overall deal pie. A weak quarter for CVCs: Corporate participation in fintech deals making dropped to 25 per cent in Q3, a five-quarter low. This means that VCs and other investors have upped their deal making, claiming 75 per cent of quarterly deal share in Q3, a five-quarter high. Top 10 deals: Half of the top 10 deals were worth over $100 million. All of the top 10 largest fintech deals in Asia involved companies based either in India or China. The most active VC investor in Asia fintech startups is…  500 Startups, unsurprisingly. The venture capital firm has now maintained its position at the top of the leaderboard for the fifth consecutive quarter. SBI, East Ventures and Matrix Partners were the next most active fintech VC investors in Asia in the third quarter. 500 Startups was also the most active venture capital investor in this space globally, while SBI Investment ranked sixth. Global fintech funding  VC-backed fintech companies raised $4 billion across 278 deals globally in Q3. While the number of deals remained steady in the quarter, overall funding fell 25 per cent from the second quarter’s record $5.3 billion. At the current run rate, global fintech funding and deals could touch new highs in 2017, CB Insights said. China – A slight decline in deals and dollars  China saw fintech deals drop 19 per cent on a quarterly basis in the third quarter. Overall VC funding to fintech startups, too, declined slightly to $0.8 billion from the previous quarter’s $1 billion. India – A victim of its own success? The number of VC-backed fintech deals in India saw a little dip in Q3 but it was funding that nosedived a whopping 76 per cent on a quarterly basis. However, funding was up 80 per cent from third quarter of the previous year. Fintech Unicorns There are now 25 unicorns globally in the fintech space, the report states, and only one of these – Coinbase, valued at $1.6 billion – was added during the last quarter. The three months ended September 2017 also saw Asia fintech unicorn Zhong An Insurance go public at a $10 billion valuation. A former unicorn, Prosper, crashed out of the club, as its valuation fell by more than 50 per cent to only $550 million in Q3 ’17, when compared to $1.8 billion in Q2 ’15. Asia accounts for two of the top three fintech unicorns globally, with China’s Lu.com, that is valued at $18.5 billion, continuing to maintain its pole position, and India’s One97 (Paytm), which commands a valuation of $7 billion, keeping its third place.

Asia saw fintech funding by venture capital firms decline from the second quarter to the third but the blip is unlikely to dampen the year’s momentum
Standard Chartered launches personalized investment tool for Asia

Called Personalized Investment Ideas, the tool aims to help priority banking clients respond faster to market opportunities with automated investment ideas based on considerations such as their risk profile and the Bank’s market views.  The tool is now live in Singapore and the bank plans to introduce it in other Asian markets.

Available on the relationship manager’s (RMs) tablet-based sales-and-service device, Personalised Investment Ideas combines advanced algorithms and analytics with the Bank’s market expertise to generate and prioritise investment ideas for funds and bonds, tailored for each client. Following a conversation with their RM, a client is emailed a report with suggestions for buy/sell/hold, backed by rationale. The RM will also advise clients on the suitability of a product based on their needs and objectives and help them to act on their chosen idea.

“Our clients want banking to be easy, just a few clicks on their smartphones. But for bigger decisions, like investing large sums of money, they often want to speak to an expert as well,” said Karen Fawcett, CEO of Retail Banking and Group Head of Brand and Marketing. “Now, they’ll get customised investment ideas and then talk them through with a relationship manager who has real insight into their needs.”

Alexis Calla, Global Head, Investment Strategy and Advisory said, “We have combined cutting-edge technology and design thinking with our market expertise to give our clients a more personalised investing experience. Using advanced analytics, we have harnessed the multi-source market views developed by the Bank’s investment experts, our client insights and data on wealth management solutions to develop a capability that can instantly generate investment ideas, unique to each client’s profile.”

Standard Chartered has launched a digital wealth management tool that customizes investment ideas in minutes
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