Fintech start-ups grab podium finish

3 outfits in 10-week programme win prizes for their solutions to financial industry issues

Three teams from Singapore-based Aida Technologies and FitSense, and Beacon Interface from Thailand, were chosen as the winners of the inaugural Global FinTech Hackcelerator. The teams, chosen from a shortlist of 20, will each receive $50,000 and a $20,000 development stipend. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Two Singapore-based start-ups, and one from Thailand, were named the winners of the inaugural Global FinTech Hackcelerator yesterday.

The trio triumphed over some 650 competitors from 50 countries who had submitted proposals to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which in May issued 100 "problem statements" for financial technology, or fintech, start-ups to tackle.

One of them was Singapore-based Aida Technologies, which analyses data using artificial intelligence.

In the finance world, its technology could be used to help banks better manage risks, chief executive officer Tan Geok Leng explained.

"For example, on the trading floor, our technology can analyse traders' actions and tell when the trader is taking on more and more risk, and give an early warning signal to the bank's risk managers," he said.

The technology can be used to monitor and analyse bankers' communication patterns and spot the use of code words or unusual words that might signal suspicious activity.

A second winner was FitSense, also Singapore-based, which aims to help health and life insurance companies personalise products and services using customers' data.

The third is Beacon Interface from Thailand, which has created a mobile banking app for those who are visually impaired.

The three start-ups were among 650 that responded to the problem statements issued by the MAS.

These statements, submitted by the public and the fintech community, raised issues in areas of finance, such as insurance, payments and financial literacy, that could potentially be addressed using technology.

An international panel of experts shortlisted 20 start-ups from the submissions to take part in the Global FinTech Hackcelerator. This 10-week programme allowed the 20 teams to work with finance industry leaders to fine-tune their ideas .

They presented their solutions at Demo Day yesterday, at the end of which the winners - each awarded $50,000 and a $20,000 development stipend - were named.

This was part of the Singapore Fintech Festival which ends on Friday.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2016, with the headline Fintech start-ups grab podium finish. Subscribe