OCBC, UOB showcase fintech collaboration as banking's tech race continues

(From left) Pranav Seth, OCBC E-business and business transformation head; Samuel Tsien, OCBC CEO; Lawrence Morgan, CEO of Nest, a OCBC partner for the accelerator programme. PHOTO: OCBC

SINGAPORE - OCBC will help pilot three fintech solutions in the coming months for its wealth management and home loans services.

The bank announced this on Thursday (Aug 4) during its Open Vault fintech accelerator demo day.

The 12-week accelerator programme, launched in May, drew over 200 applications, and eight startups were selected for the inaugural cohort to collaborate with OCBC to develop their solutions.

Three of the eight startups will now line up for a three-month pilot test at OCBC and Bank of Singapore in the fourth quarter.

Fincast will test its wealth management software that aims to help relationship managers deliver optimised portfolio recommendations more efficiently through the use of adaptive algorithms.

BondIT will help relationship managers provide bond investment advisory in real time; CogniCor will in turn test its mortgage customer service agent run by artificial intelligence that can answer queries online.

OCBC will continue to work with all eight startups to commercialize their products, CEO Samuel Tsien said, but the bank currently has no plan to acquire the solutions.

The pilot tests and the accelerator programme are part of OCBC's fintech collaboration hub The Open Vault, which was launched in February.

These initiatives mark an intense competition in the banking sector to compete or work with fintech startups for new innovations.

OCBC's event on Thursday was right on the heels of UOB, which showcased the first cohort of fintech participants in its accelerator programme FinLab on Wednesday (Aug 3).

Eight start-ups were also chosen by UOB for the inaugural programme, with access to funding and mentorship support from the bank and Infocomm Investments - an Infocomm Development Authority subsidiary.

One of them, CardUp, has joined UOB as a merchant to test its service, which allows users to make credit card payment to recipients that do not accept card, such as a landlord. Another company, blockchain start-up Attores, is working with UOB's global markets unit for its proof of concept.

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