2 years of Rewiring the DNA in banking

It’s now been 2 years since we started SC Ventures

Then, we highlighted three priorities: creating strategic options in banking through venture building, committing to intrapreneurship focused on client and business problem statements, and experimenting with the way we work. On the second anniversary of starting our mission of Rewiring the DNA in banking, we are taking stock and considering what’s next. 

Innovation across the ecosystem

Innovation draws on collaboration across individuals & businesses, fintechs, industry peers and the wider ecosystem.

  • We opened new eXellerator labs in Nairobi, Shanghai and Hong Kong
  • 500 internal and external partners visited whilst we opened in Shanghai; likewise another 500 in Hong Kong, which included our inaugural RegTech flywheel industry collaboration
  • 1,500 people visited us during 16 hours of Singapore Fintech Festival – as much as the space would allow
  • Singapore and Africa collaborated on the first Afro-Asia Fintech Festival with the Central Bank of Kenya and MAS
  • SC Ventures Fintech Bridge went live in both English and Chinese as a meeting place for fintechs and the Bank, bringing solutions and business challenges together. Over 500 fintechs are now registered and we launched another 5 challenges or use case searches since the beginning of this year. 

The spirit of Intrapreneurship lives on

31 intrapreneur teams are taking their ideas forward, including:

  • mortgage approvals in minutes in Dubai
  • digital savings whilst spending in Hong Kong
  • AI-driven client insights for Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking

We’ve heard 2,000 ideas since launch – from the Venus challenge marking International Women’s Day, challenges in China and Africa, to working with the FinLab teams in Taiwan. From these ideas, new services or capabilities of the Bank have emerged as well as individual ventures in their own right. The SC Innovate community now stands at 22,000.

Investing in potential

Our $100m investment fund was launched in early 2019. Fund investments are emerging technology partnerships for the Bank, on their way to scaling up. Among the companies we’ve invested in is:

  • Instabase with whom we’ve worked for several years and are now used in multiple production instances across the Bank. We were delighted to support their growth (and, along the way, a billion-dollar valuation)
  • We welcomed three other companies to the fund this year – Digital Reasoning, Silent Eight, and SOCASH

As we explore new technologies, we’ve been building a base of expertise and intellectual capital in digital assets and cryptocurrencies, which we believe is world-class in financial services – stay tuned for more news. Elsewhere in the Bank, investments were made in:

Building ventures for the future

Venture building is starting to bear some real options in the way we serve customers and communities. As we explore new business models, from building platforms to plugging into them and leveraging new technologies – such models are related to (but ultimately not constrained) by how we see banking today. We recently announced:

  • our platform joint venture with Assembly Payments to support e-commerce merchants aggregate and manage their payments
  • Solv, a platform for conversational commerce providing financing and other business services is in its testing phase, enabling growth for 5,000 SMEs in India
  • CardsPal is finding 1,200 people better lifestyle deals with their credit cards across Singapore
  • nexus has reached a milestone in bringing Banking as a Service (BaaS) at scale in our markets, beginning with a major partnership in Indonesia
  • as Singapore considers virtual banking, the Hong Kong Virtual Bank – branded Mox – will soon commence its second wave of beta testing

Thank you

Progress has been at times hard won but ultimately, deeply gratifying. Many individuals and teams have played a significant part in making the past two years a reality. For that, thank you. We had lessons learned too. Communicating our purpose for the Bank and its clients; helping the Bank be more experimental, moving more quickly with a healthy dose of calculated risk-taking; to name a few.

SC Ventures: Connecting

We live from engagement. Literally.  Just like humans need to connect with others in order to lead a purposeful life, we need connections in order to achieve our objective. For us, this speaks to the societal purpose of finance: when we “Rewire the DNA in banking”, we must do so in the context of the communities we serve, in order to make any sense at all. As SC Ventures, our community includes clients, Fintechs, corporate partners – then also people such as Intrapreneurs, subject-matter-experts and not least… you. 

Our commitment to you is to create the right conditions to experiment and shape new ideas into reality – from Intrapreneurship, client co-creation to fintech PoCs and venture building. Once again, thank you to everyone who has been part of the humongous effort to date.

Our aspirations far exceed where we are now. We are committed to making innovation an integral part of the culture in our bank and realizing the formidable transformation potential that exists today in banking.

To connect with us: visit SC Ventures Fintech Bridge or reach out to the team at our SC Ventures Linkedin page.

Come join us in Rewiring the DNA in banking.

Standard Chartered launches “Banking as a Service”

12 March 2020, Singapore/Jakarta – Today, Standard Chartered launched its “Banking as a Service” solution, nexus. Through nexus, digital platforms and ecosystems like e-commerce, social media or ride hailing companies, will be able to offer  loans, credit cards and savings accounts co-created with the bank to their customers under their own brand name. 

Standard Chartered is starting off with a major e-commerce platform in Indonesia as their first partner and expect to co-create and launch products powered by nexus in 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. Indonesia has the highest e-commerce adoption rate in the world  (88%) and piloting nexus here gives Standard Chartered the opportunity to reach the unbanked and expand its customer base in the world’s 4th most populous country. The bank intends to further roll out the service to markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East with the right regulatory frameworks and established digital platforms. 

The USD29 trillion e-commerce market and the fast growing platform businesses space are constantly looking for innovative solutions that offer customers more choice and greater convenience. nexus will help these businesses benefit from Standard Chartered’s strong balance sheet and world class banking technology to deepen customer loyalty and grow revenues.  

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered said: “nexus is potentially transformational for the bank and our customers. We will actively partner with leading consumer platforms in our markets to enable convenient access to financial services to millions of new, tech-savvy customers. We are starting with Indonesia, as part of our strategy to grow digitally and expand our business in this important, fast growing market.”

The “Banking as a Service” solution was incubated at SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm. It started from a business plan mooted by an employee, who now leads the venture with a team of over 100 developers, engineers, and business development professionals across three markets.

Standard Chartered has been actively experimenting with new business models to meet the evolving needs of its clients. The bank recently announced a joint venture with Assembly Payments to develop and deliver next generation payment solutions. In Hong Kong, it is set to launch a standalone digital retail bank in Hong Kong, Mox, in partnership with PCCW, HKT and Trip.com, and has also built a digital open platform, Solv, to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India and other markets grow by providing access to financial and business services.

Delivering next generation payments with Assembly

Singapore, Melbourne – Standard Chartered and leading payments solution provider, Assembly Payments, have set up a new joint venture to deliver next generation payment solutions for the USD 29 trillion global e-commerce industry[1].

The new company will be headquartered in Singapore with the intent to grow the business globally, and will offer a sophisticated digital payment platform to manage transactions across multiple payment types and countries, including online, mobile and point-of-sale, digital wallets, debit and credit cards and real-time payments.

E-commerce is growing exponentially in emerging markets, as internet adoption increases among the growing middle-class population[2]. The new venture will roll out its payment services to global merchants, supporting their ambitions to scale and solving key challenges they face in managing risk, fraud, integration, reporting and reconciliation.

Commenting on Standard Chartered’s payments strategy, Michael Gorriz, Group Chief Information Officer of Standard Chartered, said: “Payments is a critical pillar of banking services. Enabling Real-time Faster Payments and high volume transactions has been a core area of investment for Standard Chartered in line with the evolving needs of clients, particularly with the growth of e-commerce platforms and wallet apps. Our venture with Assembly Payments complements these capabilities, giving our corporate clients a complete offering for high throughput inward and outward payments.”

Alex Manson, Head of SC Ventures, the innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm of Standard Chartered, said: “As the world moves towards platform-based e-commerce, the need for the next generation of tools to empower merchants and enable financial inclusion continues to grow. We identified payments as an area where we wanted to make a strategic investment. Assembly Payments shares our vision and we are pleased to partner them based on the strength of their core technology and talented team.”

Simon Lee, Co-CEO Assembly Payments, said: “This deal creates a once in a lifetime opportunity for Assembly. We have created a significant business in Australia and now, together with Standard Chartered, we are well placed to crack the international payments market and exponentially grow the business. We are also proud that this is one of the first major global fintech deals between a global bank and a major Australian fintech company.”

Assembly Payments is one of Australia’s fastest-growing fintech businesses. Named in Australia’s top ten startups for work by LinkedIn two years in a row, the startup has gone from strength to strength in pioneering payment innovation in Australia. Assembly has been working to capitalise on the demand for new payment solutions — brought on by the introduction of the country’s fast payment network, the New Payments Platform — in Australia and abroad.

Standard Chartered has actively been experimenting with new business models to meet the evolving needs of banking clients. In Hong Kong, it has established a strategic joint venture with PCCW, HKT and Ctrip Finance to deliver a new standalone digital retail bank in Hong Kong and has set up virtual banking partnerships in Taiwan and Korea. It has also set up a digital open platform, Solv, to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India and other markets grow by providing a range of financial and business services.

[1] United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: Global e-Commerce sales surged to $29 trillion, 29 March 2019
[2] Knowledge@Wharton: Why Emerging Markets Are the Next E-commerce Frontier, 1 November 2017

For further information please contact:

Harrison Polites
The Media Accelerator (Assembly)
+61 409 623 618

Josephine Wong
Standard Chartered
+65 6596 4690

About Assembly Payments

Assembly Payments is a leading Australian payment innovator providing digital businesses with a comprehensive set of payment solutions to facilitate complex end-to-end payment workflows.

Since founding in Melbourne, Australia in 2013 Assembly has grown to employ over 130 staff, raised over $70 million AUD and has been named as one of LinkedIn’s top startups for work two years in a row.