Our collaboration with ENGIE Factory Asia-Pacific

In line with efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050, we’re thrilled to announce our collaboration with ENGIE Factory Asia-Pacific to build and invest in new sustainability startups. Combining our strength in financial services and ENGIE's expertise in low carbon energy solutions, we aim to create high-growth ventures that address climate change, accelerating Asia’s transition to zero carbon.

Find out more: https://apac.engiefactory.com/engie-factory-and-standard-chartered-to-develop-sustainability-ventures-addressing-climate-change-and-accelerating-asias-transition-to-zero-carbon/

TP ICAP to launch crypto trading platform with Fidelity, Standard Chartered

Zodia Custody, our digital assets custody venture, is collaborating with TP ICAP to provide custody services for their wholesale trading platform for spot crypto assets.

The platform will provide clients with the trading infrastructure, connectivity, surveillance, and market standards they require as a minimum across traditional markets, whilst also recognising the nuances of this new asset class, ensuring the highest standards of security and asset safety.

Find out more: https://www.reuters.com/business/exclusive-icap-launch-crypto-trading-platform-with-fidelity-standard-chartered-2021-06-29/

Coming soon: a financial solution leveraging Standard Chartered’s banking expertise and Bukalapak’s digital innovation

Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with Bukalapak. Customers in Indonesia can soon download our new digital banking app by nexus by Standard Chartered and Bukalapak to access banking services at their fingertips anytime, anywhere.

A first for Indonesia’s digital banking landscape, our digital savings account provides a completely paperless, non face-to-face onboarding experience, leveraging advanced automation and security technologies with AI and biometric facial recognition to offer users access to safe banking services securely.

Keep an eye on this space for our launch announcement and brand reveal.

Learn more about our partnership: https://av.sc.com/id/en/content/docs/en-press-release-financial-solution.pdf

We're excited to announce our partnership with Franklin Templeton, to launch Autumn in Singapore

We're excited to announce our partnership with Franklin Templeton, to launch Autumn in Singapore, a first-in-market wealth, health and lifestyle consumer platform. Autumn will make it easier for customers to plan their finances and future, through a comprehensive range of tools, products, and services across all aspects of wealth, health, and lifestyle regardless of their life stage.

Full story here: https://www.sc.com/en/media/press-release/weve-partnered-with-franklin-templeton-to-launch-autumn-a-wealth-health-and-lifestyle-consumer-platform/

We've partnered with BC Technology Group to establish a digital-asset brokerage and exchange platform

We’re excited to announce that we've partnered with BC Technology Group (Stock Code: 863 HK) to establish a digital-asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe.

Digital-asset trading has grown significantly, with the total value of trading volume on major digital-asset exchanges averaging over USD4 billion per day, drawing the attention of institutional customers. Leveraging Standard Chartered Bank's global network, experience in brokerage and access to European markets + BC Group’s leading, SFC-licensed OSL digital-asset technology, the new company will connect institutional traders to counterparties across markets, delivering access to deep pools of liquidity in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets.

Congratulations to new CEO Usman Ahmad and COO Nicholas Philpott!

Full story here: https://www.sc.com/en/media/press-release/standard-chartered-and-bc-group-partner-to-establish-europe-based-institutional-digital-asset-trading-venture/

Synechron, Squirro and Standard Chartered Bank Win 2021 Big Innovation AI Excellence Award and The Asset Triple A Digital Award for “Client Insights”

Client Insights, an idea from our 2018 intrapreneur challenge, won 2 key industry awards - 2021 BIG Innovation AI Excellence Awards + “Best Digital Collaboration Project" at The Asset Triple A Awards! The solution equips our frontline staff with actionable insights to identify opportunities for our clients using AI.

Proud to support our intrapreneurs and partner with Standard Chartered Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking, Synechron & Squirro to deliver this client-focused solution, bringing together some of the best industry practices, data sources and the latest in AI technology.

Find out more: https://synechron.com/news/synechron-win-awards-2021

Intrapreneurship is one of our key activities to promote innovation in Standard Chartered Bank.

We’ve turbocharged our digital payments proposition with investment and the merger of CurrencyFair with Assembly Payments

Combined entity will have a full suite of capabilities to give businesses the building blocks to easily access, build, connect, and use any payment service

Singapore – CurrencyFair, a global cross-border payments platform and Assembly Payments, whose platform automates complex payment workflows, today announce their merger as a result of a strategic investment by Standard Chartered, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. SC Ventures, the innovation, ventures and fintech investments unit of Standard Chartered is doubling down on its commitment to the rapidly growing payments industry, following its earlier investment in Assembly Payments in 2020.

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered, said: “Digital payments is a core strategic area for Standard Chartered and our 2020 investment in Assembly Payments greatly enhanced our presence in the domestic payments business. By bringing together the complementary strengths of CurrencyFair and Assembly, we are supporting the merged company in offering the full range of payment services, providing retail and corporate clients access to fast, high-volume domestic and cross-border payments.”

Paul Byrne, CEO of CurrencyFair, will lead the merged business.

Will Prendergast, Chairman of CurrencyFair, said:

“The merger of CurrencyFair and Assembly Payments partnering with SC Ventures is a strategic move which will see us develop beyond the traditional transactional nature of a payments company and provide a core suite of integrated financial services to businesses and individuals globally.

“CurrencyFair and Assembly will retain their ‘customer first’ cultures, deepen these relationships by enabling customers to easily access, build, connect, and use any payment service from within their existing business operations without any of the technical, compliance or geographical complexities associated with traditional financial services offerings. The merged proposition will focus on five core capabilities – payments, global payment accounts, partner ecosystem, lending and settlement, and services – to address the growth opportunities in the US$2 trillion revenue market for payments1.”

Global e-commerce sales, estimated to be almost US$26 trillion in 20182, have further accelerated as businesses and consumers increasingly look to the digital marketplace due to COVID-193. A substantial number of these transactions have taken place between continents and markets , resulting in cross border digital payments becoming more complex and requiring workflows that involve many steps, systems and interactions. Corporate clients are also increasingly demanding more value-added services from their payments providers, to consolidate all aspects of their payment value chain within a seamless and cost-efficient offering that meets domestic and cross border payment flow needs.

Recognising this opportunity, the new company will focus on addressing key pain points including the fragmentation of payment ecosystems, the complexity of implementing different payment ecosystems from a technical, operational, financial, and regulatory perspective, privacy and security of data, and cross-border e-commerce for multi-market and multi-currency collection requirements.

Alex Manson from SC Ventures said:

“E-Commerce is one of the highest conviction themes for SC Ventures, and we will continue to grow and scale our capabilities and geographies to support the transition to digital economies.”

The board of Assembly Payments added in a statement: “Businesses around the world continue to accelerate their offline to online journey, and increase investment into digitising their products and services. As a result, the importance of providing complementary payment services such as non-card payments, fraud management, reconciliation, foreign exchange and liquidity via a product-rich experience is critical. As a combined proposition, we believe Assembly Payments and CurrencyFair are perfectly positioned to address these challenges in the global cross border business payments market.”

A year of grit and growth

By: Alex Manson, SC Ventures



Well... we didn’t see that one coming!

Last year was painful for most people, to varying degrees – at times tragic with the loss of loved ones, emerging forms of mental illness, loss of jobs and means of living. The gap between rich and poor increased and humanity suffered a set-back on about every Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Sometimes the impact was less tragic but uncomfortable – separated families and drastic changes to our ways of life (no travel, limited human contact).

The inspiring story all around though, is humans’ remarkable ability to adapt – to the “new normal”, “living with the virus”, “work during the pandemic”. This may bode well for the numerous and perhaps bigger challenges ahead, such as fighting climate change, financial and other forms of inclusion, and creating wealth and growth in parts of the world that need it the most.

Rewiring the DNA in banking

At SC Ventures and in every one of our ventures, I guess we had our fair share of difficult stories last year. Nevertheless, I found that the prevalent feeling was a sense of being privileged – having a job and one that could actually be done at a distance, and also a sense of responsibility for achieving our objectives, so that such privilege would not go to waste. Even perhaps, especially as Fintechs, portfolio companies and ventures had to survive so they could fight another day, “Rewiring the DNA in banking” was more relevant than ever for the communities around us. As a group, we continue to take it to heart.

Building and scaling up new business models

First, it is gratifying to see ventures and other projects “coming out” as we have been working on some of these for some time. One of the findings of the pandemic is that in lockdown or online conditions, it is actually easier and sometimes quite efficient to deliver things we have agreed on with people we already know, than to create new things with people we don’t know.

Accordingly, we delivered on a lot, with the intensity we are capable of – and it worked. Mox (our Hong Kong digital bank) and Solv (e-commerce platform serving SMEs in India) both launched commercially. Also, nexus (BaaS business plugging SCB into e-commerce platforms) announced their second partnership in Indonesia and is getting ready to launch in Q1. So is Zodia (institutional proposition for cryptocurrency custody) who also announced a partnership with Northern Trust. Assembly Payments (aggregation of merchants’ payments) is now an operational venture scaling quickly and CardsPal (credit card benefits optimization), which following its commercial launch topped the popularity charts in Singapore (way ahead of Tinder... triggering many jokes in the team). Meanwhile, Autumn (health, wealth and retirement planning platform) has been testing in Singapore in a restricted environment (beta launch expected shortly) and Bloom (safe and compliant cloud infrastructure for Fintechs and regulated financial institutions) is finalizing arrangements for testing their prototype with sophisticated clients.

A number of other ventures are coming right on the heels of these, so stay tuned. This year we will continue to execute and scale the ventures that are coming to market. But we will also turn our attention to creating new things with people we don’t necessarily know (because we can, and because we should).



Investing in fintech partnerships

On the investment front, the team experienced arguably its first crisis. Take a step back, reflect on the portfolio, prioritise resources for those who can justify their scarce allocation. Some of the companies we expected to struggle did not – others we did not expect did.

Perhaps the highlight of this year was SC Ventures stepping up and rescuing one of our partners, a sound business which had just overextended itself on the brink of the pandemic. This was a small deal for the Bank, but a successful one and perhaps a case study of how banking should be done – saving jobs and a company solving problems that are worth solving on the way.

Towards the end of the year we reflected on themes. As the world goes inexorably more digital, we focused more on infrastructure and security plays that are so critical to banking and deployed new capital accordingly.



Keeping the intrapreneurial spirit alive

Perhaps most importantly, the bank came with us – one intrapreneur at a time. Of course, we wouldn’t be here without senior management support and we are both cognizant and forever grateful of the opportunity their trust has enabled. But it is with individuals all around the bank, at any level of seniority and from every walk of life, that we have achieved the most “transformational impact”.

Intrapreneurs, the ones volunteering to come forward and realize one of their aspirations, have joined the programme. Irrespective of whether they were able to go all the way with their ideas, they will never be the same professionals again. They have already become leaders of the future. They are also an integral part of the SC Ventures family, kindred spirits driven to make the world a better place by making banking better. I am proud of them all and wanted to thank them first for being their authentic selves.



Transforming the way we work

We also experimented with ways of working. OKR discipline is now more a routine for us as we are maturing and executing with “self-administration”. This is done within a structure that we wish to be as flat and non-hierarchical as possible – no it is not perfect, in fact far from it, and yes it is sometimes a bit messy – where SC Ventures, the ventures, intrapreneurs and subject matter experts around the world share in the common purpose of “Rewiring the DNA in banking”.

This coming year, we will focus on taking the whole bank with us. On day 1, and paraphrasing a great leader, ‘nobody owes you a living’, so we had to execute our first assignments with a level of intensity which can be uncomfortable for some but necessary to survive. Today we need to scale and cannot do it alone – we need everyone to help somehow.

Going from a “start-up” to a “scale-up” also implies maturity in governance. At times we are almost “writing the book” on how ventures can be created in a regulated environment – safely, compliant, but also pioneering, agile, enlightened as business should be and always with purpose in mind (“Rewiring the DNA in banking”!).

Looking ahead to this year

I am proud and thankful for the past year. I’m also anxious about achieving what we promised, because it is my nature, but also unabashedly hopeful and relentless as I think of this year. “There's "so little done, so much to do.” Please support our effort, we will need all the help we can get.

And for 2020, again – thank you.


Standard Chartered partners with Bukalapak to launch digital banking solutions

Standard Chartered announced today it has formed a strategic partnership with Indonesian e-commerce giant Bukalapak, to launch “innovative offerings” as part of efforts to advance its focus on digital banking.

Hosted on the nexus platform – a banking-as-a-service solution by the bank’s innovation and venture arm SC Ventures, the partnership will see Standard Chartered provide digital financial services to Bukalapak’s customer base of more than 100 million users and 13.5 million sellers.

According to Diana Mudadalam, Head of Corporate Affairs, Standard Chartered Bank Indonesia, the nexus platform offers banking-as-a-service feature similar to a white label banking service which partners can offer under their own brand.

“By embedding nexus in the partner’s ecosystem, partners like e-commerce, hailing app, etcetera, can offer banking services and products in their offering line up, allowing greater customer engagement and ecosystem stickiness without having customers move around apps to do activities such as shopping, and do financial transaction,” she wrote in a message to e27.

As per a press release, the collaboration aims to boost financial inclusion in Indonesia and further support the country’s digital economic growth.

A recent survey by Standard Chartered revealed the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for the growth of online financial activity, with over half of global respondents using more online services in a post-pandemic world. Additionally, 80 per cent of Indonesians also expect the country to go fully cashless by 2025.

This represents a large growth market for embedded finance, which Standard Chartered and Bukalapak aim to jointly capture through their digital finance solutions.

“Our inaugural partnership with Bukalapak reaffirms Standard Chartered Bank’s commitment to growing our footprint locally. We are confident that our partnership with Bukalapak will enable us to co-create a solution that drives financial inclusion in Indonesia,” said Andrew Chia, Cluster CEO, Indonesia & ASEAN Markets for Standard Chartered.

“Commerce and financial services are crucial aspects of the well-being of society, thus, the partnership increases our spirit to create A Fair Economy in Indonesia. With a global banking network, Standard Chartered participation in Bukalapak will further strengthen our current strong group of shareholders and strategic partners,” said Rachmat Kaimuddin, CEO Bukalapak.

This comes as part of Standard Chartered’s push to experiment with new business models to meet the evolving needs of its clients. The bank recently announced the official launch of Mox, its new virtual bank in Hong Kong, created in partnership with PCCW, HKT and Trip.com.

It also commercially launched 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.

Bukalapak itself has been making moves in the fintech scene, starting with the launch of services such as mutual funds and gold transactions.

The news followed recent updates from Indonesian unicorn gojek which had recently invested in Bank Jago as part of its foray into fintech, particularly digital banking services.

Anisa Menur Maulani also contributed to this story.

Source: https://e27.co/standard-chartered-partners-with-bukalapak-to-launch-digital-banking-solutions-20210114/

Image Credits: Standard Chartered

SC Ventures Invests in OpenFin

The strategic investment by Standard Chartered unit will help OpenFin meet growing demand for digital workspaces and app stores

New York & London, Dec. 9, 2020 — OpenFin, the operating system (OS) of finance, announced today that it secured a strategic investment from SC Ventures, the innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm of international banking group, Standard Chartered. The capital will accelerate new product development and brings OpenFin’s total funding to date to $50 million (USD).

OpenFin’s web-based OS has become the de facto standard in financial services for powering next-generation application and desktop experiences by creating interfaces that make the financial desktop simple and intuitive. Built on Google’s Chromium engine, OpenFin OS simplifies app distribution, unifies the digital workspace and enables seamless communication and workflow between apps. The software is now used at more than 1,500 banks and buy-side firms across nearly 250,000 desktops in 60+ countries.

The latest round of capital will be used to expand OpenFin’s product and engineering teams focused on building new user interface components of OpenFin OS, including OpenFin’s new desktop-wide Notification Center.

Standard Chartered adopted OpenFin’s technology earlier this year to accelerate their internal and client-facing technology transformation strategy across multiple areas of the bank starting with the financial markets business. Traders now have access to easy workspace management and automated workflows which are intuitive, user-friendly and help increase productivity. OpenFin OS will see a significant increase in usage across Asia, Africa and the Middle East as a result of Standard Chartered’s diversified client geographies.

Standard Chartered joins a distinguished group of OpenFin investors, including Bain Capital Ventures, Barclays, DRW Venture Capital, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, NYCA Partners, Pivot Investment Partners and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital.

“In the financial services workplace of the future, employees need increasingly specific tools to collaborate and serve clients effectively,” said Alex Manson, SC Ventures. “We are thrilled to partner with OpenFin as they create such an environment, allowing for personalized design of the workspace and hence transforming the way we think of how conventional financial markets applications are delivered to the user.”

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Standard Chartered as a customer and investor,” said Mazy Dar, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenFin. “The pace of innovation at such a large financial institution has been truly astounding. We look forward to a close collaboration as we work to modernize the industry’s app infrastructure.”

Source: OpenFin