Source: Finews Asia

Hong Kong: Eight fintech firms began a 12-week mentoring program in a Hong Kong-based innovation lab, where start-ups will receive senior-level advice in developing and marketing their ideas and linking them up with top banks.

Five of the eight participants will be chosen to present their concepts to potential investors and financial industry executives.

The two-year-old lab is a joint project between consulting firm Accenture and some of Asia’s largest financial firms including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and J.P. Morgan.

Start-ups in this year’s lab have developed technology such as wealth management solutions precisely oriented to customers’ investment intents, know-your-customer services that leverage blockchain technology and a fraud prevention program using algorithms based in Chinese characters to help financial institutions flag risk.

Fintech Meets Banks

«Most financial institutions are grappling with how to become more efficient, cut costs, comply with regulators and simultaneously increase their interaction with customers,» said Jon Allaway, senior managing director of financial services at Accenture.

«The startups in this year’s lab offer innovative answers to these problems. With solutions like analytics that make wealth management advice available to more clients, we are seeing how fintech can help institutions deliver better services to their customers.»

Asia, Europe and U.S. in Hong Kong Lab

Eight companies chosen for the lab will be mentored by senior financial services executives for 12 weeks in a series of workshops, panel discussions and coaching sessions on product and business development.

The participants are:

  • ChartIQ, a Charlottesville, VA-based start-up which provides securities-specific financial chart and data visualisation products in HTML5.
  • HedgeSPA, a predictive investment analytics platform that enables investment professionals to tap the internet to improve their performance. HedgeSPA is based in Singapore and California.
  • KYC-Chain, a Singapore-based firm which uses biometrics, emerging technologies and distributed ledger (blockchain) tech to streamline onboarding and provide consensus on identity.
  • Lattice, which has developed portfolio support software for investors, portfolio managers, risk managers and traders. Lattice is based in Hong Kong.
  • Privé Managers, also based in Hong Kong, is a wealth and asset management platform powered by a proprietary bionic advisory engine.
  • Seerene, based in Berlin, monitors various dollar-effects of technical debt, digital transformation as well as change across all software stacks, teams and technologies. The goal is to help chief information officers and IT executives improve efficiency and streamline costs.
  • SIORK, a Tokyo start-up which helps banks evaluate customer data and detect criminal activities such as fraud and money laundering with a product that automatically learns customer behaviors, identifies suspicious events and provides a real-time transaction blocking mechanism to the customer for crime prevention, including a Chinese-character fuzzy matching algorithm with artificial intelligence learning ability.
  • TNG Wallet, based in Hong Kong, offers an e-wallet for payment to merchants, person-to-person fund transfer, bank transfers and year-round cash withdrawal.

Two Acquisitions

The lab is modeled in a New York City project founded by Accenture in 2010. The consulting firm also joined up with banks to launch a lab in London in 2012 and one in Dublin at the same time as the Asia hub opened.

Four New York start-ups have been acquired, including Standard Treasury and BillGuard last year. «Graduates» of the labs have raised more than $370 million in financing after participating in the program.

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