Financial technology (fintech) fever has hit Asia. If the recent appointment of an ex-Citi veteran as Singapore’s Monetary of Authority’s (MAS) fintech head – and MAS’ pledge to commit US$225 million to a fintech scheme over the next five years – is yet to convince, the increasing number of private banks launching innovation labs and accelerator programmes in Asia will.
The growth of fintechs in Hong Kong and Singapore is unstoppable, arguably justified by its ability to provide innovative solutions at lower cost to banks. To date, Singapore has an estimated 90 fintechs compared to Hong Kong’s 50, with the latter government aiming to catch up via initiatives such as the November launch of an Innovation and Technology Bureau. Since 2008, global investment in fintech has by some accounts tripled to nearly US$3 billion, and this is forecast to again nearly triple to US$8 billion by 2018.
On the back of this, Singapore-based fintech startup Mesitis, through its cloud-based product Canopy, has created a new app that remarkably allows users to collate reports by extracting and crunching data from bank statements across institutions. Most importantly, Canopy grants its users complete anonymity. These reports feature portfolio performance and allocation, transactions, bank statements, cash flows and other analytics features. This software-as-a-service offering can be accessed from any internet-connected device.
The solution is particularly relevant to the region, with Asian Private Banker’s Technology 2015 poll study indicating that relationship managers and clients are the most important users of fintech. This cements the shift in fintech focus from the back end, traditionally, to the front end where inevitably, a greater share of the spotlight.
Open to high net worth individuals, family offices and wealth managers alike, Canopy’s ability to turn not-insubstantial individual banking data into valuable full-picture analyses lends heavy weight to our recognition of Mesitis as the Most Promising Fintech Startup in 2015.