Banking and the Age of Disruption

As the banking industry faces disruption and competition, corporate banks have been pushed to innovate digitally to provide an effective response to their clients’ rising expectations and achieve growth.

However, innovation requires more than simply making legacy processes available online. Corporate consumers today are looking for real and transformative changes from commercial banks. This is where FinTechs come into play in the financial services ecosystem.

FinTechs Can Help Plug the Gap in Banking

FinTechs can help institutional banks in areas they fall short when delivering an engaging client experience. They can develop functionality that narrows the gap between traditional processes available currently and the demands of corporate clients today. Banks stand to gain by relying on FinTechs’ technical edge and agility and partnering with them instead of fearing disintermediation.

Legacy institutions are becoming more welcoming towards innovation and disruption as they see the merits of working with FinTechs. Top banks including Citi, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs and 7 others have participated in 49 equity rounds to FinTech startups in 2018, as compared to the 19 in 2017 and 33 in 2016.

A survey conducted by The Asian Banker across 33 financial institutions in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East showed that a significant 82% of banks surveyed have a strategic FinTech approach in place, indicating a high level of acceptance in terms of collaboration between FinTechs and banks.

Sourcing FinTech Solutions to Solve Pain Points of a Large Global Bank’s Corporate Clients

In the spirit of bringing banks and FinTechs together, EY launched the ASEAN FinTech Challenge from 10–29 April 2019, in conjunction with a large global bank, a paid Proof of Concept (PoC) program dedicated to delivering FinTech solutions to the corporate clients of a large global bank.

The challenge sought out the most innovative FinTechs from across the region to address key problems provided by this bank’s corporate clients. These problems include:

  1. C2B Collections: Last mile partnerships for domestic and cross border omni-channel collections (e.g. QR code, eWallets, digitizing cash.
  2. Trade Finance: Identify opportunities in digitizing processes and documentation throughout the trade lifecycle; solve for financing opportunities throughout the supply chain ecosystem.
  3. Ecosystems: Leverage emerging technologies to unlock ecosystems (e.g. Insurance and Automobiles) and explore new client business models.

Journey to the Day

The challenge was kickstarted by the identification of problem statements of the corporate bank. Shortlisted FinTechs worked with EY advisors on specific problem statements and FinTechs delivered their solution pilots and went through a five-day long Design Sprint to finetune their Minimum Value Products (MVPs).

The event comprised outreach to more than 3,000 FinTechs in the region and 8 of the top FinTechs were selected to pitch their solutions at the ASEAN FinTech Day which was held on 26th April. It provided FinTechs a structured platform to showcase their solutions.

Figure 1. The shortlisting process

The event was a resounding success as the bank was able to connect with FinTechs that had the relevant solution offerings to tackle the challenges it faced in its corporate banking business, and FinTechs were given the opportunity to showcase their solutions, gain exposure, and potentially take their solution live with this corporate bank.

Figure 2. Shortlisted FinTech Pitching at the ASEAN FinTech Day
Figure 3. Shortlisted FinTech Pitching at the ASEAN FinTech Day


Most Innovative:

  • Diro Labs
  • Galileo Processing

Most Client Centric:

  • Digiasia

Most Scalable:

  • Cloud Payment
  • Silot

People’s Choice:

  • Cloud Payment

Other Finalists

C2B Collections: Thunes, ESPAY

Deep-tier Financing: dltledgers

About the Finalists

Digital Trade

1. Diro Labs

Diro is a decentralized Identity and Access Platform powered by crowdsourcing of contact directories. The platform features card exchange, cloud backup, automatic de-duplication, privacy control, crowdsourcing, directory creation and P2P sharing using DLT technology. Its onboard solution is an eKYC platform that meets regulatory requirements in 200+ countries. They have access to 150+ national databases in 108 countries, as well as all online banks and utilities in 245 countries to provide users with live verification of identity and prevent fraud. Its identity & access platform can provide instant KYC through cryptographically provable original documents. Diro Labs also has a mobile application that allows users to store documents from banks, schools and governmental websites.

The FinTech owns 20+ patents in identity and access management and most recently emerged as the winner of the DEMOvation challenge at the Bank Innovation Ignite conference in Seattle earlier this year.

2. Galileo Processing

Over the past 20 years. Galileo Processing has been providing its payment services to clients that range from financial institutions to other FinTech firms, offering fraud detection, security, decision-making analytics, and regulatory compliance solutions. Specializing in payment processing and program management solutions, Galileo supports prepaid, debit, credit and virtual card programs. It uses a suite of open APIs and cloud-based systems to enhance payment capabilities and leverages AI solutions to minimize false positives and strengthens Galileo’s fraud detection services so that clients can reduce losses to frauds to less than one basis point. Galileo’s services also extend to cover cryptocurrency with regards to streamlining integration and facilitating merchant acceptance through their proprietary crypto API. To support its continued development of new features, Galileo has rolled out its own sandbox that simulates live operations, and the sandbox contributes greatly to code generation and documentation of API suites.

Today, Galileo supports more than 87 million accounts and their transactions on its virtual commercial card payment platform.

C2B Collections

3. Thunes

Also known as TransferTo before rebranding, Thunes focuses on P2P remittance processing, mass payouts, and digital payments. It enables cross-border mobile payments, connects payment systems, and allows users to move funds in and out of emerging countries in real-time.

As of 2018, Thunes’ services are available in 80+ countries and the platform has facilitated over $3B in transactions and 9,000 payout partners.

4. Cloud Payment

A provider of SaaS solution that enables accurate and standardized payroll processing in 120+ countries, CloudPay seeks to offer users unprecedented transparency and control over payrolls. CloudPay’s services and technology help organizations increase efficiency, streamline compliance, and achieve greater visibility into payroll performance and costs. The firm has historically focused on the mid-enterprise global payroll market but since 2018, it has plans to scale its platform for use by smaller multinationals as well. The CloudPay solution is backed by deep industry expertise accumulated over more than two decades and leading technologies.


ESPAY offers an end-to-end e-commerce payment solution and information technology infrastructure for financial transactions banking and Financial Supply Chain in various industries through a unique B2C2B model in Indonesia. Backed by deep expertise and working experience with banks and financial institutions in Indonesia, ESPAY’s payment gateway is built with ready-to-use plugins and APIs that can be adapted for both mobile and web versions.

ESPAY’s credentials extend across industries, from banking (BRI, Maybank, CIMB Niaga) to insurance and financial services firms (Bitcoin, Finpay).

6. Digiasia

Offering a B2B2C approach to business partners, Digiasia is a FinTech firm that operates in the digital payment, P2P lending, and remittance sectors. It assists their clients in digitizing their operation and customer base, hence developing a fully digital and cashless ecosystem effectively. The three solutions Digiasia provides are namely KasPro, KreditPro, and RemitPro. Other than being on the receiving end of capital funding, Digiasia has also invested in as many as 8 local startups within the span of one year.

7. Silot

Silot is a Singapore-based FinTech company that specializes in using AI and knowledge graph technology to help banks streamline operations and improve decision-making capabilities. Their services encompass end-to-end management solutions for banks and merchants alike, including merchant onboarding, KYC and payment related operations. Silot’s solutions are centered around knowledge driven AI and the knowledge graph technology which enables the platform to make meaning out of data silos within an organization to create a comprehensive overview of the risks and opportunities for a bank.

The overall winner of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative in the APAC region is currently serving banks in Southeast Asia including Nobu Bank under Lippo Group in Indonesia, as well as Krungsri Bank in Thailand.

Deep-tier Financing

8. dltledgers

dltledgers is an inter-enterprise software company that leverages blockchain technology to enhance trade finance services. The winner of the supply chain platform IMDA blockchain challenge 2018 has several applications which run international trade, extended supply chain networks, tracking, customer ATP, counterfeit prevention and more.

dltledgers have worked with many key industry players including DBS and Standard Chartered Singapore. Its existing global trade platform boast 124 traders and $750M of trade completed across 3.2M transactions.

The views reflected in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms.

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