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OCBC Bank sets up a FinTech unit to drive innovation

Nurdianah Md Nur | Feb. 4, 2016
The unit will help drive collaborations between the bank and the FinTech ecosystem.

OCBC FinTech unit
OCBC Bank's Chief Executive Officer, Samuel Tsien (centre), chats with Jia Jih Chai (left), Airbnb's Managing Director for South East Asia, and Pranav Seth (right), OCBC Bank's Head of E-Business and Business Transformation, during a networking event at The Open Vault at OCBC.

Riding on the FinTech boom, the OCBC bank has set up a FinTech unit called 'The Open Vault at OCBC' in Singapore.

Led by Pranav Seth, OCBC Bank's Head of E-Business and Business Transformation, the unit will be the nerve centre for the bank's innovations. It will do so by connecting the bank to the FinTech ecosystem to spot potential solutions and create innovative solutions for customers and employees.

The bank has also dedicated a 2,400 square foot space on New Bridge Road for FinTech startups to work with in-house OCBC Bank experts to employ OCBC Bank's data sandbox and application programme interfaces (APIs) to bring innovative solutions quickly to the market. By taking the sandboxing approach, startups will be able to experiment with real-life anonymous customer data in secure environment to generate proof of concepts, said OCBC Bank.

Samuel Tsien, OCBC Bank's Chief Executive Officer, said: "I am excited about the launch of The Open Vault at OCBC, a stand-alone FinTech unit that will harness ideas from the fast-evolving global arena of financial technology. Our key focus is to deliver tangible outcomes and value; without this, we would not want to play in the FinTech arena. While digital innovation is very much part of our entrenched culture, we know the world of FinTech is wide and deep. More good ideas can be developed by working with external partners such as FinTech accelerators, technology scouts, universities and other key stakeholders in the FinTech ecosystem."

"The Open Vault at OCBC has great potential. I see it helping us to come up with digital solutions that will make banking with OCBC even simpler, faster and more secure, our internal banking processes more efficient, and our banking systems even more robust," he added.

According to the bank, the setting up the new FinTech unit supports the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) vision to develop the republic as a Smart Financial Centre. In a Smart Financial Centre, innovation will be pervasive, and technology will be used to increase efficiency, create new opportunities, and better manage risks, said MAS.

To further encourage the culture of innovation in Singapore's financial industry, the Open Vault at OCBC will be hosting an accelerator programme that will kick off in April 2016. The programme will provide selected startups with access to mentorship, technical expertise from the bank, and dedicated guidance from experts from global investment and startup incubation firm NEST. It will conclude with a Demo Day in July 2016 when the startups will pitch their innovations to compete for investment interest.

Interested startups can apply for the programme at www.theopenvaultatocbc.com from now till 17 March 2016.

 

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