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Keeping digital security under lock and V-Key

Conversations around fintech often focus on technological innovations and efficiency, ignoring the tangible benefits to end-users. V-Key president Joseph Gan explains why user experience is crucial in security and how traditional financial institutions need to evolve and prioritise digital security.

How has fintech influenced global payments?

Payment systems have radically transformed. Today, fintech solutions have all but replaced cash with an e-wallet. Merchant and consumer adoption is driven by the speed and convenience of e-payments.

Imagine, no loose change, no bulky wallets, and transactions completed in one tap. For us who grew up having to deal with cash and bank transfers, we can appreciate how amazingly easy it is to transact today. Using a service like the recently launched PayNow, you can send money to the person beside you by using their mobile number. And with the right app, you can remit money to someone in the US.

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We're just starting to see how digital payment technology can change lives, and today we are seeing truly innovative apps emerging. Fintech is moving on from value processing to value creation, where payment services on mobile apps aim to go beyond mere transactions towards making life more convenient for the customers, even anticipating their needs.

What role do banks play in the fintech ecosystem, and how do you see them responding to the challenges posed by digital players?

Success in the fintech world does not spell the end of banks. It's quite the opposite.

The best minds from both worlds acknowledge that banks and fintech have complementary strengths: banks are built to take care of your needs right through your lifetime, whereas fintech surgically focuses on creating better customer experiences and creating less transactional friction in specific use cases.

With novel payment ecosystems being introduced by digital players, it is natural for banks to feel the pressure to innovate. The Tier-1 banks today are collaborating with fintech companies, giving rise to new products and services while optimising current ones. Noteworthy examples of banks that have collaborated with fintech companies are DBS and UOB, which launched digital payment solutions such as DBS PayLah! and UOB Mighty.

What is V-Key's role in the fintech ecosystem today?

Innovations in payment services (such as mobile wallets, contactless payments and open and closed payment ecosystems), while revolutionary, operate in individual silos. The need of the hour is a "deep tech" solution that ties disparate solutions together to work seamlessly for customers.

But this will succeed only if supported by infallible security solutions that protect the customers' digital identities. With cybercrime threats surging, organisations - especially banks and governments - are aware of the need for robust security tools to defend customers from identity theft.

V-Key has spent a lot of time developing solutions to provide that level of trust and assurance for organisation to deliver services securely on mobile devices.

How does this work?

We have developed the world's first virtual secure element which offers secure cryptographic storage and processing of user credentials and transactions. We designed our solution with both security and user experience as the top priorities.

Traditionally, this is close to impossible. The more secure a solution is, the more hurdles a customer needs to clear before they consume a service. We've shattered that misconception and developed a solution that is as convenient as it is secure.

Today, we make it many times faster, easier and safer than before to bank on your mobile device. Whether it is an iPhone X or an inexpensive Android, we provide the same level of ease of use and security.

Why is it important for banks to partner companies such as V-Key to make the most of the fintech revolution?

Fintech innovation is here to stay. Its adoption will grow and become commonplace. With our lives and behaviours becoming more digitised, securing digital identities will only become more important.

It is extremely vital for institutions such as banks and government agencies, the custodians of sensitive personal data, to collaborate with the keenest minds in digital security to make digital lives safe.

Adopting innovation and all its benefits is possible only when we trust the systems that provide them. Engendering that trust between organisations and people is what V-Key has dedicated itself to do.