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Making waves in the world of fintech
SINGAPORE-based M-DAQ is making waves in the world of fintech. The firm was recognised last year by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as one of the most innovative fintech start-ups, while FinanceAsia described it as one of the country's big fintech hopes.
One of its more innovative offerings is a solution known as Aladdin, which gives e-commerce platforms the ability to offer multi-currency payment options to customers, while allowing merchants to receive only their desired currency through the provision of a guaranteed rate FX conversion service.
The Aladdin system was behind M-DAQ's Gold award win in the Most Impactful category at the inaugural Singapore Digital Techblazer Awards.
Currently, international customers making purchases on foreign platforms utilise credit or debit cards which charge between 3 and 6 per cent on currency conversion, and are only informed of the rate one to two days after the purchase. Meanwhile, platforms such as Amazon use their own currency converter that imputes a rate of about 5-7 per cent at the point of checkout.
Aladdin, however, provides price certainty when products are selected and guarantees the price for up to a week, regardless of movements in the actual Interbank FX markets. For refunds, the customers get back the exact same rate without any spreads for up to 90 days.
Richard Koh, founder and CEO of M-DAQ, said: "This service has contributed significant cost savings to customers and has also generated an additional revenue stream to e-commerce platforms. It can significantly decrease shopping cart abandonment by allowing the merchants to price their goods in customers' local currencies using FX rates that are fully transparent, fair and competitive."
"We also have empirical evidence to show that price certainty leads to reduction in shopping cart abandonment - something which can cost as much as 70 per cent of potential sales to be lost - in other words, sales conversion has improved 300 per cent," he added.
Aladdin is currently available on e-commerce platforms which service a combined market of over 2.58 billion people across 33 countries. The system has processed over 75 million unique transactions.
M-DAQ expects to process over S$6 billion of e-commerce transactions this year. Mr Koh hopes to achieve S$10 billion in e-commerce transactions processed next year when the company's diversification strategy is realised.
He said that in recent years, the business has focused on China's outbound e-commerce to the rest of the world.
EXPANDING ITS HORIZONS
Looking ahead, the company plans to also look at China inbound as well as non-China based platforms.
"For instance, there are many Western hemisphere-based e-commerce platforms that are still lacking an elegant Aladdin FX type solution that provides price certainty, transparency and price fairness to customers and merchants," he said.
On winning the Techblazer award, Mr Koh said: "This is the inaugural combined award from the Singapore's government and a private sector ICT flag-bearing organisations. It is a huge testimony that a tiny 55-man company from Singapore is able to punch above its weight in creating international level solutions for the best of breed e-commerce platforms.
"It will further cement Aladdin FX Solutions as the world's number one cross-border solution for online commerce."
CXA GROUP: SILVER, MOST IMPACTFUL AWARD
INSURANCE tech startup CXA Group offers their corporate clients a portal that allows their staff to choose from a range of healthcare benefits under their companies' insurance plans. Employees are given a personalised e-wallet with funds that can be used to pay for a suite of insurance, health and wellness products, such as medical bills or exercise classes.
"This enables employees to tailor their company's healthcare spend to their individual needs. Our portal recommends the right level of insurance and converts excess insurance spend into relevant services to improve each employee's health," said a CXA spokesperson.
CXA's solution also provides workplace wellness assessment and intervention programmes. These include a health risk assessment with face-ageing, health screening, and tele-medicine services. When companies improve the health of their employees, CXA uses the health scoring data to negotiate reduced insurance premiums. Banks and Insurers can "white-label" the firm's solution to cross-sell services to their corporate clients as well as their employees.
CXA is currently the HR benefits partner for over 600 companies, with over 240,000 end users within its eco-system. In China, the company's portal is housed on WeChat and reaches out to 20 million citizens in the city of Shenzhen.
AIDA TECHNOLOGIES: BRONZE, MOST IMPACTFUL AWARD
AIDA TECHNOLOGIES' Smart Claims Straight Through Processing solution uses artificial intelligence technology to help insurers make decisions regarding claims. The system is able to take in incoming health claims, extract line items from invoices, and use a combination of deep learning and traditional machine learning to determine in real-time whether a claim should be accepted, declined or partially paid, and the likely payable amount, among other things.
AIDA's machine learning engine is able to significantly improve claims processing productivity as well as the customer experience. Prudential Singapore, for instance, has said that they have been able to process health insurance claims in seconds instead of days by using the decision engines developed by AIDA. The company has now taken its smart-claims solutions to Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong.