Standard Chartered is the latest bank to jump on the fintech crazy train in Singapore. Today it announced the interestingly capitalized eXellerator, a new enterprise acceleration and innovation hub located in the city state.
The new lab will build on established infrastructure and know-how from Standard Chartered’s Silicon Valley-based technology hub, SC Studios. In Singapore, the lab will be located in the bank’s main offices at Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial Center.
As part of its operations, the new initiative will explore “the use of emerging technologies and data science for sustainable business solutions.” For that it will work with business units within Standard Chartered, although more details aren’t available at the moment. The bank is working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore on the launch to ensure compliance with local regulations.
Singapore’s vibrant fintech ecosystem makes it the logical location.
Innovation labs and startup accelerators seem to be par for the course these days. Hong Kong-based accelerator Nest launched a fintech accelerator program with Singapore’s DBS bank last year, while OCBC announced its own fintech innovation center called The Open Vault (again with Nest’s collaboration) just last month.
“Singapore’s strategic location at the heart of the ASEAN region and its vibrant fintech ecosystem make it the logical location for the bank to base our new global innovation lab,” says Anju Patwardhan, global chief innovation officer for Standard Chartered, in a statement. “This is where we can tap the depth of knowledge and talent, as well as work with local universities and research organisations, to help drive the bank’s innovation agenda.”
Standard Chartered had previously worked with DBS and Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority for a proof of concept on distributed ledger technology, a significant milestone in digitizing trade finance and enhancing security. The bank claims it’s the world’s first application of this technology.
In addition, it recently partnered with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) and its Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) to work on data science research and experimentation.