Public Relations as the Driving Force of Southeast Asia’s Fintech Revolution

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The financial industry needs to harness technology, foster innovation, partner with Fintech startups and transform itself while maintaining trust.

The financial industry needs to harness technology, foster innovation, partner with Fintech startups and transform itself while maintaining trust.

Globally, the financial industry is facing slower economic growth, tighter regulation, and keener competition. To overcome these headwinds, the industry needs to harness technology, foster innovation, partner with Fintech startups and transform itself. How to do this, while maintaining the single most important commodity that underpins financial institutions – trust.

PRecious Communications is proud to have been part of GlobalCom PR Network’s annual meeting on the Greek island of Crete. The global event was host to over 50 marketing and public relations professionals from 30 countries. During the meeting, Lars Voedisch, Founder and Principal Consultant at PRecious Communications, shared PRecious Communication’s expertise on financial and fintech public relations. During his presentation, Lars spoke about the major technological disruptors in finance and the role of public relations in the fintech revolution.

The technologies that have started to redefine the financial sector in the recent past include Omni Channel Contact Centers, Digital Branches, Biometrics (Voice, Face) and Digital Keys, Workforce Automation and Chatbots. However, technologies such as Blockchain, Quantum Computing, and Artificial Intelligence are among the top three disruptive technologies that will shape the future of the financial services industry.

For instance, Blockchain enables information sharing that is secure and unalterable – thus ensuring data integrity and building trust among users. Quantum computing exponentially increases the speed of transactions. It also recognises fraudulent activities patterns at a much faster rate. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can process the huge amount of information about customers, events and markets. The technology will enable accurate decision-making, improve fraud detection and claims management and support automated virtual financial assistants.

The financial industry needs to harness technology, foster innovation, partner with Fintech startups and transform itself while maintaining trust.

Lars Voedisch, Founder and Principal Consultant at PRecious Communications, sharing PRecious Communication’s expertise on financial and fintech public relations with over 50 marketing and public relations professionals from 30 countries.

The Rise of Fintech in Singapore

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), fintech players are set to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of investments in Southeast Asia in 2019. Recent research by Accenture found that fintech players in Singapore operate in one of the friendliest regulatory environments in the world. As a result, there has been a boom in the number of active P2P lenders, remittance service providers and mobile wallets. Just in Singapore, there are currently 42 active mobile payment platforms. But what exactly makes fintech companies such attractive propositions?

One of the key characteristics that define modern fintech companies is their legacy-free infrastructure. Research by EY revealed that only 29% of financial institutions in Singapore have fully embraced digital solutions. Banks that have been built on legacy IT systems require huge financial outlay and management support to digitally transform their services. Fintech players, on the other hand, are free from such restrictions and are liberated to “act outside the box.”

The financial industry is not traditionally associated with values such as user experience, transparency and innovation. Fintech companies often focus on delivering a single product that is innovative, transparent and scalable. Consequently, fintech products provide simple and intuitive user experiences.

How Public Relations Can Supercharge the Fintech Revolution

In his recent Banque de France Lecture, Ravi Menon, Managing Director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, spoke about the three musketeers of fintech; finance, technology and trust. Finance, like the musketeer Athos, is wise but can be complicated and inaccessible to many. Technology is akin to Porthos, the fearless musketeer who is eager to try new ways for a better future. Trust is similar to Aramis, the third musketeer who is faithful and values friendship. Trust is a key attribute for the success of a financial ecosystem.

While finance and technology have come together numerous times, the success of these collaborations is heavily reliant on the presence of public trust and understanding. This is where the fourth musketeer, public relations, comes into play. Through strategic communications, PR professionals are able to demystify finance and technology and bring about a greater understanding of the crowded fintech space. A well-planned and executed communications plan also help to generate buzz and excitement around the innovative solutions that fintech players provide.

As the fintech revolution continues, innovative solutions are expected to push the boundaries of what is possible even further. This means a saturated and highly competitive market for all fintech companies and traditional banks. Each of the players in this age of digital finance; technology companies, fintech startups, challengers and incumbent banks, has to find its role and learn to communicate it effectively and efficiently.

PRecious Communication’s dedicated startup practice – PRecious Sparks, is the regional leader in startup and investor public relations. The team has worked with several fintech clients and with over 150 young brands, disrupters and innovators, including 15 unicorns and has supported over S$10 billion in funding and M&A activities.

To find out more about getting your international startup off to a flying start in Southeast Asia, get in touch with the PRecious Sparks team.

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