SME Finance Forum Members Visit DBS and Tyme in Singapore
On March 22-23, 2023, the SME Finance Forum successfully organized an immersion program in Singapore to DBS and Tyme, both members of the Forum. 39 senior executives from 19 financial institutions and 15 countries attended the event.
The presentations shown during the immersion program are visible to Members of the SME Finance Forum who are logged in to the Member Portal.
SME Finance Forum Members Visit to DBS Bank
DBS is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking. Named as “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney and “Asia’s Best Bank” by several publications, DBS shared their experience of digital transformation and sustainability. Akhil Bhan, the Group Head of Customer Experience, presented DBS’ approach to transformation with a customer focus, and how DBS has become one of the leading financial services groups in Asia. Dr. Coby Wong discussed the challenges and lessons learnt by DBS during its continuous journey to achieve sustainability. The session was followed by a visit to Better World Café, which is an embodiment of DBS’ efforts to achieve sustainability through food and daily operations.
Tyme Group hosted the afternoon sessions on 22 March. The multi-country banking group shared their growth path and their methodology of bridging digital divide for small and medium businesses in emerging markets. John Kane, Chief Innovation Officer of Tyme, introduced the ‘phygital’ model, which uses a combination of physical touchpoints – bank ambassadors and kiosks – and digital banking to engage customers in the market. Since its first launch in South Africa in 2019, Tyme encountered several challenges, including the inconvenient physical access to banks, expensiveness of data and credit bureaus lack of maturity, as well as prevailing distrust in the financial institutions. Many of the participating members also shared having the same challenges in their markets.
Mo Harvey, CEO and Founder, of Tribe Fintech Introducing their SME Products
On the second day, the SME Finance Forum members visited DBS Asia X, the bank’s innovation hub, and attended the Future of Sustainability Conference. The presenters and experts shared how SMEs have the power to shape a more sustainable future and reap the rewards of sustainability. The conference also invited several SME owners across Asia to showcase their works related to sustainability and how banking institutions were able to empower and scale up the impact solutions proposed by SMEs and social enterprises.
In the afternoon, the participants visited the IFC Singapore office. Reuben Lim, COO at Singapore Fintech Association, discussed how fintech ecosystem can support SME banking. As of now, Singapore has the fastest growing and most vibrant fintech ecosystem in APAC and its number of operating fintech firms has surpassed the 1,000 thresholds. Roopam Upadhyay from the IFC presented how data science can drive decision-making processes for the MSMEs. With artificial intelligence tools, the banking institutions have the capabilities to authenticate financial and non-financial information provided by the SMEs, utilize internal and third-party sources to measure credit risk, as well as right size the credit limit and minimize losses with more efficiency and objectivity.
During the two-day program, our members had the chance to connect and share experiences with each other. It was inspiring to learn about the innovative financial products and solutions in Singapore and Southeast Asia. This is some of the attendees shared after their visit:
‘I learned from practical experience of others which I believe it will enhance my contribution to my bank going forward.'
‘It was an insightful event where we have learned a lot.'
If you are interested in hosting an immersion program or have any comments, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!