Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and WeBank, China's first digital-only bank, are setting up a fintech research centre to support Banking 4.0, where banking can be personalised and done anytime, anywhere.
The joint research centre at NTU was launched today by Mr Lawrence Wong, Singapore's Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance.
While most banking services can be done online, some services, such as securing large loans and getting wealth management advice, are still being done face-to-face. An overarching research goal of the Joint NTU-WeBank Research Centre on Fintech is the delivery of machine-generated personalised financial insights and services to the user.
For example, the research centre aims to develop technologies that integrate behavioural science with advanced analytics to give users personalised wealth management advice on the go. This will help to make wealth management advice not just accessible to wealthy individuals, but to the general public at large.
Traditional finance theories assume that people are rational when making financial choices. On the contrary, behavioural finance suggests investors are not always rational and are influenced by their own biases. The research can lead to new insights and ultimately, more effective advice to individuals.
The team will also examine ways to enhance banking services through the adoption of blockchain technology, and develop new means of digital financial services using the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and machine learning technology.
Blockchain enhances the customer experience by making banking more accountable and secure in every business and customer interaction. Potential applications for IoT-based digital marketing for banking services include boosting the bank's social presence, and targeting genuine customers.
The five-year partnership will see 35 research scientists and engineers from WeBank and NTU working on collaborative projects. The researchers are drawn from across the university: the NTU-UBC Research Center of Excellence in Active Living for the Elderly (LILY), the School of Computer Science and Engineering, and the School of Social Sciences.
NTU President Professor Subra Suresh said, "Our collaboration with WeBank aims to tap NTU's research expertise in finance, behavioural science and deep tech to create more opportunities for all. We look forward to more innovative solutions emerging from our NTU Smart Campus."
Mr David Ku, Chairman and CEO of WeBank, said, "As one of China's early fintech players, WeBank was established through the collaboration between talents from the technology and financial areas. Our goal is to connect and empower everyone with financial technology, and hence to make banking better for all. We believe fintech could bring more possibilities for inclusive finance. The same belief in NTU Singapore and WeBank will propel both to further drive innovation and optimise the financial services space. The joint research centre can also add to the diversity of the world's fintech eco-system."
At the launch ceremony, NTU Vice President (Research) Professor Lam Khin Yong and WeBank's Executive Vice President Mr Joe Chen signed the research collaboration agreement.
Ang Hui Min
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Branding & Communication Department
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).
Ranked 12th in the world, NTU has been placed the world's top young university for the past five years. The University's main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects comprising more than 230 buildings, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore's healthcare district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg
WeBank Co Ltd ("WeBank") was established by renowned companies, including Tencent, Baiyeyuan Investments and Liye Group, and officially launched on December 16, 2014, in turn becoming both the first privately-owned bank and the first digital-only bank in China.
WeBank was built with technology at its core, and with technology as a key driver behind the bank's development. As such, WeBank is committed to promoting innovative technologies. Since its formal launch, WeBank has already completed the construction of a comprehensive banking platform with self-owned intellectual properties, capable of handling high-volume, high-frequency transactions and has applied for more than 100 patents across a variety of technology areas. WeBank is also the very first commercial bank to be recognized as a National High-tech Enterprise by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. WeBank strongly embraces the oft-stated 'ABCD' technologies (A.I., Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Big Data) as its strategic focuses and is an active leader in their related researches and applications in the financial sector.
WeBank has established many industry partnerships, through adopting an open and collaborative approach to connect with other financial and technology companies. This includes building a loan syndication platform, packaging technologies as white-labelled products, and many other examples of enabling our partnering banks and institutions through new online financial services models. In these innovative models, strategic resources can be leveraged among partners; each party can focus on its core strengths and competencies; and the jointly-provided services can cover a much broader market.