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Are You Ready For A Data Revolution?

Nalini T | Key Accounts Manager, Ashnik
Singapore, 16 Jan 2018

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2017 is over and 2018 is here! Wishing all of you out there reading this piece, a very happy new year. May the new year be full of compliances, cost-saving, increased profitability, increased customer satisfaction, big budgets small-spending, path breaking initiatives for you.

That pretty much sums up everything good that can happen in our current economy, isn’t it? If you take a step aside and look at it, you realise that the new age economy revolves around software, data, mobility, virtuality and gadgetary. Every new initiative in any industry has software assisted systems or transformation hidden within.

And the back bone of this is Data! Traversing from human collaborations to Collaborative Commerce, we are now entering the Data Collaboration era.

As the SmartNation motto of Singapore goes: Data is the new currency, and with open data, the possibilities are endless!

Singapore is an exciting place to be in such times. As a FinTech hub, a Trading & Shipping Hub, a city with great infrastructure and opportunities, it makes a perfect test bed to launch any new initiative. A recent KPMG report quoted that ‘given Singapore’s massive push to make it a wired-up city as part of its “Smart Nation” program, it becomes an extremely conducive place for startups that are trying their hands at building apps and gizmos for homes and businesses, from using your smartphone to control your house, to implementations in areas like ecommerce and pharmaceuticals. Multinational corporations are also investing in the Singaporean VC ecosystem to support early-stage firms specializing in IoT. Singapore is a popular choice for international companies as well. Many R&D centres and testing facilities are coming up in Singapore for building solutions and conducting cutting-edge research that benefits the region.’

The Data Story

As Singapore forms a perfect incubator for all innovations, the data related changes happening world over are playing in favour too. Open data strategies and data collaborations are recognised as eminent needs for efficiency by all Financial Institutes. Regulators across the world are encouraging financial institutions to share information about their customers’ accounts and transactions in order to enable them to access new innovative services from third-parties. Here in Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is very vocal about encouraging financial institutions to adopt APIs as a key foundation layer for innovation and interoperability.

Active efforts are being made by the Singapore Government to encourage everyone to share, and contribute data, data sets collected by public agencies have been made available and accessible to the public through online portals so anyone can participate and co-create solutions that benefit everyone.


MAS is encouraging traditional banks and fintech players to collaborate by opening more and more Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which will be the platform to foster more partnerships. APIs can increase the efficiency of certain regulatory processes, such as banks’ submissions of applications and transactions. This will be key in the promotion of regulatory technology and helping the central bank to ensure a safe and secure financial sector.

The Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) has built an API exchange, called APEX, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance (MoF). APEX will serve as a centralised data sharing platform for government agencies to share data conveniently and securely through the use of APIs.

Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)

Traditionally, Fintech companies worked in an extremely competitive and secretive manner. Breaking that model, Association of Banks was formed in the regions to promote Singapore’s reputation as an international financial centre and to find solutions to implement and promote best banking practices in a collaborative, open and transparent manner. ABS has successfully brought innovative solutions like GIRO, FAST & PayNow to the market, which has made day to day consumer banking extremely simple, fast and in turn has improved the recovery efficiency for the recipient companies. Beyond this practical change, it has brought about the culture of collaboration and a strong focus on customer satisfaction.


A step ahead in the same direction is Bancassurance – a collaboration of Banking and Insurance clients to give a seamless baking-investment-insurance experience to customers. Initially, prevalent only in some European countries, it is now making its way in to Asia with deregulation on the rise.


Blockchain is emerging as a technology to disrupt the traditional financial model has Data Collaboration as its core concept. Regionally, Asia is on track for a record-breaking year for VC investment in Fintech. VC investors are putting a lot of money into small blockchain technology companies in Asia. Some very new companies are already into their second or third round of funding. Blockchain is all set to bring about a revolution in Smart contracts, Audits and Payment processing with multiple PoCs into their advanced stage and multinationals putting serious effort into it.

We are now able to send money to our friends, purchase insurance policies and pay for cabs with our phone wallets these days. The day will not be far when we can purchase properties abroad, pay taxes in multiple countries and buy tickets to Mars – all with one touch on our phones.

Are you ready for such a data-rific future?


  • Nalini joins Ashnik as Key Accounts Manager.Nalini brings over 20 years of diversified experience from the fields of IT, Project Management and Entrepreneurship. In her long standing career, she has successfully managed bidding and delivery of large IT projects spanning across geographies and involving large teams. Her strengths lie in client interaction and problem solving. Nalini has done B.E. in Electrical Engineering from CoE, Pune (India). She enjoys social volunteering and acting in theater in her spare time.

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