The Singapore Fintech Festival is an annual week-long event attended by 45,000 participants from 130 countries in 2018. The event is filled with conference and exhibition, awards, global investor summit and booths from the region’s finest banking, finance and tech companies.
Aspire’s team members had the privilege of attending the event and to some of the conferences. As a Fintech startup, we discover what’s coming and what to expect in 2020 and beyond.
What SMEs Need to Know for 2020
1. Fast Gets FASTER
One thing for sure, digital trends will only get FASTER. Jane Lim, an Assistant Chief Executive from Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) showed an interesting visual during her presentation about Digitise and Globalise – How SMEs and Platforms can change the World:
This is a challenge that all SMEs should take note of and prepare for 2020 – introducing 5G. It’s key is being able to deliver your product and services fast. Hence, this is something businesses should reflect, are your business moving fast enough? Most importantly, how can your business adapt to the 5G service?
2. Plenty of Resources Available
75% of SMEs see digital integration as an opportunity.
However, only 16% SMEs use digital to its full potential.
The Government is fully supportive of SMEs’ growth as SMEs are the lifeblood of the ASEAN economy because every large company is once SMEs. The government saw over 250% increase in digitalized businesses in less than a year.
So, this is how government-industry partnerships help SMEs to use digital to its full potential:
- Industry Digital Plans (IDPs) co-created with industry
- Pre-approved tech solutions with 70% funding to defray initial costs
- SME outreach: Through partnerships with leading banks, telcos, IT providers, trade associations
3. Global Competition is Our Threat
Digitalisation also means faster transactions to happen across borders. Thus, all companies should take note that not only local companies can be a threat but global companies as well.
Businesses will have access to cheaper suppliers from across the world and are able to do import fast. As a result, local businesses will need to step up in terms of price, services, and speed to stay on top of the game.
4. Localization Needs to be Done
Due to the reasons above, it is key that companies should do localization to their products and services to stay competitive. From understanding the local market, law, and regulations to their first language.
A representative from Shopee, mentioned that the Shopee platform is localized in all countries. This includes tabs and products featured that vary according to the country it’s catering to. Most importantly, knowing what works well in each country will be key to being successful.
The picture below shows Shopee platforms in different countries show different tabs according to what suits the market best:
- Digital trends are going faster and SMEs should be ready to catch up with the competition.
- The government are supportive and will provide more resources for SMEs to grow
- The competition will no longer be local, but global as well.
- For foreign businesses, localization is key to compete with local businesses.
We envision a world where business owners have fast and simple access to the funding they need to grow. That’s why we’re on a mission to re-invent banking for SMEs across Southeast Asia.
Our current product provides SME and startup owners in Singapore with financial flexibility through a line of credit of up to S$150k. Which, can also be used to make business payments to enjoy 60 days free credit terms.