November 4, 2019



ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) is delighted to announce the formation of the Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) of industry leaders to support the overall development of AFIN and API Exchange (APIX).

APIX, the flagship product of AFIN, is a global cloud-based platform that enables financial institutions and fintechs to discover one another on a curated global marketplace, design experiments collaboratively in the sandbox and deploy innovative solutions rapidly at a lower cost.

The SAC will advise the board on matters ranging from technology to global expansion and support AFIN in its journey in using APIX to promote the broader adoption of financial technology innovations for financial inclusion across ASEAN and beyond.

There are currently 6 organisations represented in the SAC:

BNY Mellon, the world’s largest custodian bank with $35.8 trillion under custody and/or administration, has joined AFIN and the SAC to advise the board on global expansion and to support the further development of APIX as a means to facilitate fintech and bank collaborations. BNY Mellon has been active in Singapore since 1974 and has strong engagements in Asia driving digital initiatives.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, has also joined the SAC. AFIN has selected AWS as the cloud service provider for APIX. Fintechs of APIX are expected to take advantage of the opportunity to gain access to AWS credits, training and support. Financial institutions of APIX will also be invited to attend exclusive workshops conducted by AWS and learn more about how to build and sustain an innovation-focused culture.

To represent the voice of the fintechs, the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) and Manila-based startup, Brankas, have also joined the SAC. Both organisations will support APIX through fintech and developer meetups across ASEAN.

AMTD Foundation and Mastercard, AFIN’s Corporate Founding Members, are also represented in the SAC. Rachel Freeman, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, and Tobias Puehse, VP Innovation, will represent their organisations respectively. The SAC is chaired by AFIN’s independent board director, Supriya Sen.

AFIN is carefully selecting strategic partners to join the SAC with more announcements to be made over the coming months.

“APIX has been at the forefront of changing the way the financial services industry innovates. The coming together of such visionary organisations, such as the members of the SAC, will help us develop a better understanding of market dynamics and achieve more in our quest to engender greater financial innovation and inclusion globally. We are looking forward to working very closely with SAC members along with members of the Board and our consortium partners to create value for the industry,” said Manish Diwaan, Managing Director of AFIN.

“Singapore has continued to cement its position as a global hub for innovation in financial services due to the leadership of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. We are excited to deepen our relationships with MAS and other financial leaders to drive innovation and collaboration. Given our role of providing infrastructure for the world’s financial markets, our early adoption of emerging technologies and our partnerships with fintechs and other ecosystem participants, we can help strengthen the APIX platform,” said Roman Regelman, Head of Digital, BNY Mellon.

“We look forward to working with AFIN to further enable the collaboration between fintechs and financial institutions across ASEAN and internationally, allowing them to benefit from the scale and cost efficiencies that the cloud offers”, said Frank Fallon, Vice President, Worldwide Financial Services at Amazon Web Services. “APIX members will be better positioned to tap into the agility, security, resiliency and breadth and depth of services offered by the AWS Cloud, further supporting their mission of developing innovative solutions to address business challenges across the financial services industry. AWS is pleased to be part of the Strategic Advisory Council.”

“It is an honour for SFA to play an active role to connect fintechs with banks across ASEAN to promote financial inclusion, and in the process, elevate the entire ASEAN fintech ecosystem,” said Chia Hock Lai, President of SFA.

“Brankas and AFIN share a common vision that an Open Banking API economy in Asia is a catalyst for fintech innovation and inclusion. We founded Brankas to address these inefficiencies through technology infrastructure: building the “API layer” with bank partners and making Open API products easy for online businesses to use in their day-to-day workflow. By working with AFIN to encourage APIX platform adoption, Brankas can help grow awareness, discover new use cases, and contribute to a more innovative Asian fintech ecosystem,” said Todd Schweitzer, Co-Founder & CEO, Brankas

About AFIN

AFIN is a non-profit organisation founded by the ASEAN Bankers Association (ABA), the World Bank’s IFC and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Its Corporate Founding Members are AMTD Foundation and Mastercard. AFIN’s objective is to support experimentation and

collaboration between financial institutions and financial technology service providers so as to promote greater financial innovation and inclusion in ASEAN and beyond. AFIN has launched an open-architecture platform, API Exchange (APIX), to support such collaborations across the region. The focus of its efforts will be on helping financial institutions to expand access to finance, especially in the less developed markets in the region.

About AMTD

AMTD Foundation was established by Mr Calvin Choi, Chairman and CEO of AMTD Group. Mr Choi and AMTD Group have always been committed to the value of giving back to the society and upholding social responsibility in the community. In fulfilling this mission, AMTD Foundation was established with an objective to promote education, to relieve poverty, as well as to support people in need in Hong Kong and across the world. AMTD Foundation has always been committed to promoting technological development and talent cultivation in Hong Kong, and the Greater Bay Area around the globe, supporting the development of Hong Kong, serving global charities and undertaking corporate social responsibility.

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.

About BNY

BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries. As of Sept. 30, 2019, BNY Mellon had $35.8 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.9 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK).

About SFA

The SFA is a cross-industry and non-profit organization. Its purpose is to support the development of the fintech industry in Singapore, and to facilitate collaboration among the participants and stakeholders of the international fintech ecosystem. The SFA is a member-based organization with over 350 members and international partnerships in over 35 countries. It represents the full range of stakeholders in the fintech industry, from early-stage innovative companies to large financial players and service providers.

About Brankas

Brankas is solving the "last mile" for Open Banking in emerging economies. We empower banks, fintech partners and users to build and activate real-time secure APIs for payments, identity, transaction data, and more. Our vision is to make modern financial services available to everyone, by increasing access and partnership opportunities between financial institutions and the online economy.