Case study

Financial experts: Fintech is a way out for SMEs struggling under Covid-19

Case study

Financial experts: Fintech is a way out for SMEs struggling under Covid-19

The results
A major international bank found gini to be the most efficient data enrichment provider for its digital banking upgrade initiative.

In a pilot project with gini, the bank ran 50,000 transactions through our data enrichment engine.  Within 72 hours, gini had enriched 95.7% credit card transactions and 92.7% EPS transactions. 

“We were surprised just how fast gini’s enrichment capabilities are. What we expected to take 3 weeks took them only 3 days,” said the bank’s Head of Innovation and Strategy. “On top of that, they even enriched EPS transactions, which no other provider has achieved.”
Credit card
transactions enriched
transactions enriched
The results
gini introduced a successful Savings Goal feature in our PFM app that was adopted by 60% of users within 30 days of launching.
Our users engage with the Savings Goal feature an average of 7.4 times a month, which when compared to the once-a-month engagement of most banking apps, is a testament to its value. 

And the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with comments such as, “Congrats on the release of the saving function, it’s very helpful and motivates me to save more!” and “Makes saving and budgeting a lot easier.”

Makes saving and budgeting a lot easier.
The challenge
Our research showed that users wanted a savings feature that automates their budgeting calculations, and shows how much they have left to spend after putting their savings aside every month.

However, no PFM apps in Hong Kong had a feature like this because it requires complicated algorithms and enriched transaction data. Without merchant names for example, it’s difficult to label recurring transactions accurately, and give the user a clear, comprehensive overview of their finances.

The solution
With data automatically enriched by our machine learning models, gini was able to build a fully functioning Saving Goals feature that resonated with users and increased engagement.

The new feature automatically calculates a monthly OK to Spend amount by subtracting the user’s total monthly expenses (past and upcoming) and Savings Goal from their total monthly income. It also has a traffic light system that warns users when it’s time to reign in their spending.

None of this was possible without first enriching the transaction data with accurate merchant names and categories.
The challenge
A recent digital banking survey showed low levels of satisfaction, with 87% of customers finding it hard to understand their transaction feeds.
My current spending history is confusing. I want to see the ACTUAL shop name.
To address this — and reduce queries — the bank planned to first replace standard transaction codes with clear merchant names and categories throughout its digital banking services. And then to increase loyalty with a personal finance app, built on the foundation of enriched data. 

However, developing the technology to transform such large volumes of transaction data was proving to be a Herculean task — one that would take years. So they looked for an external provider to help clean, structure and enrich the data accurately and quickly.

The solution
Impressed by the quality and speed of gini’s enrichment engine in the pilot project, the bank plans to integrate our scalable software into their own systems to allow for real-time data processing and enrichment. The best part is, gini’s technology is easily accessible as a SaaS solution on AWS Marketplace, avoiding the need for lengthy tech stack integration processes.

Soon, the bank’s entire customer base will have their transaction feeds transformed from confusing codes to recognisable merchant names, logos and categories. This is predicted to have a significantly positive impact on NPS scores.

Equipped with enriched data, the bank’s development team will then be able to build a competitive personal finance app with much richer features than otherwise possible.
Contact us to find out more about our digital banking data solutions
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Find out how data enrichment can help you build better PFM features
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Open banking in 2020: Are you ready?

Open banking is primed to become the new norm in Asia Pacific. But, as our research report shows, the majority of bankers in the region are not sufficiently prepared for what’s coming.

It’s time to get smart on what open banking is and how it’s expected to impact the market this year. 
Download report
gini's original research report on open banking in Asia Pacific for 2020
Download the research report
Download the open Banking 2020 research report by gini
We interviewed more than 300 finance and technology thought leaders across Asia on the industry’s readiness for open banking this year, with surprising results. 
Download our Open Banking 2020 research report to find out: 

The opportunities in store for all participants
The barriers to adoption
Who is expected to benefit most 
How institutions can generate revenue from open APIs
And more
Financial experts: Fintech is a way out for SMEs struggling under Covid-19 | Header image

Financial experts: Fintech is a way out for SMEs struggling under Covid-19

Nov 17, 2020

Finance technology could be a remedy for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) devastated by the coronavirus, by providing solutions to help them achieve more with less in an environment of unprecedented uncertainty, say global financial experts at Hong Kong Fintech Week 2020.

SMEs, with relatively limited financial resources, are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. Unlike large enterprises, small businesses lack resources and flexibility to respond quickly to market changes. 

In Hong Kong, 60% of companies that have seen turnover fall by half due to Covid-19 are SMEs, compared to 29% of big companies, according to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. 

Hong Kong has more than 340,000 SMEs constituting upwards of 98% of the business establishment. Employees in the segment make up about 45% of the workforce in the private sector of the city. 

Research conducted earlier this year by Visa shows that SMEs in Hong Kong are facing three main pain points: revenue generation, cash flow optimisation and employee wellbeing and productivity.

Chavi Jafa, Head of Visa Business Solution for Asia Pacific, sees the struggle of SMEs as a golden opportunity for the fintech community to provide the right tools to make it easier for them to harness the efficiency and agility of data-driven, digital business models. On a panel discussion titled ‘Business Opportunities for Fintechs in the SME Space’, she said,

“Small businesses are the core of every economy, and hence it's very critical for them to be able to transform their businesses, and for us as the community and the industry to be able to help them.”

A survey of 231 respondents conducted by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in August revealed that nearly half of SMEs and a quarter of large corporations fear they will not survive more than six months due to the coronavirus without further government support. 

Facing uncertain market conditions now and months ahead of time, Calvin Choi from the AMTD Group sees the pandemic as a “good moment of time” for fintech companies to find their position to support market growth, as he shared his insights at another conference on ‘Banking Will Never be the Same’. 

“Fintech can be very adaptive to the ever-changing environment. Fintech companies are simple, relatively more flexible, less regulated, but more innovative.”

One example of a fintech solution built for SMEs is Neat, a Hong Kong-based startup that offers more flexible banking options for SMEs, making it easier to open multi-currency business accounts online, and avoid the traditional fees of sending and receiving payments internationally. The company has also entered a strategic partnership with Visa to issue corporate credit cards targeted at cross-border SMEs.

More SMEs are starting to embrace technology to help them overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic. 

United Overseas Bank (UOB), Accenture and Dun & Bradstreet revealed in August that the majority of SMEs across Asean prioritise technology investments to grow their business under Covid-19. The report also discovered that the majority of small businesses in the region are planning to adopt more digital strategies to improve efficiency. 

“The shift in focus from improving the customer experience to adopting more digital strategies is an indication of SMEs’ realisation of the potential for digitalisation to improve business sustainability,” according to the report Asean SME Transformation Survey 2020.

Written by Olivia Tam
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