Standard Chartered makes 'largest' fintech investment for ambitious Asia growth plans

clock • 3 min read
Standard Chartered makes 'largest' fintech investment for ambitious Asia growth plans

Standard Chartered and Singapore-headquartered Atome Financial have announced a 10-year multi-product strategic partnership, combining finance and technology to deliver a wide range of financial services across key markets in Asia.

In a statement on 13 October, Standard Chartered said it planned $500m financing to support Atome Financial to expand its regional offering.
Atome Financial operates a buy now, pay later platform, Atome, and Indonesian digital lending platform Kredit Pintar.

Atome Financial is part of the Advance Intelligence Group, which recently closed a $400M+ Series D financing round from an investor consortium led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Warburg Pincus, valuing the company at more than $2bn.

Our deep knowledge of Asia’s markets coupled with Atome Financial’s experience in digital consumer finance will allow us to reach even more customers and drive greater financial participation of those underserved and underbanked."

The global bank said the deal marked one of its largest strategic investments in a fintech to-date and supported its ambition to expand its reach and scale within the mass market segment via a digital-first approach, underpinned by digital acquisition and new partnership models.

The partnership will initially include buy now pay later services, targeting to roll out in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam in the next few months, and later expand to include digital lending products.

Atome Financial's customers will gain access to more innovative financial services, easily accessed via their mobile devices, it further said.
Atome Financial will bring "extensive experience in consumer finance and a cost-efficient, scalable digital platform".

"Coupled with Standard Chartered's extensive footprint and banking expertise, this strategic partnership aspires to reach over 16 million customers by 2025 and gain access to multiple financial ecosystems in order to capture a share of the digital lending market, valued at USD92 billion by 2025 in South East Asia alone1", Standard Chartered said.

Judy Hsu, CEO, Consumer, Private and Business Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, said: "Riding on our successful digital ventures and partnerships, we continue to be fearlessly innovative in disrupting ourselves to better serve our clients. This partnership with Atome Financial gives us the opportunity to be part of the rapidly growing digital consumer finance ecosystem and provides convenient and relevant digital financial products to complement and enrich clients' digital lives. Our deep knowledge of Asia's markets coupled with Atome Financial's experience in digital consumer finance will allow us to reach even more customers and drive greater financial participation of those underserved and underbanked."

Jefferson Chen, co-founder, group chairman and CEO of Advance Intelligence Group, and CEO of Atome Financial, said: "We are excited to have the support and partnership of Standard Chartered in building towards our mission of using technology to help people advance towards a better life.

By providing consumers with easier, simpler, and more convenient access to a full suite of digital-first financial services, we can accelerate broader financial inclusion across both developed and emerging markets in Asia. At the same time, this partnership with Standard Chartered will allow us to expand our merchant network and help retailers increase their customer base and basket sizes, contributing to economic growth across the region."

Founded in 2016, Advance Intelligence Group is one of the largest independent technology startups based in Singapore and leverages innovative technology and partnerships to build an ecosystem of products and services serving consumers, enterprises and merchants.

Its enterprise business, ADVANCE.AI and Ginee, provide AI-based digital identity verification, risk products and omni-channel merchant services solutions to banks, financial services, fintech, retail and ecommerce industries.

Its consumer business, Atome Financial, operates Atome BNPL and digital lending products in both developed and emerging markets.

Headquartered in Singapore, the Group has presence across South and Southeast Asia, Greater China and Latin America. The Group is backed by top tier investors SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Warburg Pincus, Northstar, Vision Plus Capital, Gaorong Capital, Pavilion Capital, GSR Ventures and EDB Investment.