Interviewed By Foo Boon Ping
Alex Manson and Kelvin Tan of audax discuss how the company enables banks to efficiently modernise technology infrastructure through a core banking agnostic system that can be implemented in less than a year.
SC Ventures by Standard Chartered launched audax, a financial technology solution provider, in September 2023. Kelvin Tan, CEO of audax, and SC Ventures’s global head Alex Manson explained how the company stands out from other technology companies, and how it will impact banking and finance.
Tan emphasised audax’s focus on providing a comprehensive solution that enables banks and financial institutions to efficiently embrace digital transformation and modernise technology infrastructure. The mission revolves around creating modular and scalable digital banking models, promoting financial inclusion, and maintaining a robust, safe, and compliant environment.
Tan continued: “You want a scalable digital banking model and get there fast so you can create returns faster. We will get you there in six to 12 months.”
This ability to offer a swift path to market is a significant advantage in a rapidly evolving financial industry, said Manson. He added that superior speed to market and speed of acquisition will help financial institutions improve returns on tangible equity and enhance profitability.
While SC Ventures is Standard Chartered Bank’s innovation, fintech and venture incubation arm, audax aims to debunk the misconception that it’s exclusively focused on banking-as-a-service. While the company prioritises compliance, security, and resilience, it also envisions the future of financial services as a blend of embedded finance and digital banking business models. The approach transcends merely plugging into current deposit, payment or credit processes and systems; it involves establishing a foundation of trust and stability while facilitating scalability.
Manson reiterated the global mission of audax, with a particular focus on emerging markets in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It collaborates closely with banks with a global footprint such as Standard Chartered, as well as smaller institutions in developing economies, underscoring the importance of security, data privacy, and regulatory compliance, by offering a robust framework for their services.
Tan and Manson stressed the role of partnerships in audax’s strategy. The company works closely with various technology players in the financial ecosystem, including infrastructure providers, technology vendors and system integrators. This collaborative approach ensures seamless integration of solutions into existing financial infrastructures.
Manson stressed that audax’s blend of banking-as-a-service, or embedded finance, and digital banking capabilities sets it apart in the financial technology landscape. The mission to promote financial inclusion and commitment to compliance and security are critical in the evolving financial sector. At the same time, through strategic partnerships and a focus on emerging markets, audax aims to reshape the global financial ecosystem that has become heavily reliant on legacy technology and systems and is in dire need of a refresh.
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