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Proprietary Technology that Propels Innovative Financial Services to New Levels

Fintech, a relatively new term coined to represent “Financial Technology”, has become a buzzword in the finance industry in recent times. The trend of creating new financial services via innovative technology is led by startups and took off in a big way in countries such as the US and the UK. In Asia, interest over fintech has surged tremendously in recent times, with a number of financial companies taking a closer look on the development of this sector and its implications on their own businesses.

For iFAST Corp, the spirit of “Fintech” has been established since the early days of our business. We started as a relatively small financial services company in the year 2000 with the rollout of FSM in Singapore, and we had to create a strong impression on the investor community. Armed with our belief that the investor community was not being offered the best investment experience, we worked hard to create an FSM portal that could make a positive difference with investors, with our emphasis on transparency and research. The engine that made all the different components come together and run smoothly was our IT system.
Our management team was clear that for us to make a difference in the life of investors and wealth advisers, we have to build an innovative and robust IT system that constantly propels our platform services to new improved levels. From the early days of our business, we have built our IT solutions in-house. The guiding principle behind having our IT team in-house is that for innovative services and solutions to be made regularly and rapidly, we must provide our IT teams with a progressive working environment.

Over the years, with a strong frontend and backend system, and progressive developments on our websites and mobile applications, we have been able to deliver reliable and innovative services to our customers. With our business and operations largely Internet-based, we believe our focus on the continual enhancement of our systems, initiatives such as improving the ease of navigation and transactional capabilities, as well as improving user experience and interface, will help us remain competitive in both our B2C and B2B business divisions. Improvements in IT offerings also help to lower cost and improve speed of delivery of our services to clients. Our dependency on external IT services and maintenance can be significantly reduced, and we are also able to speed up the process to develop and roll out new IT initiatives.

In recent years, with a growing trend towards mobile computing, we have developed an array of mobile applications for different mobile operating systems, including specialised applications on iPad, iPhone and Android-based devices, while specifically targeting both DIY investors as well as wealth advisers and their clients. As a testimonial to our devotion in integrating investment capabilities with the latest technological trends, we clinched the Silver award at the Mob-Ex Awards 2014 with the “FSM Mobile” Consumer App in the “Most Informative Use of Mobile” category.

In 2015, our IT teams enhanced the FSM Mobile by adding new functions, including a brand new interface to integrate and feature new products that we have brought onboard. Now, other than information on funds, investors in Singapore and Hong Kong can readily have access to bond updates on our mobile applications and be kept in the loop on the newest bond issuances offered on the platform. After using the various tools available on the application to select and compare bonds,investors are now able to perform bond transactions on-the-go.

In 2015, we have introduced a new structure internally for our IT teams, namely the “iFAST IT Partnership” (ITP) programme. The objective is to provide an environment that gives greater freedom and independence to our IT partnerships to drive projects, very much akin to running their own business, while being given the incentives, support and environment to innovate. The structure is somewhat similar in spirit to the partnership structure traditionally found in some audit and law firms, but with some tweaks to make sense for our business. With greater incentives, we hope that our IT partnerships can drive our fintech growth to newer and greater heights, all for the benefit of our clients.