SC Ventures, the fintech, investment, and ventures arm of Standard Chartered, has invested in Singapore-headquartered finTech firm BetterTradeOff (BTO) to boost the digital wealth advisory landscape.

Both parties said in a statement on Thursday that the investment will provide the ballast for BTO’s next phase of technological enhancements as well as geographical expansion into key markets in Asia and beyond.

BTO, a fintech SaaS platform, provides scalable comprehensive financial advice through an API-based architecture.

The fintech firm leverages advanced statistical models, enabling financial institutions to configure and deploy bespoke solutions, within three months, in accordance with local rules, languages, and tax considerations.

BTO’s solution has already been successfully deployed in seven markets — Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

BTO is also gearing up to expand and localize offerings in the United States.

“The investment from one of Asia’s leading financial institutions, is a testament to our platform and the role of digital advice in enabling financial institutions to effectively engage and connect with clients at scale in a compliant manner,” said Laurent Bertrand, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BTO.

“Beyond the monetary aspect of the investment, it also facilitates a commercial partnership to accelerate our go-to-market timeframe and bring the benefits of comprehensive financial planning to the millions of clients they serve globally,” he added.

According to the statement, the digital financial advice solutions available currently are often too simple or too complex; and could fail to give consumers the control, clarity or the confidence to buy financial products.

Despite financial institutions investing billions of dollars in technology, less than 20 percent of consumers are confident of completing complex banking activities themselves online.

BTO was established to close this digital financial advice gap and enable everyone to secure and protect their financial future.

BTO’s digital platform simplifies the task of building a sound and comprehensive financial plan. Users can set up an initial plan in minutes by entering their current financial details.

From there, they can drag and drop different goals into their plan and see how they can attain their retirement goals.

The tool also provides users with a complete picture of all their finances — from investments, insurance policies, and property, right down to their monthly living expenses.

BTO’s unique hybrid solution allows users to plan independently, or together with their advisors, on the same platform.

BTO is an existing partner for Standard Chartered. In 2021, Standard Chartered launched SC Goals Planner — a digital wealth management and financial planning solution — to provide its customers in Singapore with comprehensive financial planning.

Available via the bank’s online portal and mobile app, the solution leverages BTO’s technology to empower Standard Chartered clients to independently plan and track their financial goals through real-life simulations and insights specific to their life stages and financial status.

“We invested in BTO because the solution helps people to proactively plan their future, addressing scenarios such as inflation or recession,” said Alex Manson, who leads SC Ventures.

“We are happy to welcome BTO to the SC Ventures’ ecosystem and look forward to helping BTO scale their offering,” he added.

In 2022, Achmea, a leading Dutch financial services provider, made a minority investment in BTO via the Achmea Innovation Fund.

This year BTO launched a pilot project with Achmea to help Dutch citizens understand and prepare for the pension system’s transition from defined benefit to defined contribution.

This pilot project will test how the fintech’s software could transform the European pension industry.

“We are grateful for the support of Achmea and Standard Chartered as we continue to expand and grow,

“Looking ahead, we will continue to work with them to drive product innovation and leverage their ecosystems of technology partners to bring deeper and more holistic innovation to market,” Bertrand said.

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