SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, has launched audax Financial Technology (audax), a digital banking technology solutions provider.

SC Ventures said in a statement on Thursday that the platform is designed to empower banks and financial institutions to accelerate their digital transformation, deliver new business models, serve new customer segments and derive new revenue streams.

According to the statement, by 2030, the business-to-business to any-end-user (B2B2X) market is expected to reach $440 billion in annual revenues, driven by advancements in the financial infrastructure, digital banking and embedded finance space.

It said that audax will play a part in this growth market by helping incumbent banks in two distinct use cases: digital banking and banking-as-a-service (BaaS).

It is noted that audax provides an end-to-end digital banking platform with modularized capabilities that are designed to efficiently handle millions of customer data concurrently.

Its plug-and-play solution serves the entire client lifecycle — from client and staff interfaces, to deposits and lending products, to client servicing and data reporting.

Built to complement incumbent banks’ core systems, audax’s infrastructure-agnostic technology also enables banks to pursue modern digital transformation without the need for costly and time-consuming in-house development or migration.

Prior to launch, audax’s solution powered Standard Chartered nexus (SC nexus), a white-label plug-and-play BaaS offering for large ecosystem players.

Through SC nexus, Standard Chartered Bank was the first global bank to provide BaaS in Asia. Successful partnerships, include Bukalapak, an Indonesian all-commerce platform.

Using audax’s technology, Standard Chartered nexus enabled BukaTabungan to simplify its digital account opening journey to be as fast as two minutes, since customers do not have to visit a physical branch or speak to a banker to complete an application.

This is achieved through audax’s advanced automation, plus security technologies that employ artificial intelligence, biometric facial recognition and E-KTP (Indonesia’s biometrics-enabled ID program) validation.

With audax’s platform, SC nexus will help Sociolla, a beauty e-commerce platform, set up digital banking for their customers. audax is also slated to support SC nexus with its third partner in a second market, targeted to launch in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“Audax’s digital banking solutions will help financial institutions unlock more opportunities,” said Alex Manson, who leads SC Ventures.

“The successful partnership between Standard Chartered and Bukalapak to launch BukaTabungan is an example of how audax has provided a truly paperless, digital banking access, serving Bukalapak’s ecosystem of more than 150 million users and 20 million business owners,

“Going forward, audax can achieve the same for any other financial institution looking to partner with any platform,” he said.

Headquartered in Singapore, audax aims to become a home-grown global technology company.

The fintech is focused on accelerating the technology ecosystem starting with the Asia Pacific region.

Its current mission is to empower banks and financial institutions to scale and modernize at speed with audax’s digital banking capabilities.

Kelvin Tan, the former Managing Director and Global Head of SC nexus, will lead audax as its Chief Executive Officer, together with most of his incumbent team.

According to the statement, audax will continue to serve Standard Chartered in a commercial capacity by powering its BaaS proposition, SC nexus, for current and future partnerships.

Having navigated complex technical and regulatory environments within the ecosystem of a global bank and boasting a proven track record in driving client success through its external partnerships, the team is confident in helping incumbent banks achieve similar digital transformation results successfully.

“The meaning of audax is ‘courage’ – and that is exactly the defining characteristic of the team we’ve built and needed for what we are about to achieve,” Tan said.

“We are excited to push the frontiers of what is considered possible. audax has showcased the potential of BaaS and how it has scaled the digital business for Standard Chartered, enabling them to acquire new-to-bank customers at a fraction of traditional customer acquisition costs,

“We are now ready to scale it for other banks and financial institutions globally, helping everyone create better value for their business without risking their existing estate,” he added.

SC Ventures is a business unit that provides a platform and catalyst for Standard Chartered to promote innovation, invest in disruptive financial technology and explore alternative business models.

SC Ventures was established in 2018 as a new business unit to lead digital innovation and to invest in Financial Technology companies.

It aims to scale breakthrough business models, having launched 30+ new ventures, 2,700+ fintech Bridge community and 22 portfolio companies under its belt.

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