Telling a Human, Tech Story

By | News, NUS Enterprise

Xfers: The journey to becoming the first start-up holder of a Widely Accepted Stored Value Facility

A pair of brothers, Tianwei Liu and Tianyao Liu and their friends Victor Liew and Samson Leo — three computer engineers and one legal professional amongst themselves — have just set a new benchmark for fintech start-ups.

Their fintech start-up Xfers has just been approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as the fifth, behind EZ-Link Card, NETS CashCard, NETS Flashpay and CapitaVoucher; the only fintech start-up holder of a Widely Accepted Stored Value Facility (WA SVF). The Xfers Wallet can now hold more than S$30 million of stored value, backed by an approved bank.

Although the four co-founders started Xfers only four years ago in Singapore, the seeds of their fintech start-up were planted years ago, when two of them embarked on the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) Programme in Silicon Valley and Stockholm.

“Silicon Valley and Stanford (Partner University for NOC Silicon Valley) were magical. Birthplaces of some of the biggest technology companies of our era, “start-up” was in the air. Everywhere, be it on the college campus or at a cafe downtown, people were either talking about start-ups or working on one with a couple of friends. You can’t help but feel that everything is possible if you put your mind to it,” recalled CEO Tianwei Liu (NUS ‘2011).

“In many ways, the one year I spent in the Valley changed my life. The people I met coupled with the start-up culture that I was exposed to motivated me into planning for my own technology start-up and also laid the foundation which enabled me to do so when the opportunity presented itself almost 5 years later in 2015,” he added.

Tianyao Liu (NUS ‘2008), Xfers’ Head of Business Development, also credited his year-long internship on board the NOC Stockholm Programme for opening his eyes “to the world of entrepreneurship. It marked the beginning of my (his) entrepreneurial journey, foraying into building HR SaaS, e-commerce, mobile payment and leading up to co-founding of Xfers”.

In the very competitive fintech industry, Xfers stands out for being able to provide powerful API and SDK tools to fellow fintech and digital platform businesses to help them accept payments from their customers, as well as onboard, verify, and pay their customers and vendors, all via a single solution.

“Instead of spending months working in-house on customer onboarding and verification processes, integrating multiple payment options, obtaining licenses and dealing with multiple banking partners, fintech and digital platform businesses can now just integrate Xfers’ API/SDK solution to get their payment infrastructure up and running on their platforms in a matter of days”, explained CTO Victor Liew (NUS ‘2012). He added that Xfers’ technological edge lies in their “ability to iterate new ideas quickly and cheaply while ensuring compliance with regulations”.

Emphasizing the role that legal and compliance play in their business, Victor pointed out that “they take a front seat when it comes to designing new product features. By getting the technical team to work hand in hand with the legal and compliance teams from day one, we are able to challenge many previously established norms and assumptions to arrive at innovative technological solutions that meet existing regulatory challenges. We have created a conducive environment for our engineers to experiment with new ideas, learn from failures, and be groomed to be a world class software engineers”.

Chief Legal Officer Samson Leo (NUS ‘2011), who led a cross-departmental working group comprising legal, compliance, business and finance team members towards the successful approval by MAS of the WA SVF, explained that “regtech and compliance tech help fintech and digital businesses comply better with regulatory requirements (e.g. anti-money laundering regulations) and at a greater effectiveness and efficiency”.

“With our regtech integration, certain regulated businesses can dispense with manual processes for due diligence and customer verification. Customers can easily sign up for Xfers accounts using their Singpass and start transacting in minutes, without the need to fill forms or submit their NRIC, as we have integrated the government’s MyInfo solution onto our platform. This translates to increased sales and less customer drop-off for these businesses”, Samson added.

“Xfers believes that the high up-front regulatory and compliance preparation required is a challenge that all fintech start-ups face before they can become operational. Unlike banks which have dedicated compliance teams, these start-ups typically make do with skeletal compliance support. Xfers aims to accelerate the growth of these businesses in Southeast Asia — Xfers currently operate in Indonesia as well — by lowering the barriers to entry for them. Through Xfers, they can commence operations speedily while ensuring they remain regulation-compliant.”

“Know Your Customer (KYC)” is one of the essential regtech tools. In the same vein, the one tip that these four fintechpreneurs have for budding start-ups is to “Know Yourself” — to embark on a journey of self-discovery and enrichment, through going on internships and mentoring programmes, participating in and engaging with industries and start-up communities; to attend start-up events and industry conferences. After all, it was through such mentorship programmes that they knew themselves.

Visit www.xfers.com to find out more about the Xfers payment service

https://medium.com/@NUSEnterprise/xfers-the-journey-to-becoming-the-first-start-up-holder-of-a-widely-accepted-stored-value-facility-e65622907135

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Gateway to Ecological Wonders of the Atlantic

By | Investor Pitch-Story

Nestled in Rubane, in the beautiful Bijagos Archipelago, off Guinea Bissau, Africa, Itenkauri is your gateway to UNESCO’s Bolama-Bijagos Biosphere Reserve. Discover 77,000 unique animal species amidst diverse terrestrial, costal and marine ecosystems – mangrove forests, palm groves, coastal woodland savannahs, semi-dry forests and aquatic zones – right from your doorstep.

Experience www.itenkauri.com

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Weaving a Brand Story from a Circle, TCMTrend, 慈 and 恒

By | Brand Story

Power of the Sun

The Sun, as the most potent symbol of energy, is the source of inspiration for our brand. This yang energy of the warmest gold, reflects the vibrancy that the universe can bring to our lives.

Goodness of the Earth

More than anything else, the sun’s light generously lends its gift to nourish life on the yin-earth. The brown earth is a gentle reminder to mankind to show mercy慈 to all lives on earth, including those of animals and plants and to bestow everlasting恒compassion as care-givers and as advocates of health and vigour.

Paving of a Trend

At TCMTrend, we humbly respect this “circle” of life balance and order that nature originally intended for us. And through our holistic approach in embracing traditional as well as the most current TCM principles, medicinal and psychological techniques, we will uphold a new way of invigorating a treatment practice which first took root 5,000 years ago.

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Story-telling through Logo Symbolism

By | Brand Story

Cross

The cross embodies the Catholic virtues of faith, peace and love upon which Shelton founded its ethos. All the design elements of the logo meet at the heart of the cross, the center of all that guides Shelton and its value system.

Dove

The dove, symbolizing the Holy spirit, soaring high in the sky towards the centre of the cross, also communicates the accelerated learning at Shelton.

Book

A book which spells knowledge shows Shelton as a centre for education.

Progression

The top ends of the three strokes form the steps of progression, where students literally advance in Shelton’s enriching learning and holistic environment.

Pathways

The same three strokes also carve out two pathways (perceived in the negative spaces) representing the educational pathways offered by Shelton.

Pillars

The vertical length of the cross is shaped by three bold strokes, inspired by the Roman columns of St. Peter’s Church. These pillars of strength from an architectural perspective, which has the viewer looking up, towards the cross and the dove in flight.

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Invest in “a part of history in the making”

By | Investor Pitch-Story

“Africha World is a vision of epic proportions. Not only does it bring to life the rich cultural heritage of a seminal civilization, it has the potential to revive an entire continent economically and socially.

The market opportunity presented by this development project is two-fold.

Firstly, Africha World is set to become an international attraction with its world class golf resort, hotel and convention centre, entertainment complex and amusement park featuring top of the line amenities, priced affordably.

Secondly, Africha World will become home to 100,000 Ghanaians and international residents who are expected to pour in, thanks to various positive external factors including the recent discovery of oil in Ghana.

Industry sources indicate that Ghana’s current residential property demand is 90,000 units per annum, with an accumulated shortfall of 250,000 housing units. Africha World will play a vital role in filling this significant gap. In addition, the investment climate in Ghana provides political stability, economic growth and a regulatory environment that welcomes international investment.

For the financial savvy investor, Africha World is a sound investment opportunity that promises great returns. For the socially conscious investor, it is your way of impacting the lives of millions.

For the rest of us who believe that we can shape our history by leaving our indelible mark, Africha World is that mark of legacy. Accept this opportunity to be a part of history in the making.”

Read Full Story (Brochure PDF)

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In the Manner of Emperors, 4,000 years ago

By | Brand Story

The search for lingzhi, the “King of Herbs”, the elixir of life, began 4,000 years ago with the Emperor’s Imperial Order. A rare herb, lingzhi was only consumed by the very rich and powerful.

In an effort to make the rare red Songshan lingzhi available to people everywhere, Dato Dr Jannie Tay sent a scientific team to the forests of China, trekking for ten days over ten kilometres – only to find a handful of specimens.

Not deterred, with three generations of TCM/pharmacology expertise and the help of R&D labs, she was able to replicate the elusive GTJ lingzhi in culture farms in China, bring back the nostalgia of home-prepared herbs in grandma’s kitchen, stamping off with Scientific Tradition’s imperial quality seal of authority!

In the manner of emperors, 4,000 years ago.

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