13 September 2016 – New Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) students, Lyu Peijin, Xu Yuwen, Wang Yi, Wang Ji, Sylvia Liaw, Anna Ang and Chen Xiang (Team Finnovation), have won the ANZ-NUS Financial Services Innovation Challenge.

The event accelerates digital innovation and collaboration in the fintech ecosystem by exploring how emerging technologies – such as blockchain, cognitive analytics and APIs – can bring innovation to trade and supply chain solutions in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. The challenge was held in the IBM Watson Innovation Studio at the Marina Bay Financial Centre over the weekend.

Team Finnovation’s solution made use of Thomson Reuters, APIs and data analytics. They won because they used a wide variety of tools and data sources to deliver a solution that is commercially applicable to trade finance and could be implemented immediately. The solution is data analytics-based and the real winning factor was that Finnovation’s pitch involved taking on live data on where ships are located and matching it against trade finance documentation so fraudulent documents could be detected much earlier in the process.

The event, organised by ANZ and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business Analytics Centre, challenged NUS students to innovate in trade and supply chain finance. IBM, Thomson Reuters and GitHub were supporting partners of the event, with EY, UN Women and DXMarkets providing mentoring and coaching to the students.

Professor Jorge Sanz, Director of the Business Analytics Centre at NUS, said, “The financial services industry needs constructive innovation, moving value-creation from potential technologies into new revenue streams and/or savings. It is high time that good ideas from new technologies leave the pretence of ‘disruption’ to deliver instead concrete economic and societal improvements through existing financial services organisations. We educate our students in Business Analytics to work with Financial Services, Content Providers and Technology Solutions enterprises and co-create real-life Financial Services Technology solutions beyond the comfort of a laboratory or just ‘promising thinking’. This innovation challenge, organised with some of our main industry partners, is a model event for the education we want our young students to build upon. I am delighted with the range of creative solutions the teams devised in such a short pace of time.”

David Green, CEO of Singapore and Head of South East Asia and India at ANZ, said, “We're delighted with the outcomes from the innovation challenge. Singapore is proving to be a great base for finding new ways of doing things - tapping into the country's growing position as a global fintech centre and the environment that is being built around it. That environment is creating an ecosystem of talent, energy, diverse thinking and partners that we’re proud to be a part of. Our event was a great platform to foster collaboration and innovation, by exposing a group of incredibly smart students to some of our real-world challenges and encouraging them to come up with practical solutions.”

Dirk Claessens, Vice President, IBM Asia Pacific, Analytics, said, "Talent and skills development, especially in new technology, is an integral part of IBM's strategy and continued commitment to innovation and our partnership with ANZ Bank. IBM Bluemix, Watson and Blockchain technologies are optimal building blocks in the development of technology pilots, including finance and trade industries as is the case with this Innovation Challenge. With our IBM experts in Bluemix, Watson Analytics, Blockchain, Trade Finance, UX/UI and Design Thinking working with and mentoring participants, we look forward to what will surely be creative and progressive outcomes."