Global Payments

Accenture Unveils FinTech Lab Startups, Billon Teams Up With FIS

Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific. In addition, Europe’s Billon has signed a letter of intent with FIS, and Credit Suisse is seeking a banking license in Saudi Arabia.

Europe’s Billon has signed a letter of intent with financial technology provider FIS to explore joint product development and sales opportunities for its corporate blockchain solutions. With the agreement, Billon and FIS also seek to explore potential collaboration on corporate and SME payments, as well as micropayments for digital and smartphone devices.

“FIS has a leading role in setting and maintaining technology standards for the global financial services industry, making this agreement a historic milestone for Billon and a massive step forwards for civilized blockchain technology,” Billion’s founder and CEO, Andrzej Horoszczak, said in an announcement. “Billon’s mission is to civilize blockchain technology to solve the world’s financial and data management problems.”

In Asia, eight FinTech startups have been chosen for Accenture’s 2018 FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific, the firm said in a announcement. The annual 12-week mentorship program, which launched in 2014 in Hong Kong, received applications from over 160 firms. This year, companies are tackling regulatory technology (RegTech), financial planning, identity authentication, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud-based delivery and software-as-a-service (SaaS). In all, the startups are designed to help financial institutions (FI) take on many challenges.

“The best way for financial institutions to keep up with all the disruption around them is by launching their own innovations and learning what their customers want from the different technologies out there,” Piyush Singh, senior managing director for Accenture’s Financial Services in Asia-Pacific and Africa, said in the announcement. “The innovative solutions we’ve seen from startups at the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific offer a window into the changes shaping the financial industry, which is becoming more customer-centric, digital and mobile.”

Credit Suisse is seeking a banking license in Saudi Arabia, the biggest economy in the Middle East, Zawya reported. During a news conference, Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said, “I have been to Riyadh, I met the head of SAMA [the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority], I made the application myself.”



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.