Bitcoin has taken its investors on a wild ride in recent months. Just this week, prices soared to more than $11,300, then fell back to around $9,000. Some experts speculate that the Bitcoin boom is a bubble, while others predict that its value could continue to rise. Whatever happens, there are those in the Southeast Asian tech scene who predict that cryptocurrency startups will be winners either way.
The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba wracked up $25.3 billion in sales during its Singles Day extravaganza, beating last year's numbers by 40%. The online shopping frenzy was a bigger financial success than Black Friday, America's day of blatant consumerism. But the company is no doubt especially celebrating its performance in Southeast Asia, where it's been making a strong push in recent years.
Advances in technology can make obtaining a mortgage faster
Electronic mortgage services are expected to revolutionise the home-ownership industry
You can often manage your repayment and remortgaging agreements online
Few milestones are more significant than buying a home. Whether you're a first-time buyer or need more space as your family grows, the idea of buying a house inspires a sense of excitement and adventure.
But daydreams of cozy breakfast nooks, man caves and pastel nurseries can u...
In entrepreneur Ayesha Khanna’s view, microfinance is only part of the equation. She believes microinsurance must go hand-in-hand with microfinance, and she sees artificial intelligence as the catalyst for both in the emerging markets of Asia.
Spacetech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia are positioning Singapore as a potential hub for spacetech exploration, and satellite development could prove a cornerstone of these efforts. Prof. Kay Soon Low, director of the Satellite Technology and Research Centre (STAR) at the National University Singapore, said domestic and foreign interest in satellites has ramped up in recent years, bolstering Singapore’s status as a hotspot for spacetech innovation.
“In recent years, several ...
Like many people, my 30s have been a time for some serious growing up. Hoping to mature into a more thoughtful, restrained person (financially and otherwise), I spoke with a therapist who offered this simple advice for any situation: “Before you jump in, ask yourself, ‘How do I want to feel tomorrow?’” Anticipating how a decision might affect me both physically and emotionally the day after gave me a new perspective. Sure, the bar was open, but did I want to live through a day of head pounding regret? Not really. Did I need to load up on cheap Italian food when visiting family in New Jersey?
Blockchain technology is already reshaping the remittance market in Southeast Asia, but it holds a great deal of potential for the region's travel industry as well. Tourism plays a significant role in many Southeast Asian economies, including Thailand and Vietnam. Drawn by historical and cultural attractions along with low-cost travel and lush beaches, millions of backpackers and luxury travelers flock to the region each year. In 2016, Thailand alone saw more than 32.5 million international t...
Financing is a core driver in achieving economic equality for women. The World Bank reports that women own 30-37% of small- and medium-sized enterprises in emerging markets. But many struggle to grow because they don’t have formal bank accounts and cannot secure credit or loans.
“Access to credit can open up economic opportunities for women, and bank accounts can be a gateway to the use of additional financial services,” according to the World Bank. “However, women entrepreneurs and employers face significantly greater challenges than men in gaining access to financial services.”
Through its partnerships with microfinancing organizations, Hapinoy is helping close that gap for women in the Philippines. Hapinoy is also facilitating tech partnerships that benefit the shops’ growth, as well as improved access to financial services in poor and rural communities. These services include mobile bill payment and remittance transfers, which are particularly crucial in areas where many families are supported by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Hapinoy founder and social entrepreneur Mark Ruiz said accommodating the demand for mobile services is key to the sari-sari stores’ futures.
Achieving universal financial access requires a multi-pronged strategy. One aspect of that is extending lending services to people who have sparse credit histories or who have been unable to open traditional banking accounts.
Lenddo, a fintech company that deals in non-traditional data, is helping lenders reach such consumers. Founded by CEO Richard Eldridge and Chairman Jeffrey Stewart in 2011, Lenddo operates on the premise that non-traditional data can be used to vet potential borrowers and provide financing to underserved consumers.
Startups like Coins, which use cryptocurrencies behind the scenes to offer fast, low-cost services to their customers, may be on the front lines of improving financial inclusion in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. Thanks to growing mobile phone penetration, even low-income consumers can take advantage of their services.
The people behind Timo, Vietnam’s first neobank, are offering an alternative to traditional banking. Rather than operating formal branches, Timo invites customers to its “hangouts,” which are hybrid coffee shop-banking centers.
“The BSP knows that Bitcoin as a technology will be almost impossible to regulate, and they basically sat down with us and hammered down the best possible way to regulate, and in effect, legitimize, the industry itself,” said Miguel Cuneta, co-founder of Satoshi Citadel Industries and Bitcoin Organization Philippines. “What they did was to regulate the points of entry and exit of Bitcoin and other crypto to Philippine pesos, which makes a lot of sense on their end. Of course, there is also consumer protection and anti-money laundering to consider, and they made provisions for that, too.”
A growing number of people are opting for location-independent lifestyles as so-called “digital nomads,” those who work remotely while traveling. Exactly how many fall into this category is difficult to quantify, but with the Digital Nomads Around the World Facebook group at almost 37,000 members and the Webworktravel - Digital Nomad Network page at more than 21,000 members, there is clearly an interest in working while you see the world.
You can do a lot with a laptop and a good Wi-Fi connection, and among nomadic digital workers, professions vary. On any given day in a nomad hub like Chiang Mai, you might meet writers, programmers, designers, SEO experts, affiliate marketers, and dropshippers. You can co-work in the middle of rice fields in Bali, reply to emails on a pristine Thai beach, and network over coffee and arepas in Medellin.
But can globetrotting ever truly be compatible with financial stability and career success? I turned to some veteran digital nomads to find out.
It may seem unsexy, but meetings with a financial advisor will prove invaluable for you and your spouse. Unless you’re both experts at managing money, professional finance advice can help you establish solid footing for your life as a couple. From saving to investing to building a diverse portfolio, you really want to meet with someone who can assess your situation and devise a plan for financial success. These meetings can be costly, so use your registry to help lessen the burden.
You’ve probably been hearing since you were a kid that your wedding day is the biggest, most important day of your life. And while it will probably rank pretty high on your list of momentous occasions, “biggest, most important” really packs on the pressure, both to your psyche and your wallet.