XTransfer CEO Bill Deng Speaks on Digital Finance at Nikkei Forum
China cross-border fintech leader weighs in on future of digital finance in China, Southeast Asia and beyond
Shanghai, March 16, 2021/ Businesswire/ -- Bill Deng, founder and chief executive of China's leading cross-border payment and risk management services provider, today spoke at the Nikkei Forum Innovative Asia 2021 Summit held in Singapore.
Now into its third year, Nikkei Forum Innovative Asia this year revolved around the theme of "Reshaping the future growth in post-pandemic Asia."
Meant to spur meaningful discussion on the role of Asia in global economy over the coming years, the forum consisted of three panel discussions: Panel 1 - Growing from Singapore during the pandemic; Panel 2 - Reconfiguration of global value chains and digitalization; Panel 3 - Opportunities in digital financial services.
Moderated by Joji Thomas Philips, founder and editor-in-chief of DealStreetAsia, an online publication covering deal making in Asia, Bill Deng was joined by Reuben Lai, Senior Managing Director at Grab Financial Group, and Rajeev Kannan, Managing Executive Officer of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, in the panel on digital finance.
Founded in 2017, Shanghai-based XTransfer has built an AI-driven anti-money laundering risk management platform to connect global and local banks with SME exporters, Deng said while introducing XTranfer's history and major milestones.
XTransfer's big data-driven platform matches SMEs' needs for cross-border financial services like payment with the offerings of banks. At the same time, it ensures their collections comply with stringent global anti-money laundering rules.
Southeast Asia has overtaken the United States as China's largest export destination. In the context of shifting tides in global trade, XTransfer set up an office in Singapore last year, a move aimed primarily at extending its regional financial partnership network.
"We would like to have Singapore as a hub for our global local collection services," Deng told the forum. "We are also looking at how we can use Singapore's capability to serve exporters in those ASEAN countries."
As it sets sights on tapping further into growth markets in Southeast Asia, XTransfer is also fixated on delivering its core payment and risk management services to those affected by the pandemic.
Now that travel restrictions largely bar people from applying for bank services themselves, the "digital bridge" built by XTransfer between SMEs and global banks has been "very useful" for accessing critically needed financial services, said Deng.
He added wider adoption of digitalization since the onset of the pandemic is a trend that will continue.
While companies across the board will benefit from this trend, fintech companies that ride the wave of digitalization are likely to reap the biggest rewards. "For B2B entrepreneurs, the window of opportunity has never been larger," he explained.
Currently, the degree of digitalization in the B2B space is comparable to how things were in 1995 when eBay was founded. Admitting the big challenge ahead, Deng said a market yet to be dominated by any titan represents a huge opportunity for startup firms like XTransfer.
"If we provide the SME-focused payment services, we will be able to aggregate a huge number of customers," he noted. "We will be able to build a large platform like eBay, PayPal or Amazon for B2B trade."
Asked if fragmentation will be a hurdle when making forays into the Southeast Asian market, Deng observed that XTransfer can take cues from peers like PayPal, whose successes in the region prove there is a way around the issue of fragmentation.
In January, XTransfer had completed a fresh Series C2 round of funding. With enough financial wherewithal, Deng said the company has invested vigorously in its future, such as expanding its sales team and cementing its position as the No. 1 player in the cross-border B2B payment segment.
XTransfer was founded in May 2017 by six ex-Ant Financial and Alibaba employees. XTransfer cooperates with banks from various countries to set up a globally unified B2B financial network and intelligent risk management system, and launches comprehensive solutions of various cross-border financial services, such as global account opening, foreign currency exchange, and foreign exchange declaration. XTransfer strives to remove the hurdle for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter the global market and improve their worldwide competitiveness.
Company Name: XTransfer
Contact Person: Kefei Wei