PayPal launches Singapore innovation lab, its first outside the US

The PayPal logo is seen during an event at Terra Gallery in San Francisco, California May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Global online payment major PayPal Inc has launched an Innovation Lab in Singapore, its first outside the United States.

This lab will collaborate with government agencies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), industry associations and institutes of higher learning, to foster innovation, research and development (R&D), entrepreneurship, talent and expertise in Singapore, the company said.

Dr Rohan Mahadevan, chief executive officer of PayPal and SVP of PayPal Asia Pacific, said, “It’s (Singapore) a perfect melting-pot for ideas and innovation – given the strong support from the government, its massive talent pool backed by a world-class educational system, vibrant startup ecosystem, and diverse merchant profiles.”

The Innovation Lab will also develop and nurture the next generation of financial technology (fintech) startups with the PayPal Incubator programme.

Startups incubating with Paypal will enjoy networking opportunities through the companies own network and venture capital (VC) connections, according to the company. Currently, OnePay, Prosecure.me and InvoiceInterchange are incubating there.

Singapore is the second country in the Indo-Asia Pacific after India to host the incubator programme. PayPal’s Technology Center in Chennai, India, has been hosting this programme since 2013.

Focusing on three core areas – productivity, innovation, and education & information technology – it will be partnering with Singaporean universities. One of the first projects the innovation lab will be undertaking is working with SMEs in the food & beverage (F&B) business, with the aim of improving their productivity.

One such instance is embedding digital payments into business operations, which Japanese restaurant Enbu has done. According to Mahadevan, PayPal in partnership with payment solutions partners like TabSquare and Integral Solutions will have equipped in excess of 200 F&B establishments with in-store digital payment capability.

Talent development and university partnership

PayPals’ Innovation Lab will be working closely with Singaporean universities to develop talent pipelines as the country’s fintech sector grows, with the long-term aim of driving growth in the region and the development of intellectual property (IP) such as patents, technology demonstrators, and proofs-of-concept.

The three universities that PayPal is working with are the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore Management University (SMU).

With NUS’ Institute of Systems Science, PayPal is working on developing and refining cybernetic authentication tokens and predictive analytics models that operate on the basis of machine learning in order to enable business forecasting and reducing customer churn rate.

With NTU’s School of Computer Science and Engineering, it is working on contextual environment-based authentication, a credit-worthiness analytics engine that mines Big Data from non-traditional data sources (i.e. social media) to derive credit risk and other behavioural insights to aid loan decisions; and AI-powered know-your-customer (KYC) processes.

Additionally, they are exploring predictive fraud analytics to inhibit and minimise fraud using machine learning and cognitive customer service leveraging on neural networks to 
understand customers’ intent and needs.

With SMU’s School of Information Systems, PayPal is exploring the use of blockchain for digital KYC applications and forefront cryptography technology such as post-quantum cryptography to future-proof PayPal’s risk and security management systems.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.