As DigFin prepares to jump into a another year’s worth of content, coverage and insight into digital finance, we thought we’d first take a look at the stories on our site that generated the most traffic in the past 12 months.
Our top five most-read stories were a mix of disruption and transformation, startups and incumbents – across multiple segments of financial services.
This story came out of a project DigFin did to support research by Kaplan, the education company. We helped them organize a successful event in Hong Kong that attracted a mix of geeks, robos, asset managers and fund distributors. Regardless of what you think of the methodology, the research by Elena Okhonko stirred a debate around what defines quality in robo-advisors, a good discussion to have.
Two years ago, as we were just getting DigFin off the ground, there was only one bank in Asia that had any fintech street cred: DBS. It now has company. All three of Singapore’s banks have become serious about innovation and integrating digital into their daily businesses. We interviewed Dennis Khoo at UOB about how the bank is putting “mobile first” into action.
It’s common wisdom that big insurance companies are too scared of their agents to engage in meaningful digital innovation. Our story profiled in detail how AXA AFFIN won the support of its most productive agents in order to launch a digital business – against the backdrop of a mid-sized market in the throes of an all-out war among payment app providers.
This is probably one of the most boring headlines we’ve come up with, and yet this story did phenomenally well. Why? Because it involves big insurers and cutting-edge tech companies using tools to create brand-new market segments. We got into the nitty-gritty, so our audience could really appreciate what these firms are doing. It’s a great example of incumbents harnessing innovation to create new revenue opportunities and give more people access to financial services.
Singapore, China and Canada get a lot of attention for government-backed projects in blockchain, but those are still PoCs. Saudi Arabia says it’s actually deploying a digital token for cross-border payments via Ripple. The world will want to see what actually comes of this project. But in a year of ICO hangovers, two central banks saying they’d go live with a digital currency? No wonder this was our most-read story in 2018.