Companies and Consumers Alike Clamour for Safe and Speedy Fintech Platforms

NEW YORK, May 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers and businesses alike find themselves transitioning from traditional cash payment methods towards new, innovative technologically advanced alternatives. Financial technology, or fintech, is the latest tech development that is gaining prominence and replacing conventional financial services in various sectors such as payments, e-commerce, banks, social trading, and wealth management. The technology provides users with financial data security as well as convenient and fast transactions, thus leading to smooth operations and a more flawless cash-flow. The fintech market is witnessing strong growth particularly within the blockchain industry, data security, and mobile banking applications. Blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts are all gaining prominence because of their ability to process digital transactions at a much faster rate, as well as provide privacy for the user. IndustryARC suggests that the blockchain segment is expected to witness the fastest growth due to its technological advancements. Moreover, cybersecurity is also a key component within fintech as companies are vulnerable to financial losses due to cyber-attacks, which is prompting them to heavily invest in better technology. Overall, the combination of blockchain-based systems and advanced security has led to the emergence of mobile banking applications. Almost every single bank has implemented its own mobile banking app that allows its customers to access their accounts and make transactions to one another across the world. Mobile applications are creating a major opportunity within the fintech industry, such that many vendors and businesses have begun to delve into the industry. For instance, tech companies develop the platform, while banks and financial institutions are adopting and integrating the tech. Additionally, the advancing technology, as well as the widespread use of mobile banking applications, is causing the fintech marketplace to have a profound global impact. According to data compiled by IndustryARC, the global fintech market was valued at approximately USD 145 Billion in 2018. By 2025, the industry is expected to witness a CAGR between 25% to 30% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2025. CLPS Incorporation (NASDAQ: CLPS), The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS), UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS), Virtu Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIRT).

The acceleration of the fintech market is largely due to the expansion of the overall e-commerce marketspace. Consumers can easily shop for products they desire such as home goods, electronics, appliances, and even groceries from the comfort of their homes on their computers or phones. A key component to e-commerce businesses is the financial technology that allows them to run. Businesses and consumers both want an advanced platform that can support the influx of users as well as provide strong security. Furthermore, the fintech industry is also expanding due to high profile investments, as well as mergers and acquisitions. In 2018, global mega deals drove a record high of USD 111.8 Billion in investments, up 120% year-over-year, according to KPMG. Moreover, the large investments also led to multiple record highs across fintech investments, including venture capital, corporate venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity. "Beyond new fintech-fueled business models, the increasing regulatory and legal obligations emanating from PSD2, GDPR and other regulations are impacting both established players and emerging fintechs," said Anton Ruddenklau, Global Co-Lead, KPMG Fintech. "As a result, there is increasing interest in technologies  - like AI and machine learning  - that can be used to help manage compliance requirements more effectively. There's little doubt that technology investment is going to go up, up, up."

CLPS Incorporation (NASDAQ: CLPS) earlier last week announced, "a strategic investment in Economic Modeling Information Technology Co., Ltd. ("EMIT"), a financial big data company. Upon closing of the transaction, CLPS will hold a 30% ownership stake in EMIT.

Established in 2017, EMIT was founded by a team of PhD faculty members from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics ("SHUFE") in cooperation with SHUFE's Fintech Research Institute. EMIT provides financial modeling and analysis services to financial services companies and delivers a full range of value-added data mining and data analytics IT solutions to its clients that include intelligent investment systems, risk warning systems, and credit card decision engine core systems. EMIT's "financial data modeling platform + financial risk warning platform" business model provides its customers with comprehensive financial data services, such as financial data strategic planning, service mode design, and risk control.

Mr. Raymond Lin, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CLPS, commented, 'Big data has become an important area of technological advancement in the financial industry. Our strategic investment in EMIT allows us to expand upon our expertise in providing the financial industry with applications of industry-leading technologies. EMIT's expertise in data modeling, deep learning and machine learning, and blockchain technology will benefit CLPS's future development by further expanding our client network. In addition, by offering applications of data mining, we will be able to extend our competitive edge in the banking, insurance and financial sectors.'

About CLPS Incorporation: Headquartered in Shanghai, China, CLPS Incorporation (the "Company") (Nasdaq: CLPS) is a global leading information technology ("IT"), consulting and solutions service provider focusing on the banking, insurance and financial sectors. The Company serves as an IT solutions provider to a growing network of clients in the global financial industry, including large financial institutions in the US, Europe, Australia and Hong Kong and their PRC-based IT centers. The Company maintains ten delivery and/or research & development centers to serve different customers in various geographic locations. Mainland China centers are located in Shanghai, Beijing, Dalian, Tianjin, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The remaining three global centers are located in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. For further information regarding the Company, please visit:"

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement. Recently, The Western Union Company and Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, had come together to spur the next generation of disruption in the fintech sector with a focus on payments and seamless global money transfer. Over the next three years, Western Union will work with Techstars to run a mentorship-driven accelerator program and provide seed funding for startups out of its new Denver-based headquarters. Each year, 10 startups will form a class that takes part in Techstars proven accelerator program including interacting with and receiving mentoring from Western Union executives. "Through the accelerator program, we will mentor startups to test their ideas, focus their concepts, and help them bring-to-market innovative customer solutions to the ever-changing financial industry," said Hikmet Ersek, President & Chief Executive Officer at Western Union. "By joining forces with Techstars, we will have access to entrepreneurial talent to help us identify cutting-edge technologies and approaches to solve customer pain points."

Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) is one of the world's leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies. Recently, SVC Ltd. for Risk Capital for SMEs (SVC Ltd.), an investment vehicle of Credit Suisse in Switzerland, invested in Assetmax AG, an asset management service provider based in Zurich and Lugano. This is SVC Ltd.'s second investment in a fintech after providing Tradeplus 24 AG with growth capital in the fourth quarter of last year. SVC Ltd. has a total of CHF 130 Million available for investments in Swiss SMEs, 30 million of which is specifically for fintechs. After Credit Suisse provided its subsidiary SVC Ltd. for Risk Capital for SMEs with CHF 30 million in additional investment funds for fintechs early this year, it has now made another investment in this area. With operations in Zurich and Lugano, Assetmax AG (formerly Fimax Asset Management Solutions AG) has evolved to become one of the leading IT platforms for independent asset managers and banks since its founding in 2013. It enables them to unburden themselves of repetitive and select administrative tasks by consistently automating and outsourcing business processes, including in the areas of compliance and portfolio management. Didier Denat, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SVC Ltd. and Head of Corporate & Investment Banking at Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd., noted: "With its platform, Assetmax addresses the needs of many external asset managers and has done a convincing job of technically implementing the corresponding solution. It is precisely this combination of strategic flair and flawless implementation that is a decisive factor for a company's success. By participating in the first round of funding, we hope to help the company continue to advance its growth and to support its long-term success. We are pleased to be able to accompany Assetmax on this path as one of its financing partners."

UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS) provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. UBS and Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: BR) recently announced an innovative strategic partnership where UBS Wealth Management USA will be the anchor client on Broadridge's new wealth management industry platform. The Broadridge Wealth Platform is a next-generation open platform that will solve a key financial services challenge by creating a modern, industry-level wealth management best-in-class technology solution. The platform enables wealth managers to drive their business to the next level while mutualizing investments in technology, innovation and security. With the Broadridge Wealth Platform, UBS WM USA will be able to deploy an integrated and modern front-to-back office solution that optimizes Financial Advisor productivity, creates a richer client experience, and digitizes enterprise-wide operations. Adopting an industry-standard, open solution will enable UBS to provide unique value to its advisors while sharing the cost of adapting to ongoing technology innovation, regulatory and industry change, and cyber security requirements. "Broadridge is the right partner and the only Fintech leader with the proven technology, scale and experience to deliver such a transformational solution," said Tom Naratil, Co-President, UBS Global Wealth Management and President, UBS Americas. "This innovative partnership will build the next generation of technology to enhance advisor productivity, create a superior client experience and drive enterprise efficiency. This represents UBS's forward-looking approach as we continue to take a leading role in redefining wealth management."

Virtu Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIRT) is a leading financial firm that leverages cutting edge technology to deliver liquidity to the global markets and innovative, transparent trading solutions to its clients. Virtu Financial, Inc. recently announced the completion of its acquisition of Investment Technology Group, Inc. (NYSE: ITG) in a cash transaction valued at USD 30.30 per ITG share, or a total of approximately USD 1.0 Billion. Upon completion of this acquisition, Virtu will implement a Client Information Security Program with respect to its broker-neutral client offerings (including, but not limited to, Analytics, Workflow Technology, and Commission Management). As part of this program, Virtu will host Client Information Security Forums, through which the Company will provide information regarding the CISP, receive input from interested clients regarding their information security needs and discuss industry best practices and standards. "Over the past four months, the dedicated leadership teams of both firms have developed a detailed integration plan. In the coming days we will begin to execute that plan to bring Virtu's leading technology, risk management and operational efficiency to ITG's array of agency solutions to better serve a global client franchise. We are excited to welcome our new colleagues to execute and deliver on this plan," said Douglas Cifu, Virtu Financial, Inc. Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Cifu continued, "ITG has a long history of providing clients with superior service and value-added products. We look forward to creating the premier technology-enabled market making and execution services franchise."

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