What makes Futu SG’s community-centric approach to financial literacy work?

A digital-first environment is one of the key ways to promoting financial literacy.

Futu Singapore Pte. Ltd., a financial technology company and a subsidiary of Futu Holdings, tackled its push for financial literacy as the company enters its six-month mark since its establishment.

According to Managing Director Gavin Chia, Futu Singapore is able to utilise a digital platform in order to make financial actions more accessible. “A digital platform reduces barriers to entry, with potential investors able to sign up from the comfort or on the go.”

Futu Singapore allowed new investors to use the service within a day of signing up. With a minimum stock price, the platform offers competitive costs when compared to traditional financial institutions. 

Chia, however, believed that this is not the company's biggest draw as a financial platform but the platform's social community aspect that sets Futu apart from other platforms.

“It's actually fondly referred to as the bull community, it allows users to hear opinion leaders or influencer in Singapore to use the in-app social forums to exchange market views, share investment insights, and post questions through post then, at the same time, live stream power sessions, broadcasts, corporate announcements, and events.”

A more open style of sharing insights, views, and information was observed by Chia in the community, regardless of whether they are winning or losing money.

There is also a suite of educational resources aimed to increase the financial literacy of the user available on the platform. Users are able to browse investment courses, guides, and news videos, from all leading financial related media, which, in turn, gives the user the tools to make informed trading decisions.

“Our comprehensive resources equip any investor with all that he or she needs to make informed trading decisions. It is one of our key strengths and also the reason why we are so popular with the masses. I think this is very in line with what is currently happening, where people are able to just go online and find any information and for us, we provide convenience.”

Futu's 'win-win for all' collaboration

Chia also elaborated on Futu Singapore's recent partnership with the e-commerce platform, Shopee, which focused on how a company can contribute to a win-win situation and help them establish its foothold in Singapore.

During Shopee’s most recent 10.10 campaign, free stocks from high growth tech companies like Facebook and Tesla were given away. This makes Futu Singapore the first company to give such stocks away for free.

“We want to find local partners to work with a sample market in a win-win partnership, so we can help both parties to achieve greater heights. We are fast rooting ourselves in the Singapore market and we have set sights for more industry. We are looking forward to more cross-industry collaboration in the coming months and years ahead of us, our collaboration with Shopee is a very strategic partnership.” 

The partnership allows both to access each other’s growing company database, as well as deliver more value to their users.

This comes just in time as Shopee celebrates its 10.10 campaign. According to Chia, this presents an opportunity for both to learn the behaviours and preferences of their target audience group. Both companies were seen to have similar target audiences between 18 to 41 years old. 

Chia also cites a boom in digital-first businesses as the reason for this partnership. Due to the current pandemic, the online economy has seen a rise. To combat the increasingly digital customers, the company saw the agreement with Singapore as a way to shift to follow consumer needs.

“We also are continuously working rapidly to cater to shifting consumer needs, as we give them what they want and make sure that they stick around after the pandemic. So, generally, how we look at it, our Futu mobile platform will expand in more financial products, and also start to offer a fast momentum.  

Chia also lauded Shopee for how it handles its campaigns. For him, Shopee’s creative and innovative campaigns are an opportunity for the company to help others improve their financial literacy.

These synergies allow a sturdy foundation, not only for the past 10.10 campaign with Shopee, but for future campaigns, as well.

“The synergies between us means that there will be a study platform on which our partnership can grow; and we are both really open to collaboration. So, there are opportunities for further collaboration.” 
According to Chia, this partnership with Shopee is only one of the steps the company is taking to expand in Singapore. With the launch of Futu on 8 March 2021, the company attracted over 100,000 paying clients after three months and 220,000 users in Singapore alone.

“We are encouraged by what we are seeing and what we have achieved in the Singapore market so far, and this visually shows that we are doing something right. We are convinced that the country and abroad or Southeast Asian markets will offer a huge runway for growth because if you look at Futu Singapore, we are the headquarters for Southeast Asia. 

With established presences in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the United States, Singapore would serve as the fourth market. Plans are also in place for Futu Singapore to serve as the headquarters for Southeast Asia. 

“Singapore is proving to be a testing platform for our first book into the Southeast Asia region. The response we received here is also guiding us in terms of the improvements that we need to make. Of course, we really have a number of users who already hail from other parts of Southeast Asia. A lot of the time, you know, the interesting part is, you know, through word of mouth, we do have clients, actually from around Southeast Asia that have opened an account in Singapore. This indicates that there is already a demand in the region. And we are excited about diving into this market in the future, so that we can provide a better service or platform to them.”

Looking forward, Futu Singapore is planning to expand its product offerings that include cryptocurrency, whilst adding more value in terms of financial literacy are also future plans for the company.

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