Daily Briefing: Singapore chips in for Asia's superapp charge; Staff costs in DBS slipped 1.5% in September

And cross-border payments startup Wallex secures remittance licence from MAS.

From Bloomberg:

Grab made it to the list of super apps that are Asia's 'defining innovation' through their ability to communicate, shop online, order rides, read books, play games, get food delivery and pay for anything within a single, unified smartphone app, technology leaders said at Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore.

WeChat, Grab and Go-Jek are prime examples of a breed of software called the Super App. In the US and Europe, such services are offered separately for iPhone and Android users. That’s not the case in China and Southeast Asia, where the apps open the door for big changes to how people live and do business, according to Southeast Asia’s two most valuable startups, Grab and Go-Jek.

“There’s so much excitement,” said Anthony Tan, Grab’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “We see the price of smartphones and data falling, we see the democratization of technology. We see this world where the rise of millennials and they want everything now and they want it immediately.”

Singapore’s Grab, whose app has been downloaded on 125 million mobile devices, forecasts it will double revenue in 2019.

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From e-financial careers:

Staff costs per head at DBS divided by total headcount fell 1.5% YoY to $90,128 in September YTD.

Although DBS has retained many of ANZ’s well-paid private bankers and priority bankers, the bulk of the transitioning ANZ staff work in less lucrative retail and support roles. Moreover, the ex-ANZ workforce also includes employees in China and Indonesia, not just peoDaily ple in the high-cost markets of Singapore and Hong Kong.

The decrease in average comp at DBS is in contrast to the year-on-year rises at UOB (up by 10.4%) and OCBC (4.5%) for the first nine months, which were partly driven by the recruitment of expensive technologists amid a tight local labour market in tech. The two smaller Singaporean banks still have a way to go to catch up to DBS on the pay front, however. Despite pay inching down, DBS still spent just over $90,000 per staff member – compared with $71,633 at UOB and $65,514 at OCBC.

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From e27:

FX and cross-border payments startup Wallex Technologies secured its remittance license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and a money transfer license from the Bank of Indonesia for its Indonesia debut.

Wallex offers a range of online cash management solutions including virtual accounts (for collections and disbursements), a multi-currency wallet, FX conversions, cross-border payments, and an API with real-time FX execution capability.

It also offers FX rates in 30 global currencies (including rupiah and baht) to over 180 countries. It charges a minimal fee of Rp 100.000 (US$6.85) per transfer of any amount.

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