Singapore FinTech Festival with Unifiedpost Group’s Christophe Vanhoutte
Between the 2nd-4th of November, we attended and exhibited at the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF).
SFF is one of the world’s most impactful FinTech festivals and global platforms for the FinTech community. The festival has been running since 2016, organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Elevandi, and Constellar, and in collaboration with The Association of Banks in Singapore. The festival has some impressive numbers. Over 60,000 participants, 850+ speakers and 500+ exhibitors, including us!
We chatted to Christophe Vanhoutte, Country Manager of Unifiedpost Singapore, who ran the Unifiedpost Group stand at this year’s festival. Read on to hear how he got on, why the festival is important in the FinTech sector and who he met over the three days.
Christophe, in a few sentences how would you describe the Singapore FinTech Festival?
The SFF is the largest FinTech festival in the world, gathering all financial technology companies from all over the globe. There you can find crypto companies, financial services, banks, financial enablers and of course Unifiedpost Group as a financial documents institute.
Who typically attends the festival?
There was a huge crowd at the festival, not only Singaporeans, but people from all over the globe.
We saw a lot of banks looking for new financial technology. The banks see that FinTech is a fast evolving sector, therefore they want to learn about the direction in which the technology is moving in. Many banks we spoke to said that they are finding a lot of the smaller FinTech companies are the ones making a difference in what can be perceived as an older, more traditional financial sector.
We also spoke to many accountants and ERPs who were looking for new financial technology that could make a difference to not only their processes, but to their clients as well.
Why do you think people attend SFF?
I think it’s a lot about inspiration.
SFF is a huge festival, it covered the whole Singapore Expo space and included a range of local, international and well-established companies. From big banks, credit card issuers to governments to start-ups. So you felt that the full FinTech ecosystem was well represented by a diverse group of exhibitors and attendees.
You can’t get that diverse mix anywhere else. It’s a key event to really understand what’s going on in the FinTech sector.
Why did Unifiedpost Group exhibit?
We already attended in 2021, but the festival that year was just an online event. The online event went well but this year’s event was much better. You could really see a difference when comparing an online event to a physical event. By seeing people and having physical conversations, both exhibitors and attendees were much more engaged and therefore enjoyed and received more out of the festival.
This year, we were invited onto the Belgian pavilion because of what we do - by combining payments with invoices. It is a fact that invoices are the most important document for a company; an invoice is a document that represents a payment obligation from a customer to a supplier. Proper management of invoices, for example sending, tracking, reconciliation, archiving etc. is essential for cash flow management for both large and small businesses.
So this is what we wanted to show. Through our stand and our pitches we were able to get our vision and message across.
Did you have a typical pitch?
To be honest there was no typical pitch, as I would first ask about you. Who are you as a client, what are struggles day-to-day, which sector are you from, your business’ challenges, where are you active? I wanted to find out the client’s needs, to fully understand where we could add value and really make a difference to their business.
I would then discuss our solutions and our products, to essentially understand what we could do for them.
Unifiedpost Group has solutions for companies from so many different sectors and for SMEs and multinationals. By listening carefully to the customer, we can always bring a solution.
Which kind of attendees did you have conversations with?
We had some really good conversations and interesting talks with different partners, especially those related to ERP and accounting systems. Why was this important? Well, Singapore recently launched electronic invoicing grants. ERP and accounting system businesses are keen to see how they can use the grants to implement electronic invoicing to their clients.
On the first day we also received a visit from Colette Taquet, the Belgian Ambassador for Singapore, and Edith Mayeux and Nathalie Surmont, two Belgian Trade Counselors. We had some very interesting discussions on what Unifiedpost Group does in Belgium, in Europe and in the world. We spoke about how we link documents with payments to bring value to our customers and to connect businesses in the financial value chain.
If we were to attend SFF next year, what would you say to convince attendees to visit our stand?
I think first of all, I would convince the target audience to simply visit SFF. Technology will make a huge difference in the upcoming years and that difference is already accelerating, so I really do recommend the festival if you’re in the sector.
Secondly, why should you visit our Unifiedpost Group stand? I truly believe that we have a very unique solution.
When walking around the festival, I noticed that we were the only company combining invoices with payments. Everybody knows that an invoice needs to be paid. We combine invoicing and payment technology that allows businesses to essentially get their invoices paid quicker. Our solution provides companies with a much better cash flow. And afterall, cash is king and cash flow is queen, especially in these hard economic times.
Find out more about our exhibition attendance all over the globe
Stay up to date with our exhibition and tradeshow attendance by following Unifiedpost Group on LinkedIn. Hear from the exhibiting team themselves and find out how you can see us at an event in your country.