US payments giant PayPal Inc has launched an Innovation Lab in Singapore, its first outside the United States, to collaborate with government agencies, industry associations and SMEs, reports Digital News Asia. The lab aims to foster innovation, research and development (R&D), entrepreneurship, talent and expertise in Singapore.
“Singapore is a perfect melting-pot for ideas and innovation, given the strong support from the government, its massive talent pool backed by a world-class educational system, vibrant startup ecosystem, and diverse merchant profiles,” according to Dr. Rohan Mahadevan, CEO of PayPal Pte Ltd.
Rohan said that PayPal is partnering with all the universities in Singapore, working with their Deans and graduate students.
The first project the Innovation Lab will undertake be around SMEs in the food and beverage (F&B) business.
“Singapore is a known food capital, and food is something that is very close to the hearts of Singaporeans,” said Rohan. The project will aim to improve productivity at F&B businesses, with Japanese restaurant Enbu having embedded digital payments into its business.
By this time next year, PayPal and its payment solutions partners such as TabSquare and Integral Solutions, will aim to provide more than 200 F&B establishments with in-store digital payment capability.
Other initiatives in the pipeline include the PayPal Business Challenge, which aims to help SMEs with their business challenges, not just payments.
In terms of PayPal’s ‘Innovation Lab’, it will aim to develop and nurture the next generation of fintech startups through an incubation program. The PayPal Incubator program will also offer coaching and mentorship by PayPal executives and various subject matter experts. Currently, there are three startups on board: OnePay, Prosecure.me and InvoiceInterchange.
A version of this appeared in Digital News Asia on August 18. Read the full version here.