Hot! Up Close with Bentley Cheng, Founder of FinStyle app and Infinite Digital Solutions

CONTENT: Andrew Kho
IMAGE: Bentley Cheng

Infinite Digital Solutions, a company founded in 2020 aimed at providing infinite possibilities / solutions to solve the challenges in the 21st century’s digitalised era,, while on the other hand, the FinStyle App founded in 2018 is an all-in-one mobile app platform which help families who are unaware of the insurance packages purchased by their loved ones.

We interviewed Bentley Cheng,  founder of the Finstyle App and Infinite Digital Solutions as he shares with us more about him managing multiple companies, bridging the gap between digital literacy and the financial services industry, his aspirations in life as well as his struggles to reach the success he has now.

Bentley Cheng - Profile 01

Luxe Society Asia: For those who doesn’t know you yet, who is Bentley Cheng? Could you share with us more about yourself?

I am the only child and son born in a traditional Asian Chinese family. Both my parents are my role models, as I saw how it was through tenacity and persistence that my parents rebuilt their business and through their example, I strongly believe in the power of hard work and self-discipline, no matter the age.

I am someone who relishes in building something novel, better still if it is something that is an industry disruptor. Some people might find my ideas to be outlandish, or I might come across as someone who is too engrossed in an existing project. However, this is because I’ve lived by this Chinese mantra “要做就要做得最好,不然就不做”. This phrase means that we should always give our best, if we have no plans on doing so, it is better not to even start.

Luxe Society Asia: As a person who is managing two companies, what is your daily life routine?

My daily routine starts with going to the gym, as I try to make time for at least 3 training sessions per week or endeavour to complete any administrative work. I find mornings most peaceful to get the mind together and things organised.

In the afternoon, I would split my time between meetings with the team or clients, conducting training sessions, and attending networking events.

My evening plans would either be spent going for date nights with my fiancée or going to my parent’s place for dinner. I’m more of a night owl so I would stay up till 1am to brainstorm, do research and work.

Luxe Society Asia: You are the founder of the FinStyle App and Infinite Digital Solutions, could you share with us a brief background of FinStyle App and Infinite Digital Solutions?

The idea of the FinStyle App started as part of a school project in my final year at Nanyang Polytechnic. In 2016, I found that the fastest-growing industry at that point in time was technology, specifically mobile applications. Together with my then teammates, we wanted to create a new business that could potentially change someone’s life for the better.

Serendipitously, my father presented an opportunity for me to create an all-in-one mobile app platform to help families who are unaware of the insurance packages purchased by their loved ones. At that time, news of how nearly S$150 million of unclaimed insurance was held by government ministries and the court was much talked about. The lack of transparency and frequent use of complicated terminologies in the financial service industry spurred me to address this gap.

We started the ideation and development of the FinStyle app and was able to launch the first version in July 2018. The goal was to provide app users with 24/7 access to their entire insurance and investment summary while enjoying the features catered to their needs.

In June 2020, I established Infinite Digital Solutions, a digital solutions provider that is based in Singapore and aimed at providing infinite possibilities / solutions to solve the challenges in the 21st century’s digitised era.

Luxe Society Asia: What is your daily work routine like at Infinite Digital Solutions? How do you find time to balance and give equal attention to both the companies?

My schedule is quite fluid as I don’t adhere to a fixed working timetable. However, my routine is to be at the office between 9.30 am – 10 am unless I have an earlier appointment.

Since I am quite flexible with my working hours, I rarely end my work by 6 in the evening. It is quite common for me to be working over the weekends as I relish having the time to myself and being able to focus on my work. I find that for me personally, it is actually the most productive period to work in.

At the moment, the bulk of my attention is on Infinite Digital Solutions. For FinStyle, it is currently managed by a third-party company called Vision Technologies while I just oversee, so I can focus on the two companies.

In terms of work-life balance, I have to admit that it is tough for me to separate myself away from my work. I feel a strong sense of responsibility for the company and, more so, for the people who believe in me.

I suppose it’s not work-life balance that I have but more of trying to find work-life harmony.

The Straits Times Pocket Money Fund Event 03

Luxe Society Asia: How do you intend to bridge the gap between digital literacy and the financial services industry?

Understanding the stigma that many Singaporeans have against the financial planning industry, I wanted to do my part in bridging the gap between digital literacy and the financial services industry through the use of a mobile application platform. Back in 2016, I found that the fastest-growing industry was in technology – more specifically, mobile applications. As such, the purpose of the FinStyle app is to provide users with access to their entire insurance and investment summary while enjoying the features catered to their needs right at their fingertips. I wanted the app to benefit families, in particular, who are unaware of any insurance plans purchased by their loved ones. The app allows family members to be able to view and share their profiles with one another for transparency.

Luxe Society Asia: What inspired / motivated you to develop the FinStyle app?

Since young, I never liked being forced into a fixed structure, and I believe that everyone has the capability to be successful the moment they are given the flexibility.

Ever since my school project during my final year at Nanyang Polytechnic, I gained more confidence to create new business ideas that can make a positive impact in someone’s life. When I found out that there was nearly S$150mil insurance left unclaimed, I really wanted to ensure that people have the education and access to the monies entitled to them, hence the motivation behind the FinStyle app.

Luxe Society Asia: Could you share with us more about the FinStyle app?

The FinStyle app aims to revolutionise the financial services industry by providing users with 24/7 access to their entire insurance and investment summary while enjoying the features catered to their needs.

It is ideal for families who are unaware of any insurance plans purchased by their loved ones. Users will also be able to gain access to formulated financial calculators capable of calculating retirement funds and life protection coverage. Basic general insurance, such as travel insurance, can also be purchased through the app directly through their partners.

Luxe Society Asia: What’s the objective you want to achieve with this app?

The objective that I hoped to achieve with this app is to help users, especially family members, be informed of any insurance plans / policies purchased by their loved ones. In addition, they will be able to share their profiles with one another and view what policies their loved ones are entitled to

Luxe Society Asia: At a young age, you are quite successful running not one but two* companies, has anyone ever doubted your capabilities and decisions because of your age?

I have had my share of experience dealing with companies who did not take me seriously due to my young age. Since I started my journey in entrepreneurship at the age of 19, I’ve encountered comments such as “Are you still studying? Is this a school project?” when speaking to investors. Back then, my decisions were doubted and deemed unreliable due to my age.

However, as quoted from Jack Ma, “As entrepreneurs, today is very difficult. Tomorrow will be even more difficult.” And maybe it is because of my age that I am not afraid of facing adversity head-on as long as I have a strong will and have a supportive and dedicated team behind me both in personal and professional.

Family Photo

Luxe Society Asia: Is the FinStyle App available to everyone?

At the moment, the FinStyle App is only available for customers of Vision Technologies’ exclusive financial planning partner. However, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2022, that Singaporeans are able to gain a consolidated view of their insurance policies on the Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex) and MyMoneySense platform.

In the same vein of helping people to gain a more comprehensive view of their financial positions and sharing this information with their loved ones, although SGFinDex has already been launched, I will be happy to contribute as much of my knowledge back to Singapore to make SGFinDex a success.

Luxe Society Asia: What is your advice to people who are interested in doing wealth planning?

That wealth planning is not just saving a percentage of your income every month. Anyone can start wealth planning regardless of their income bracket. It is more diverse than that.

Before anyone decides to hire a financial consultant, they should minimally understand what assets, liabilities and cash flow they have and whether they already have an emergency fund of at least 12 months set aside.

Luxe Society Asia: Would you recommend people to join the financial services industry?

As I’ve been in the financial services industry for the past three years and led a team of more than 10 consultants, I would only recommend people with high tenacity, integrity and commitment to join this industry.

It can be a very fruitful industry where you get to help people plan for their finances and achieve their financial goals while making money yourself. With the role being self-employed, discipline and tenacity are crucial to stay afloat while at the same time being transparent, honest and professional when serving clients.

Luxe Society Asia: Lastly, how important is money to you?

Personally, having money is important as it puts me in control of my life’s choices and provides me with a myriad of options to better spend my time and interest. Moreover, being comfortable with my finances allows me the freedom to pursue any opportunities / activities that I want to devote my attention to.

When I was six years old, my father, who ran a business and worked in an insurance company, took a strong hit financially due to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) outbreak. I recalled a conversation with my mother, who tried to explain how they wanted to transfer me from a private Montessori school to a public kindergarten as our family was tightening up our expenses.

Unfortunately, being young at that time, I was unable to respond appropriately and created a huge fuss at the prospect of being moved. As such, my parents relented and kept paying the fees for me to attend the private Montessori school. Thinking about it now, I do feel apologetic yet thankful to my parents as the fees were considered exorbitant for our financial situation in the past.

Overall, I do feel that having money is important as it creates financial security, and once you reach a stage of financial freedom, you can afford to give back. I’ve had the opportunity to go on charity trips to serve the rural communities in Thailand and spearheaded to raise $68,888 for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (being the top donor alongside my mother donating a sum of $20,000) to help children from low-income families with their school expenses early this year. I hope to one day benefit the less fortunate in society by setting up my own foundation in honour of my dad’s hard work as I believe as traditional Chinese we should never forget our roots and where it all began. I am proud to be able to give back to the nation at this age as my dad used to always share with me “有国才有家”, that only with a prosperous nation then we can have a peaceful home.

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