The future of financial technology in Asia


FSRM Associates Irsyad Kautzar Stamboel, Renz Kristofer Cheng and Rochelle Silverio recently attended the FINNOVASIA event on the future of financial technology (FinTech) in Asia. Held in Cyberport Hong Kong, the event was designed to provide updates on the current trends, types and programs of FinTech as well as its uses and users. Participants included FinTech executives, bankers, entrepreneurs of FinTech startups, local and international regulators, technology consultants, global incubators/accelerators, and financial media.

EY Global Banking & Capital Markets Emerging Markets Leader and Asia-Pacific Banking & Capital Markets Leader Jan Bellens was one of the event’s speakers. He discussed the potential of FinTech startups to disrupt banks and the possibility of a collaboration between the two. The event also aimed to educate the audience about the platform supporting the controversial “Bitcoin” cryptocurrency, called the Blockchain Technology, which has a massive potential to disrupt and even replace the conventional banking system. UBS Asia Pacific Chief Technology Officer Peter Stephens remarked, “Banks are engaging. They’re trying to understand where this future lies. This isn’t just a new customer experience, this is real disruption from the business models. It will take business models out completely, it will create new business models. Disruption from Blockchain isn’t just going to be in financial services.”

In today’s fast changing times, businesses need to be agile to keep up with innovations. Startup companies that are venturing in FinTech are creating a disruptive force in the traditional banking space, causing competition to become multidirectional. However, one theme that came up during the event was the call for traditional banks to build harmonious relationships with FinTech startups, which is a deviation from their current view of seeing these companies as a threat.

SGVeans catering to the financial services sector can help clients cope with this change by encouraging innovation, partnerships with emerging startups, and developing the appropriate operating models. This type of collaboration opens up an opportunity to effectively and efficiently bring financial products to those who need them the most. In this case, FinTech equips the traditional banking players with a bridging capability to reach the segments who have limited or no access to financial products and services. By doing so, banks and FinTech companies will be able to provide financial empowerment which is one of the keys to building a better working world.

The event also touched on how Hong Kong is becoming a FinTech hub in Asia; a mobile asset management platform with an auto-advisor focusing on millenials, mobile and Asia; and regulations on FinTech.

Those interested in knowing more about FinTech can reach out to Irsyad Kautzar Stamboel or Renz Kristofer Cheng for a small session. In addition, FinTech enthusiasts may participate in the upcoming FINNOVASIA event on 29 April 2016 in Hong Kong. TechCrunch, a leading technology website, will also be holding the next Disrupt convention in New York on 9 to 11 May 2016.