New pan-Asia body to help regional fintech players grow

Members of the new Fintech Cooperation Committee at its launch in Singapore yesterday. The committee brings together Asian fintech start-ups, financial institutions and banks to trade knowledge and expertise in the booming fintech industry.
Members of the new Fintech Cooperation Committee at its launch in Singapore yesterday. The committee brings together Asian fintech start-ups, financial institutions and banks to trade knowledge and expertise in the booming fintech industry.PHOTO: ABU DHABI GLOBAL MARKET

A new pan-Asia network for fintech players was launched in Singapore yesterday, bringing together Asian fintech start-ups, financial institutions and banks to trade knowledge and expertise in the booming fintech industry.

Launched at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the Fintech Cooperation Committee serves as a platform for industry players to share the best industry practices with one another, hold high-level regional forums and coordinate policies that can further the fintech ecosystem.

In line with its launch, around 60 financial institutions from 12 countries and regions have joined the new committee, including banks, insurance companies, securities and asset management firms, and financial education institutions.

The first session of the committee, which also took place yesterday, was chaired by the Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. At the session, committee members approved technical specifications for merchant QR codes in mobile payments and a three-year work plan.

The committee was the product of a two-year push by the Asian Financial Cooperation Association (AFCA), a Chinese non-profit body launched in 2016 with the active support of the Chinese government.

AFCA secretary-general Yang Zaiping said the setting up of the committee is meant to uphold openness, inclusiveness, joint governance and shared benefits "with Asian characteristics", paving the way for communication and collaboration by regional fintech stakeholders.

He noted that in the second quarter of last year, Asia surpassed the United States in venture capital-backed fintech deals and funding, raising more than US$10 billion (S$13.6 billion), and that six out of 29 global fintech unicorns are Asian.

  • 60 

  • Number of financial institutions from 12 countries and regions that have joined the new committee at the launch, including banks, insurance companies, securities and asset management firms, and financial education institutions.

"Singapore, with its friendly regulatory framework for fintech, plays a key role in the global fintech market," said Mr Yang.

"The Monetary Authority of Singapore has adopted a responsive and forward-looking regulatory approach to spur the development of promising fintech innovation, which provides invaluable experience for other Asian countries."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2019, with the headline 'New pan-Asia body to help regional fintech players grow'. Print Edition | Subscribe