Finovate Asia

Finovate Asia 2018 kicked off with a welcome address from Mr. Bernard Chan Pak Li, acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. Mr. Chan welcomed an exciting new era of financial innovation and highlights Hong Kong’s unique position in playing a role due to its fair and transparent regulatory regime, mutual access arrangements between the Hong Kong and Chinese financial markets as well as the Greater Bay Area Initiative.

Following that, Forrester Research set the scene with the importance of being ready for change and outlines a framework for digital transformation. Forrester Research predicted a rise of digital workers (RPA and AI) as companies including banks seek productivity improvements through increased operational efficiencies driven by automation and Artificial Intelligence.

A shift in mindset amongst banks on open banking technologies is further illustrated through Ovum’s research. It is stated that 88% of banks in Asia now recognises open API as part of its strategic plans with the majority believing that open API will lead to better products and services for customers.

PwC later shared the latest global crypto trend and provided an overview of the crypto-asset ecosystem, including traditional crypto-currencies, utility tokens, non-fungible tokens and stable tokens as well as security tokens which are a big focus in the ecosystem. PwC’s main concern is not a black swan event but the existence of ‘bad apples’ in which companies try to exploit the industry to make quick cash.

Other key themes consistent throughout the event include financial inclusion, blockchain, payments and digital banking.

Charles d’Haussy, Head of Fintech, Invest HK gave audience an overview of the latest developments in the Hong Kong fintech ecosystem. The key highlights include:

  • Latest fintech deployments in Hong Kong: common QR code standard, virtual banking license and trade finance on blockchain.
  • Hong Kong fintech priorities: cyber security, blockchain, wealth tech, insurtech, regtech and creditech.
  • Government initiatives: HKD 200k for HK SME to buy new technology, internship schemes, up to HKD 10m from the HK government to support R&D projects and the establishment of a co-investment fund to co-invest in start-ups.

The right balance of live demonstration from innovative cutting-edge fintech and curated discussions from global fintech leaders makes Finovate Asia an insightful event for fintech enthusiast, venture capitalist, industry leaders and entrepreneurs alike.

Over 20 fintech firms delighted the audience with a 7-minute demonstration of their latest solutions, which ranges from smartphone based credit scoring, AI enabled credit assessment, marketplace for wholesale deposits, digitised KYC, finance marketplace, banking bots, electronic payment system, virtual call centre and blockchain based platform for renewable energy.

The event concluded with the announcement of Finovate Best of Show winners (as voted by the audience based on demo quality and potential impact of innovation presented). A huge congratulations to Arival Bank, Avaloq and Voca.ai for receiving the honour. The two day event held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition centre attracted over 600 fintech attendees with representatives from over 200 financial institutions.

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