Money 20/20 Asia Conference 2018 Blazes The Path for Fintech Singapore
From alternative lending to artificial intelligence, the Asia-Pacific region is taking the lead in revolutionising the way we control our finances. As part of that lead, the first edition of Money 20/20 Asia was launched at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre from 13 to 15 March 2018.
Bringing together top global fintech leaders and companies such as Grab, Google, Ant Financial and Master Card, it was one of the biggest financial events in Asia, held at the heart of a regional economic powerhouse. From countries with mega-markets such as China and India to the emergent markets of Indonesia and Malaysia, Money 20/20 Asia was a blend of technology, people, connections and creativity, setting the direction for the future of money.
The focal point of this event was on financial payment systems. This topic has been in the limelight in recent years. During the event, visionaries and innovators shared their take on financial payments, by showing how the rise of such systems have changed the way we live and how these financial systems will revolutionise financial developments in the near future.
At this event, the latest disruptions and trends in the financial sector were put on display.
There was a buzz in the air, with various financial payment companies showing their latest financial payment initiatives.
One of the more notable exhibits were from Grab. Grab, being a leading player in the financial payment systems, launched multiple collaborations with different companies. Its e-payment branch, GrabPay allows for e-payment in not only taxi rides but also to pay for food, shopping and bicycle rides. Recently, it started a collaboration with O-bike where the Grab app can also be used for renting O-bikes. Following on the heels of established players like DBS Paylah!, Grab is making an imprint on the payment scene by rolling out its payment systems with various merchants. More than just acting as a mediator for drivers and riders, Grab is looking to expand its offerings through its venture into payment systems.
The exhibition was split into the following main areas: The Universe: Main Stage, track rooms: The Sun, The Earth and the fireside chat stages. The event covered multiple levels of the convention centre. More information about what happened at the following places can be found here.
The Main Stage is where most of the action took place. C-level representatives from the public sector and private sector shared their insights on how the fintech industry is set to evolve. Some of them included big figures such as the CEO of AirAsia Tony Fernandes, CEO & Director of DBS Group Piyush Gupta and the Managing Director of GrabPay Jason Thompson. Issues such as regional and global fintech developments and disruptive technology came to the forefront.
On the second day of the event, a major forum on financial security was anchored by Ant Financial. At the forum, privacy and security concerns were raised. As much as financial payment systems have brought much convenience to society, information privacy in these systems have become issues of contention. To enhance information security, companies like Ant Financial have come up with a slew of measures to ensure that these transactions are safely conducted. Some of these measures include voice authorisation, face recognition and verification of information, adding layers of security to ensure that the user experience is not bogged down by breach of privacy. With regards to financial security, Chief Technical Officer of Money Authority of Singapore Sopnendu Mohanty spoke about how the government has to play the role of a guide dog and a watch dog in monitoring the fintech industry in Singapore, as the government ensures that fintech is regulated in a safe manner.
Other than the main stage, there were other side stages that conducted side talks about different aspects of the fintech industry. These talks covered hot topics like artificial intelligence, cross-border disruption, alternative lending and retail & commerce. In one of these talks, the topic of credit cards were brought up, where it was discussed how they can continue to stay relevant in an ever-changing financial payment system through maintaining growth and creating customer intimacy. In a talk about alternative lending, Dr. Liu Xinhai from Peking University talked about the future outlook for the Chinese credit market, where he addressed the effects of China’s social credit system and how these effects will reverberate throughout the whole nation.
There were fireside chats which were smaller in scale, with entrepreneurs sharing about their experiences in running startups. At some of these fireside chats, they shared their personal stories and journeys to entrepreneurship and the difficulties they faced in establishing their startups in a highly competitive environment. Some of them also dispelled innovation clichés, gave tips and insights on making it as a fintech entrepreneur.
The event was comprehensive in nature, encompassing various aspects of the up-and-coming fintech industry. The diversity of issues covered throughout the 3-day event reflected the complexity and connectivity financial payment systems have developed over the years. The prominence, scale and participation by major companies show its potential weight and influence in fostering a more vibrant fintech environment in this part of the world. As a developing region that has a tech savvy consumer base and a fast pace of innovation and development, the prospects look promising for the Asia-Pacific financial eco-system.
Overall, the inaugural event of Money Asia 20/20 was a resounding success. Having been able to bring together the giants of the fintech industry, this event looks set to be the hub of connections and collaborations to come. The initiation of Money 20/20 in Asia signals the Asia-Pacific region as a rising player in forging the future of fintech in the coming years and its immense potential in transforming the way we use financial technology. This event has shown to the world that the Asia-Pacific region is not one to be underestimated when it comes to financial technology.