New Pan-Asia Committee To Grow Regional Fintech Players With Asian Characteristics

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SINGAPORE - A new pan-Asia network for fintech players was launched in Singapore on Wednesday (Jan 23), 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 new Fintech Cooperation Committee serves as a platform for industry players to share the best industry practices with each other, hold regional high-level forums and coordinate policies that can further the fintech ecosystem.

At 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 on Wednesday, was chaired by the Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. During 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 China's 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 2018, Asia surpassed the United States in venture capital-backed fintech deals and funding, raising more than US$10 billion (S$13.6 billion), and six out of 29 global fintech unicorns are Asian.

"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."