Why Hong Kong should become a Fintech Hub for the world
Fintech or the application of technology in the financial services industry in the name of market development has been around for many years. But it’s only in recent years that a concerted effort appears to be in place to accelerate development. Whether it is the unbanked, the underbanked, high or net worth customers, financial services institutions are looking at every conceivable technology or idea that would lead or enable the next industry disruption.
Why the interest? An Accenture-sponsored research by CB Insights in 2014 says global investment in Fintech companies tripled in value in 2014, reaching US$12.2 billion, with Europe showing the fastest growth at US$1.48 billion. That figure is three times compared to the previous year.
In Hong Kong, interest in Fintech continues to accelerate spurred by industry, academic and government players. Startups across multiple Fintech disciplines are setting up in Hong Kong to take advantage of the interest. Financial institutions, such as AIA and DBS, are investing on their own Fintech programs independent of startups, to accelerate their search for the next Fintech disruption.
Among the world’s financial centers, including New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, it is arguable that London may have lead in coining the Fintech hub phrase. But in recent months, Hong Kong and Sydney have been marketing their experience and expertise in financial services vyying for the title of fintech hub of the world.