For three action-packed days in Singapore, thousands of the most insightful and inventive people in the payments and fintech world have come together to share new ideas and make new connections.
We’ve heard from the leaders of such companies as DBS, BBVA, Ant Financial, WeChat Pay, Grab, Alpha Intelligence Capital Fund, and Google, and we’ve dug deep into disruption, inclusion, innovation and the future of money. With these big themes in mind, here are some of the influential leaders who caught our attention on Day Three.
Ning Tang, Chairman, Founder & CEO of CreditEase, suggested that because financial services is about risk management, social responsibility, sustainability of the organization and trust building, fintech entrepreneurs cannot focus on just the front-line customer experience or top-line growth; fintech must start from real financial needs and unfulfilled demand. For example, he expects that all middle-class Chinese will have personal robo-advisors on their mobile phones within the next 5-10 years, giving them advice and information that used to be available only to UHNW individuals.
Jonathan Larsen, CIO of Ping An Group and Chairman and CEO of Ping An’s VC arm Global Voyager Fund, explained that massive value-creation opportunities arise when we reduce or eliminate frictional costs (in mortgage creation, for example). He put forward the view that today’s ICOs (“tokens minus the assets”) will be superseded by “tokens with assets” that will help solve the world’s friction problems. He foresees a data economy where the ability to create value out of data use-cases is more important than traditional distribution, brand, physical assets and even capital itself.
Aldi Haryopratomo, CEO of GO-PAY, is the son of a bridge builder who advised him to follow his example. And, in a way, he is. GO-PAY, the digital payment system of the GO-JEK ride-hailing business, has a mission to bridge the financial services gap and become the top financial inclusion tool for Indonesians. It is in the business of helping people help each other by bringing financial services to the unbanked and allowing small companies to flourish. GO-PAY has teamed up with BNI to provide government micro-credit financing to GO-JEK partners, particularly those in the food business.
Ravi Menon, MD of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said regulators are trying to figure out how to harness the potentially transformative benefits of blockchain technology and crypto tokens while containing their risks. And the risks are considerable, from money laundering to market instability. He wonders if people will put their faith in money that is not backed by a trusted public institution. Only time will tell. In the meantime, MAS will not regulate crypto currencies directly, but instead consider regulatory responses to activities associated with them. The industry should strengthen the ecosystem through better transparency, security and record-keeping.
Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia, shared his plans to democratize financial services for the 700 million people of Asean. AirAsia has made air travel more accessible by keeping a close relationship with customers via airasia.com. It has therefore accumulated a vast amount of data. BigPay, AirAsia’s new e-wallet solution, will use this data to begin to build a disruptive bank that changes the loans and remittance markets and cuts exchange rates for users when they travel.
Louise Pentland, PayPal’s EVP Chief Business Affairs and Legal Officer, told us that 2 billion people still live outside the financial system. Creating a truly democratized financial system for these people will create more opportunities for small businesses, consumers and financial services companies around the world. But how can we do this? PayPal believes in building diverse teams, choosing talented people that represent and understand its customer base, so that it can create empathetic products. It has also dramatically diversified its board of directors over the past three years.
Co-founder and CEO of Chekk Pascal Nizri steered his company to success in the first Money20/20 Asia Startup Challenge. Chekk is a secure digital identity solution that lets individuals control what data they share and helps businesses engage with customers both on social networks and privately.
Co-founder and CEO of Wafa Games Kathy Gong, rebel, chess master and inspiring serial entrepreneur of wild imagination and astonishing drive, has been chosen to proceed to the final round interviews for a seat on a Space for Humanity space flight. “Curiosity has taken humans to space but it is humanity that keeps us part of the universe. We need more fearless women up there,” she said.
After a hugely successful first Money20/20 Asia this year, Money 20/20 Asia will be back in Singapore from 19 -21 March 2019. We hope to see you there.