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Fintech hold massive potential for Asian businesses

Not only does fintech hold massive potential for Asian businesses – those who do not get on board soon will be left behind, warns Lawrence Yeo.

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Fintech is a new financial industry that applies technology to improve financial activities, with key areas being the automation of insurance, trading and risk management.

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Between 2005 and 2015, global investment in fintech increased by more than 2200%, from $930m to some $22bn.

Fintech’s potential remains big. From the demand side across much of south-east Asia, the unmet need for basic banking services is significant. KPMG reports that only 27% of the region’s 600 million inhabitants had a bank account in 2016.

From the supply side, a new wave of start-ups is increasingly ‘disaggregating’ global banks. Milken Institute’s Centre for Financial Markets reports that much of the venture capital in Asia has flowed into China, particularly among a handful of large tech companies. Yet other countries also are seeking to position themselves as fintech hubs.

The Straits Times reported that multimillion-dollar investments were reported in 2017 in Hong Kong (in digital wallet operator TNG FinTech Group), in India (in online lending platform Capital Float) and in South Korea’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange, Korbit.

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Banking

Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay Launch Cross-border Payment System

Olivier Languepin and Abhishek Prakash

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In a global first, Singapore and Thailand have linked their real-time payment systems, PayNow and PromptPay allowing international fund transfers between the two countries within minutes.

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Asean

12 Things to Know about the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF)

The ACGF is an ASEAN Infrastructure Fund initiative managed by ADB’s Southeast Asia Department Innovation Hub. It helps Southeast Asian governments prepare and finance infrastructure projects promoting environmental sustainability and contributing to climate change goals.

Asian Development Bank

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Southeast Asia faces an infrastructure investment shortfall of more than $100 billion a year, which may have worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Banking

Thai cabinet approves 350 billion baht Aid for COVID-hit Businesses

Thailand unveiled new measures to help small and medium COVID-hit businesses in the tourism industry hit by a liquidity crunch.

Olivier Languepin

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The Thai cabinet has approved assistance worth 350 billion baht($11 Billion) to help businesses affected by COVID-19 with soft loans and asset warehousing.

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