Fintech firms see ideal Phl market

Delegates from the Singapore Fintech Association, or SFA, recently expressed interest in exploring business opportunities during a courtesy call on the Board of Investments, or BoI.

Fintech revolution The delegates from the Singapore Fintech Association paid a visit to the BoI Main Office recently. The mission included (from left, first row) Gwendolyn Loh, community engagement and events lead, SFA; Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco, Digital Philippines and E-Commerce Lead of the Department of Trade and Industry; Reuben Lim, chief operating officer, SFA; executive director Maria Veronica Magsino of the BOI’s management services; executive director Evariste Cagatan of the Investments Promotion Services; Fintech Alliance Philippines founding chairman Lito Villanueva; executive director Ma. Corazon Dichosa of the BoI’s Industry Development Services; and director Lanie Dormiendo of the International Investments Promotion Service. (From left, second row) Shakeel Rashid, Head of Partnerships and Marketing, SFA; Bato Purev-Ochir, head of sales, AND Solutions; Ernest Lo, chief operating officer, Asiapay Payment Service Pte Limited; Vic Tham, Head of APAC, DriveWealth Singapore Pte Ltd; Rajan Narayan, CEO, Cyberbeat; Thomas Cheung, managing partner, Global Associates Consultancy; Kieth Seow, country manager, Atlas Technologies Co., Ltd; William Seow, head of sales, Synfindo Singapore Pte Ltd; Karl Lyndon Pacolor, division chief, Innovation and Collaboration Division, Competitiveness and Innovation Group and Samuel Ang, consultant, Asian Development Bank. | Photograph courtesy of BoI

The Philippines is being looked at by financial technology companies as a key test market to expand their reach in Southeast Asia due to the unique character of the population which are predominantly well versed in English and familiar with technology but are mostly immersed in poverty and are unbanked.

Delegates from the Singapore Fintech Association, or SFA, recently expressed interest in exploring business opportunities during a courtesy call on the Board of Investments, or BoI.

The Singapore mission sought information about the investment climate, regulations, investment opportunities and government support for companies in the fintech industry.

Heading the delegation, Reuben Lim, chief operating officer of the SFA, pointed out that the Philippines is being recognized as an emerging investment destination and market for fintech companies.

“We are now looking into the Philippines, as we are seeking to expand in Southeast Asia. Singapore’s success depends on its neighbors’ success,” Lim underscored.

Delegates expressed optimism in the potential of the Philippines, wanting to find more business opportunities. In particular, Bato Purev-Ochir, head of sales and solutions, expects a number of potential clients in the Philippines.

According to Executive Director Evariste Cagatan of the BoI’s Investments Promotion Services, the Philippines is an ideal investment destination for fintech.

Highlighting the country’s thrust towards digital transformation and our world-class talent, she described the country’s demographic sweet spot for young, creative, technology-savvy and cost-efficient English-speaking workforce.

She also shared that while the country’s fintech industry is nascent, it is fast growing and very promising.

“The Philippines is gaining traction due to the fast-growing use of mobile banking in the country, the enabling regulatory environment, and the high number of unbanked and financially underserved Filipinos, which represent around 70 percent of the adult population.”

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