Philippine FinTech Festival: ASEAN advances as a global powerhouse for innovators

Cross-border collaboration is about recovery, SME growth, govt alliances


The week-long inaugural Philippine Fintech Festival (PFF)-World FinTech Festival-(WFF) Philippines highlighted ASEAN as a global powerhouse for innovators with the participation of 200 international government and industry leaders. The PFF kickstarted the ASEAN FinTech Month, culminating in the recently concluded Singapore FinTech Festival on November 4. Convening it was Digital Pilipinas, the largest private sector-led movement championing to tech up the country, in partnership with Elevandi, founded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to foster public-private-sector dialogue for FinTech advancement.

Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology Usec. David Almirol promised the participants, “The government is your ally for sustainability in digitalization.”

To MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty, the focus is on “recovery,” especially for “small businesses needing a lot of technology and digital platforms.”

The collaboration between digitally-savvy nations — the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Hungary, Israel, and Japan — birthed the following partnerships:  the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade Training Center and the MAS’ Proxtera; and Digital Pilipinas’ individual agreements with Hungary’s Digitális Jólét Program; Affinidi; and Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority. CEO Wei Zhou acknowledged, “The PFF’s users, capital, and projects will help the take-off” for ASEAN collaboration.

Attended by more than 5000 people, the PFF discussed challenges and potentials involving digital cooperatives; big data and AI; InsureTech, Green Finance; Open Finance; NFTs, e-wallets, and digital currencies; EduTech; WealthTech; MarkTech; AgriTech; and PropTech.

Participating in the PFF were co-presenter and co-convenors Etiqa Philippines, Angkas, PayMongo, Union Bank of the Philippines, digiCOOP, ADVANCE.AI, NinjaVan Philippines, KPMG in the Philippines, UNO Digital Bank, Creador, Globe, PruLife UK, ACUBELAW, Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra, Brankas, GCash, COL Financial, and, Xendit Philippines. Other sponsors were Tech Exactly, StartUp Village, Bounce Back Philippines, Fintech Philippines Association, FinScore, Mapúa University, and GeiserMaclang.

Media partners were Inquirer Group of Companies, Inquirer Mobile, Inquirer.Net, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, United Neon, Coinvestasi, and CoinGeek.

Government and industry leaders are optimistic on ASEAN’s sustained growth as a global digital powerhouse.