Philippine Fintech Festival Highlights Need for Cross-Border Collaboration

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Editing and Additional Reporting by Nathaniel Cajuday

The Digital Pilipinas Festival (DPS), which is composed of the Philippine FinTech Festival (PFF) and the World FinTech Festival-Philippines (WFF-PH), has successfully gathered local and foreign industry and tech leaders for week-long festivities, discussions, and workshops, Digital Pilipinas (DP), the event’s organizer, announced. 

Set to conclude today, October 21, 2022, DP emphasized that the event’s success has put the country “at the forefront of being a soft haven for global innovators.”

The DPS commenced last Monday, October 17, 2022. It is a 5-day event where local and foreign leaders share their plans for mutual advancement through innovations such as Web 3.0, InsureTech, AI, and Big Data, among others. 

According to DP and WFF-PH Convenor Amor Maclang, the Philippines has now become “a welcoming gateway to ASEAN for other countries who wish to do business in our region, for innovators from other countries who, in the face of adverse political or economic conditions, need to temporarily relocate to where their culture of innovation will be preserved.”

Moreover, the conversations during the festival have led to tech collaborations among the ASEAN nations, concluding that it does mutually bring several advantages to each country.

“(Without cross-border ecosystems), we will not be successful with digitalization. What we are trying to do is that everyone is a collaborator. It has to be cross-country, ASEAN, regional, and global,” Manish Bhai, Founder, President, and CEO of UNO Digital Bank stated.

While Jimmy Kyle Siy, Brankas Director of Customer Success, also expressed that a positive impact on trade would be the first advantage of an ASEAN tech collaboration. 

“The more seamless transactions are between ASEAN countries, the more trade between its member countries is encouraged. Technology enables a broader demographic of prospective trade partners as well. One good example is how Singapore and Indonesia have linked their respective fast payment systems (PayNow and UPI) to enable low-cost fund transfers. We need to work with the respective governments to make sure we are fully compliant with the various monetary policies of each,” he explained.

Angkas CEO George Royeca, on the other hand, noted that working with ASEAN means the entities must also collaborate with regulators to create the best products that will have the highest positive effect, adding that by working with regulators, companies “can have better rates and good insurance plans.”

Also, Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chair of KPMG, Noel Bonoan, shared that they are also concentrating on “e-governance to deliver good services for a younger constituency and to essentially make their cities more livable.”

Meanwhile, the tech leaders that attended the fest also expressed their desire to bring digital transformation to the mainstream public. 

To provide digital services for cooperatives and their members, Ann Cuisia, the CEO and President of digiCOOP Technology Service Cooperative, stated that they are building ecosystems “widely progressing mostly for the grassroots.”

Then Coins.ph CEO Wei Zhou shared his plans to make the Philippines “a leader in Web 3.0 not just in ASEAN, but globally. Digital assets and blockchain are equalizers and can mean financial empowerment. It’s a good place to start.”

Accordingly, in a separate interview, Rico Bautista, President and CEO of Etiqa Philippines, addressed the relevance of the DPF to businesses that want to transition to the digital market: 

“We want to hear thoughts and best practices so that we can be more deliberate in tech-ing up the industry. We want to use technology in reaching out to more of our target market in the life and non-life sector. In the era of Web 3.0, Open Finance, and soon-to-be Open Insurance, we need to be aware of the trends that we are seeing that can help us capture the target markets we have identified.” 

Further, the Head of Corporate Strategy of COLFinancial, April Tan, explained how their online trading platform can connect ASEAN countries. 

According to Tan, investors can participate in the different ASEAN countries by buying shares, emphasizing that access to financial resources can bring wealth growth.

Consequently, Michael Calma, the Philippines Country Manager of Advance.AI, stressed that economic advancement can happen by “localizing AI and Big Data down to the masses, making consumer protection, financial services, and e-customer services more accessible to them.”

“Through partnerships with other FinTech companies, we make sure that other financial products offshore can be brought here,” said UnionBank’s UBX Senior Vice President Erika Dizon-Go. 

She also added that the Union Bank of the Philippines will adopt a spirit of cooperation to span across the SEA region.

At the same event, Dizon-Go also mentioned that although it is still a bear market, the non-fungible token (NFT) adoption would further spread in the country. According to her, NFTs will be “definitely useful” for people to earn and build wealth on their own. (Read more: UBX Chief: NFT Adoption Would Prevail)

The DPS is also known to be in partnership with Elevandi, an organization founded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to foster public-private-sector dialogue to advance FinTech in the digital economy.

In a recent media release, Digital Pilipinas stated that through DPS they are creating an anti-fragile system in the country. Moreover, this festival will also jump-start a month-long celebration of digital adoption in the ASEAN region.  (Read more: Digital Pilipinas Festival Headlines PH Fintech Fest 2022)

This article is published on BitPinas: Philippine Fintech Festival Highlights Need for Cross-Border Collaboration

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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