The Taiwan Banker

The Taiwan Banker

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Editor in Chief, The Taiwan Banker
Hank Huang (黃崇哲)
FinTech Taipei 2019 Points to the Future of Finance 2020.01 The Taiwan Banker NO.121

  Over two short days, 50,000 people participated in FinTech Taipei 2019, jointly organized by the Taiwan Financial Services Roundtable and TABF, which has now become the most important annual event of Taiwan’s financial industry. As President Tsai Ing-wen noted in her speech, in response to the coming challenges from FinTech, Taiwan’s government has implemented its Regulatory Sandbox, FinTech Space, and open banking, as well as cooperating with overseas companies, turning Taiwan into a high-level asset management center for Asian companies. FinTech Taipei demonstrates Taiwan’s ambition for future financial development, and its hope for the industry to play a more decisive role in the international financial market. The conference’s discussion forums were also well-received, gathering domestic and overseas experts. Foreign experts shared their experiences and lessons learned from existing projects regarding the currently implemented regulatory sandbox and open banking policies, effectively reducing Taiwan’s distance from international practices.

Open banking, in which third-party platforms use interfaces to add value to consumer data stored in financial institutions, will provide a completely new user experience and become an inevitable FinTech development. In the future, FinTech apps will be able to collect salary, investment, and purchase records from all accounts of a consumer, in order to give them real-time financial diagnostic reports with purchase and investment advice, creating new sources of value. Within this type of cooperative relationship, however, smoothly joining existing data formats with outside platforms, and protecting consumer data privacy and security without “opening” up one’s profit source, pose great challenges for financial institutions.

Although open banking is a new practice, it is in fact already outdated. The latest international financial trends no longer emphasize data exchange only between banks, but also the “Open X” cross-sector model including all consumer ecosystems. Imagine what services could be provided by effectively, securely, and privately combining consumer deposit and clinical visit data – or what business models might become possible by integrating Facebook groups with financial data provided by upstream and downstream manufacturers. Such cross-sector cooperation will also be an excellent opportunity for financial services to reimagine their value, which is based on trust.

Due to the importance of cross-border finance, major FinTech events like this one, bringing together businesspeople and consumers from all walks of life, form the beginnings of Taiwan’s future cross-sector financial services.

Although Taiwan’s FinTech sector is just starting its development, as existing businesses step up investment, and with the efforts of new entrants, newer and better financial services will surely continue to arrive on the scene. As FSC Chairman Wellington Koo emphasized to international venture teams, Taiwan’s overall economic stability, abundant financial and technological talent, and sound systems and infrastructure form the optimal conditions for FinTech development. A bustling and professional international exhibition is the best way to show this competitiveness and the resolve of the government.