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Top 5 brain foods from Money2020 China

Money2020 is one of the most prominent fintech conferences in the world. Known for its wild parties in Las Vegas, it added events in Europe (Amsterdam and Copenhagen) in 2016, and this year opened up new locations — Singapore, and — wait for it… China. Hangzhou, home of Ant Financial (Alipay), no introduction needed, and Lianlianpay, that was a co-organiser of the event — largest Chinese b2b money remittance and settlement operator. So you know this blog anchor could not miss this event for the world.

Here is the food for your brain, served through the major keynotes and panel discussion:

1. West has finally ceded to Asia supremacy in technology innovation use in daily life, learning from Asian cases more than introducing theirs. That’s about time.

Citi’s Bank of Future report was unusually well-balanced on the geography level. Speakers and attendees were well diverse, in fact, all regions of the world, geography-wise and job-wise from tech, regulation, business — all areas. Tencent has invited Western fintech to South-East Asian markets. WorldPay has extensively covered the emerging markets of Brazil, India, Indonesia, even Russia with data from their Global Payments Report. And vice versa, London vice-mayor was inviting Asian fintech to London. So sweet.

2. AI is hotter than ever. Hotter than neo-banks even.

Ant Financial’s CEO Eric Jing proclaimed AI to be a key part of their technology innovation — used in customer service, robo-insurance claiming and scoring, risk management procedures, loans, wealth management robo-advising etc. Fintech is buzzing with AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) practical use cases.

The thinking has shifted towards this: people want to disengage from the finances, to not make any financial decisions by themselves, that is why PFM hasn’t really taken off. People want to trust someone smarter than they are, somebody with superior brain. AI that is. Moreover, since everyone is developing their own AI, it is believed it will not really be an interaction between human and AI, it will be interaction between two AIs, like my finance app’s AI and AIs of the banks or service that my AI chose.

3. Forget about crypto-currencies, now it’s all blockchain talk.

Time to show cases. Ripple has talked about their b2b solution for banks and fintechs, and actual real fully functioning cases. Ant Financial claimed no one files as many blockchain patents in the world as them. Moreover, they built a financial blockchain platform, to solve their current issues, and to deal with trusted data, items, contracts, assets, identities. And opened its blockchain platform as a service — BaaS to any developers.

4. India is like the popular girl — everyone wants a piece of that.

The Indian government has built an infrastructure for identification, taking away KYC headache with biometric Adhaar, built open API platform with UPI to discourage any close systems, effectively making all banks, e-wallets and other financial service providers equal at the basics, leaving room for competition solely by product, distribution and budgets. Every other country’s regulator is straight forward jealous. I’ll talk more on India in next materials.

5. The superstar of the show — Ant Financial shared their stats and strategy. Bow to the king!

Apart from AI and blockchain Ant Financial believes in numbers power.
2 trillion loans to 11 mln microenterprises. 
During 11/11 60,3% transactions confirmed by fingerprint of facial recognition — here you go, mobile traffic share. 150 mln product shipments to other countries tracked by Ant Blockchain. #1 in blockchain patent applications.

Ant Financial current global footprint outside China is PayTM in India, Kakao Pay in South Korea, Alipay in Hong Kong, Ascend Money in Thailand, Touch&Go in Malaysia, Mynt in Philippines, Dana in Indonesia, bKash in Bangladesh, Easypaisa in Pakistan.

“1+N” — their concept for micro-business, 1 QR-code as a payment collection technology will ultimately bring micro-business to utilise N more services later: marketing, training, cash management, loans, insurance etc.

“310” — their concept for the turnover-based SME loans: 3 minutes for processing application, 1 second for crediting the account with loan, 0 manual work.

“212” — their concept for the insurance claims workflow: 2 minutes for processing application, 1 second for review, 2 hours for insurance settlement to the account.

Of course, this is not an extensive coverage, there were many more interesting things announced, like WeRemit by WeChat Pay, or the story of Bangladesh’ bKash. So welcome to the next Money2020 to hear things for yourself!



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Anna Kuzmina

Anna Kuzmina



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21 Jan 2019



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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