The New Consumer-Led Economy in the Philippines

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6.9%. That’s how much private consumer spending increased in the Philippines in 2016. Whether compared to neighbours Indonesia and Thailand at 4.8% and 2.1% respectively, or when held up against Western markets like the USA and the UK at 3.2% and 2.4%, the statistic coming out of the Philippines is remarkable. What is perhaps even more exciting is that the …


The Rise of Fintech in Vietnam

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Following in the footsteps of regional financial powerhouses Hong Kong and Singapore, in March 2017 the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) announced the launch of the “Steering Committee on Financial Technology”. Tasked with “improving the ecosystem” and cultivating a positive legal framework to facilitate the growth of fintech businesses throughout the country, this move has been seen as a largely …

USAID and the Philippines partner to deliver financial services to vulnerable populations

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The U.S. Government and the Department of Social Welfare (DSWD) entered into a new partnership to improve the lives of the Philippines’ most vulnerable families. U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Dr. Susan Brems and DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to improve the delivery of government financial services through electronic …


IFC insights into financial inclusion

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Financial inclusion is an incredibly important topic at this year’s Cards & Payments Asia conference (20th-21st April, Singapore). We’re excited to be welcoming to the show Swapnil Kant Neeraj, Principal & Microfinance Lead at IFC, part of the World Bank Group, who will be joining our panel on “banking the bottom of the pyramid”. Ahead of the session we caught …

How to Turbo Charge Mobile Financial Services in the Philippines

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With the majority of the population unbanked or under-served, there’s certainly room for improvement in the current mainstream financial system in the Philippines. As Lawrence Summer, president emeritus at Harvard University, explained earlier this year, it’s not just in the Philippines – worldwide mainstream finance “has not succeeded and is succeeding less well than it once did in its basic function of …


Faircent and the rise of P2P in India

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Given its ability to provide underserved borrowers with access to affordable credit for the first time, it is perhaps no surprise that we are seeing the greatest leaps forward in P2P lending in large, low GDP per capita countries like China and India. We recently caught up with the CEO of Indian P2P lending marketplace Faircent, Rajat Gandhi, who spoke to …

Jaiveer Singh

Jaiveer Singh on Banking With The Poor

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At the Financial Inclusion Summit we are pleased to have on board with us Jaiveer Singh, Vice President, Core Banking Technology at DBS Bank who will deliver the opening keynote to kickstart the day’s programme. According to Jaiveer, banking the poor will be a good business when services are designed for their needs and they are within their reach. Technology …

Banking on under-served SMEs with EFA Group

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More than half a decade into the global financial crisis, access to financial support for under-served traders and entrepreneurs remains a major concern globally. There is increasing realisation that SMEs and entrepreneurs are being disproportionately affected by unmitigated financial reforms and the sheer pace of their implementation. As they are more financially dependent on bank finance than large firms, SMEs are less able …


10 minutes with Bitspark’s George Harap

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We caught up with George Harap, CEO at Bitspark Limited and our speaker for the Financial Inclusion Summit for a quick chat about his interests and aspirations around the future of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Based in Hong Kong, George is a Fintech addicted Bitcoin evangelist focused on financial inclusion utilising innovative new systems for the next billion people to join …

Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion: yesterday’s poor, tomorrow’s customers

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Asia has borne witness to a technological renaissance during the last decade with the exponential growth e-payments, commerce and banking solutions. As of 2015, we have crossed the threshold for usage and growth.  The Asia Pacific region now boosts the world’s fastest growing non-cash transactions market, enjoying approximately 9.5 per cent compound annual growth, with emerging Asian markets such as Indonesia …