Opportunities for AI in Financial Services in Asia

Opportunities for AI in Financial Services in Asia

FinovateAsia 2021 is over. But we’re keeping the doors open and the lights on for a few more days to let those of you who attended our digital fintech conference last month to check out any of the keynote addresses and panel discussions that you might have missed. The platform will remain available to FinovateAsia 2021 attendees until July 6th.

One of the hot topics in Asia – like in the rest of the world – is the rise of artificial intelligence, or AI, and its potential impact on fintech and financial services. At FinovateAsia this year, DreamQuark’s Mikko Hietanen and David Destemberg led a virtual meeting on how to use AI in order to help customer to select ESG investments. Among our demoing companies, Singapore-based Crayon Data demonstrated its AI-led platform, maya.ai, that enables enterprises to create highly personalized experiences for their customers.

The latest Big Read on AI in financial services in Asia comes from TechWireAsia, which reviewed a report from McKinsey titled AI in banking: Can banks meet the challenge? as a way of opening up the discussion. The TechWireAsia overview has been making the rounds throughout the fintech Twitterverse, and its support of McKinsey’s conclusions – that banks, including those in the Asia-Pacific, need to be wary of competition from digital challengers that may be quicker to embrace AI – reminds us of how big the stakes are for traditional financial services providers.

Importantly, innovations in AI are not limited to front- or customer-facing solutions. In fact, in Southeast Asia – countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore – some of the biggest gains for AI technology deployment have been in backend operations. This is an area where banks can experiment and test new, AI-powered, solutions – and even develop a more AI-friendly culture, if necessary – before attempting to deploy more customer-facing, (and potentially brand-impacting) AI-based technologies.

That said, as far as the McKinsey report is concerned, for those financial institutions that do pursue what the report calls an “AI-bank” strategy, the rewards could be huge. McKinsey estimates that AI “can potentially unlock $1 trillion of incremental value for banks, annually.” This value is represented in more than 25 different AI use cases capable of helping banks grow revenues, lower costs, and “uncover new and previously unrealized opportunities” due to an AI-given ability to generate key customer insights from massive volumes of data.

And while offering much in the way of a carrot for banks to move carefully and quickly to adopt AI-based technologies, the McKinsey report does wield a stick, as well. “Banks that fail to make AI central to their core strategy and operations,” the report reads, “will risk being overtaken by competition and deserted by their customers.” The report highlights four key trends – rising customer expectations, the accelerating pace of AI adoption by financial institutions, the challenge of digital ecosystems, and competition from Big Tech – that are most likely to compel banks and financial services companies to act.

Photo by Amy Chandra from Pexels

Four Top Takeaways from FinovateAsia Digital

Four Top Takeaways from FinovateAsia Digital

FinovateAsia Digital is in the books! A big thank you to our sponsors – DreamQuark, InterSystems, and CleverTap – our demoing companies – Amber, Crayon Data, Dreams, FinBit.io, QuickFi, and Strands – our speakers and, of course, our attendees. Your innovations and insights helped make our second, all-digital FinovateAsia conference a great success.

What did we learn over the two days of our Asia-focused fintech event? Everyone’s experience is different. But here are four things we heard and saw this week at FinovateAsia that we will be thinking about in the days and weeks to come.

Regulators who get it

It may not be any surprise that entrepreneurs and companies tend to thrive in regions where regulators and governments are constructively engaged in their success. But it is a point worth underscoring. When looking at those places in the APAC region where fintech is emergent – countries like Indonesia and Vietnam – often a progressively-minded regulatory authority or a determined government or government agency is involved. This engagement may be in the form of legislation or licensing that makes it easier for individuals to launch businesses or forge cross-industry partnerships. Constructive engagement can also take the form of creating the necessary infrastructure that companies and entrepreneurs need to create and test their technologies, deploy their solutions, and grow their businesses.

Keep an eye on the southeast

Given the high degree of fintech innovation in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, it is understandable that companies and entrepreneurs in these areas are receiving the lion’s share of the attention. But, as this year’s FinovateAsia reminded us, some of the countries that are only a few steps behind the leaders in terms of economic development are nonetheless the scene of major demographic and social trends. These forces – such as a digitally-oriented Millennial generation entering family formation years and an even more tech-savvy Gen Z right behind them – are also driving innovation in financial technology. Where to look? We’ve got our eyes on Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

India is Asia

In the same way that we should keep southeast Asia in mind when thinking about fintech innovation in the APAC region, it is also worthwhile to remember India’s role in the overall Asian fintech ecosystem. India, which shares a border with China and the Bay of Bengal with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Thailand, is a major fintech player in its own right, with both Indian companies and Indian-born entrepreneurs bringing new innovations to market around the world. The impressive number of companies from India that have demoed their technologies at FinovateAsia over the years – to which we add FinBit.io from this year’s event – is a reminder of India’s importance to the Asian fintech scene writ large.

Everyone wants to do business in Asia

It has been a cliche for decades that every company would love to do business in the rapidly growing markets of Asia. But the COVID pandemic may have been the biggest challenge to this trend since the Great Financial Crisis. Hopefully, the arrival of both COVID vaccines and a new, more globally oriented administration in the U.S. will bring a resumption of the trend toward greater international economic activity, partnership, and integration that existed before the once-in-a-generation pandemic.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Open Banking, Customer Experience, and Crypto: Meet the Innovators of FinovateAsia

Open Banking, Customer Experience, and Crypto: Meet the Innovators of FinovateAsia

With companies hailing from Singapore, Australia, and India, as well as Europe and the U.S., FinovateAsia Digital is a great opportunity to find out more about fintech innovation in the APAC region. Our all-digital fintech conference – June 22 and June 23 – is also a good way to learn how companies outside of Asia have successfully built relationships and gained market share within the area.

Here’s a look at the current roster of companies that will demonstrate their latest solutions at FinovateAsia next week. There’s still plenty of time to get your ticket; register today and join us next week for our two-day, deep dive into fintech in Asia.

Australia-based Amber offers a Bitcoin accumulation app that allows users to dollar cost average, and offers auto-buy-the-dip, auto-withdraw, and self-custody features.

Crayon Data, headquartered in Singapore, offers the world’s first AI-led platform that enables businesses to create highly personalized experiences for their customers.

Bangalore, India-based FinBit.io offers open banking technology that enables financial institutions to transition from outdated financial APIs to smart and compliant APIs based on open banking specifications.

Headquartered in Fairport, New York, QuickFi offers the world’s first, 100% digital equipment financing platform that enables business equipment financing in three minutes.

Strands offers white label, AI-driven fintech solutions for banks and financial institutions around the world.

Photo by Simon Stolzenbach from Pexels

FinovateAsia: Digital Disruption, Embedded Finance, and the Customer Experience

FinovateAsia: Digital Disruption, Embedded Finance, and the Customer Experience

If you are looking to get up to speed on the innovations in fintech taking place in the Asia-Pacific region, then our all-digital fintech conference, FinovateAsia, is your ticket. For two days next week, June 22 and June 23, our guest speakers and distinguished panelists will share their insights and experiences as innovators, entrepreneurs, and analysts in one of the fastest-growing, technologically-creative areas of the world.

We’ve already introduced you to our keynote speakers. Here’s a look at the roundtables and panel discussions that will be available to attendees over the course of the conference. Learn more about FinovateAsia Digital at our FinovateAsia hub and pick up your ticket today!

Digital disruption and customer experience

Examine how customer demands have changed in the current environment. Discover how to build successful partnerships and distribution channels with customers in mind. Read more.

  • Sheila Paul, Chief Marketing Officer, Home Credit Philippines
  • Mikko Hietanen, COO, CreamQuark
  • Shawn Lau, VP, Partnerships Solutions, SwissRe
  • Justin Yiu, Head of Innovation, Solaria Labs East (Asia), Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Gerald Marion, Chief Customer & Strategy Officer, BUPA ANZ
  • Moderated by Marc-Antoine Hager, Sales Director, APAC, CleverTap

Embedded finance and the future of finance

Learn how to harness the power of data and digitization to build new models of finance across verticals. See how to empower customers through better offerings, and how to integrate services into customers’ every day lives. Read more.

  • Victor Alexiev, Director, APAC Head for Citi Ventures, Programs & Strategic Partnerships, ICG, Citi
  • Sonal Kapoor, Director, Flipkart
  • Moderated by Yannick Even, Head of Digital & Smart Analytics APAC, SwissRe

The evolving payment landscape in Asia: Blurring of lines between payment systems

Examine the emerging challenges and opportunities in the payments space. Discuss how the payments industry can foster collaboration to serve consumers and businesses better. Read more.

  • Daniel Webber, Founder / CEO, FXC Intelligence
  • Laetitia Moncarz, Head of Corporates & FI and Business Innovation, SWIFT Asia Pacific
  • Kevin Popermhem, Cross Border Product Manager, ITMX
  • Moderated by Nicholas Soo, Regional Head of Payments, Global Liquidity & Cash Management, HSBC

Change management: Bringing your people on your digitization journey

Learn how implementing cultural change can future-proof your business and attract and retain the right, forward-looking, tech-talented people. Read more.

  • Faraaz Ali, Group Head, Digital Ecosystems, API and Open Banking, DBS
  • Susan Ong, Chief Information Officer, Home Credit Philippines
  • Oscar Ramos, Partner & Managing Director, Chinaccelerator
  • Deepak Oram, Head of Marketing Technology & Automation, HDFC Bank
  • Moderated by John Gist, Head of Fidelity Labs, Fidelity

Overcoming challenges and fostering successful partnerships across new ecosystems

Explore the convergence between financial services, insurance, wealth, and health, and the disruptors working across ecosystems. Learn how you can fit into this emerging ecosystem model and expand into new markets. Read more.

  • Deepak Sharma, Chief Digital Officer, Kotah Mahindra Bank
  • Manish Gurbuxani, Regional Head of Business Development and New Markets, Prudential
  • Alpesh Doshi, Managing Partner, Redcliffe Capital
  • Moderated by Yi Mien Koh, Chief Partnership Officer, Asian Markets, AXA Asia

SME lending in a post-COVID-19 world

Learn how credit and financing options favored by consumers have changed in response to the pandemic. Examine ways to determine the unique credit needs of different customer types and how to build new products to accommodate them. Read more.

  • Nikhilesh Goel, Co-founder and COO, Validus Capital
  • Brian Yeoh, Head of Data Governance and Strategy, Financial Services Regulatory Authority
  • Moderated by Zhi-Ying Barry, Senior Analyst, Forrester

Acceleration of digital banking: Innovating in response to COVID-19

Investigate how banks and other financial institutions embraced digital transformation trends that preceded the pandemic. Discuss what challenges and opportunities are likely to arise in a post-COVID environment. Read more.

  • Sam Tanskul, Managing Director Krungsri Finnovate & Head of Innovation, Krungsri Bank
  • Xue Kai Pang, CEO, Tokocrypto
  • Medhy Soudhi, Head of FinTech & StartupXcharge, DBS
  • Moderated by Lapman Lee, Professor of Practice (FinTech & Innovation), HK Polytechnic University

Leveraging emerging technologies and digitization to reimagine a hybrid customer experience

Discover how to identify customer pain points more efficiently and find the right balance between digital self-service and the human touch. Learn how to harness AI and machine learning to exceed customer expectations. Read more.

  • Andy Chun, Regional Director, Technology Innovation, Prudential
  • Shawn Low, Co-founder and Head of Operations, Better.com
  • Tomasz Kurczyk, Chief Digital and Transformation Officer, AXA
  • Moderated by Frank Yazdi, Head of Priority Client Services, Asia Pacific, HSBC

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

FinovateAsia Digital 2021 Sneak Peek: Amber

FinovateAsia Digital 2021 Sneak Peek: Amber

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateAsia Digital on June 22, 2021. Register today and save your spot.

Amber is an Australian-based Bitcoin accumulation app. It makes it easy to Dollar Cost Average (DCA), auto-buy-the-dip, auto-withdraw, and accumulate the hardest money, scarcest asset on Earth.


  • Auto-accumulate Bitcoin
  • Spend your Fiat
  • Borrow Fiat against your Bitcoin

Why it’s great
With Amber you can collect Bitcoin and self custody it without having to think too hard about it.


Aleks Svetski, CEO & Founder
Svetski is a controversial writer, researcher, keynote speaker, and scholarship recipient who pursued entrepreneurship instead of textbooks. He founded Amber in 2018, the world’s first Bitcoin-only DCA app.

FinovateAsia: Digital Banking, Brand Intimacy, and the Future of Payments

FinovateAsia: Digital Banking, Brand Intimacy, and the Future of Payments

FinovateAsia Digital is less than two weeks away. If you are headquartered in the APAC region, do business in the region, or would simply like to know more about the fintech trends in one of the most technologically innovative parts of the world, then FinovateAsia Digital, held on the 22nd and 23rd of this month, deserves a space on your fintech calendar. Visit our FinovateAsia Digital hub to register and pick up your ticket today.

Last week we previewed some of the major themes that our distinguished speakers and panelists will cover at this year’s conference. Below, we introduce our main stage keynote addresses and speakers to give you an even better sense of what we’ve got in store later this month at the show.

Reshaping the future of digital banking – stories of success

Investigates how a leading digital player is shaking things up, working differently, and building financial services in new and innovative ways. With Keng Swee Koh, Executive Director and Head of Wealth Management, DBS

Enabling a Data-Driven Enterprise

Reveals what top analysts are calling “the future of data management,” and how it is being used to streamline both compliance initiatives and accelerate strategic business initiatives at top financial services firms. With Joe Lichetenberg, Global Head of Product and Industry Marketing, InterSystems

Shaping the Future of Payments

Examines the core trends that are fundamentally transforming global payment systems. Shows how banks will embrace more and more digital payment trends and introduce multiple options for clients to make payments when, where, and how they choose. With Jeremy Balkin, Managing Director, Global Head of FinTech and Innovation, JPMorgan Wholesale Payments

Brand Intimacy & Fintech: Creating Stronger Brands through Emotional Science

Reveals the financial services, technology, and telecom findings of MBLM’s Brand Intimacy COVID Study and also discuss brand intimacy’s positive correlation with financial performance. Demonstrates how to build better connections with customers and the power of brand intimacy: the emotional science behind the bonds we form with the brands we love. With Mario Natarelli, Co-Author, Brand Intimacy, A New Marketing Paradigm

Transparency and trust: How to reach, engage and retain customers post-COVID-19

Explores how large incumbents and fintechs have managed COVID responses, and how a strategy of transparency has benefited companies in increasing consumer trust. Explains who are the winners and losers in the fight for authenticity, and how you can educate your users to enhance reputation and loyalty. With Araminta Robertson, Marketing Consultant, Mint Studios

Photo by Geraldine Tay from Pexels

FinovateAsia Digital 2021 Sneak Peek: QuickFi

FinovateAsia Digital 2021 Sneak Peek: QuickFi

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateAsia Digital on June 22, 2021. Register today and save your spot.

QuickFi allows business borrowers to obtain low, fixed rate business equipment term-loans in minutes, instead of days or weeks. The borrower completes the loan process on a mobile device, 24/7/365.


  • Flexible platform integrations for global manufacturers, serving direct, dealer, and ecommerce sales channels
  • Stated, fixed interest rates with no hidden fees
  • 24/7 equipment financing in three minutes

Why it’s great
The QuickFi platform is designed to dramatically improve the business borrower experience by enabling self-service, transparent, digital financing available 24/7/365 with no fees and no hidden costs.


Nathan Gibbons, COO
Gibbons is COO of QuickFi and oversees the platform’s operational strategy, leveraging automation and technology to enable dramatic improvements to the borrower experience.

Jillian Munson, Technology Project Manager
Munson leads core technology projects at QuickFi. She develops seamless user experiences for both internal and external business processes.

FinovateAsia Digital 2021 Sneak Peek: Crayon Data

FinovateAsia Digital 2021 Sneak Peek: Crayon Data

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateAsia Digital on June 22, 2021. Register today and save your spot.

Crayon’s maya.ai is the world’s first AI-led platform powering the age of relevance. It equips traditional enterprises with the capability to create highly personalized experiences.


  • Boost portfolio spends by 5% to 10%
  • Drive between 15% to 20% spends from inactive segments
  • Deploy Spotify-like personalized storefronts within 10 days

Why it’s great
maya.ai helps personalize at scale while driving every digital engagement metric that matters.


Sunil Varhadkar, VP Sales
Varhadkar is a growth oriented global executive leader with 23 years of experience in B2B and B2C digital platforms across Fin-tech, Ad-tech, Health-tech, and eCommerce.

Rohit Ghosh, Sales Lead
Ghosh is a hardworking, fun, and balanced professional with a thirst for large scale innovation. He is a young leader with a drive to deliver results – better, bigger, and faster.

FinovateAsia Digital 2021 Sneak Peek: Strands

FinovateAsia Digital 2021 Sneak Peek: Strands

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateAsia Digital on June 22, 2021. Register today and save your spot.

Strands is a fintech software company and part of the CRIF Group, which develops AI-driven solutions for banks to help increase customer engagement and generate new revenue through digital channels.


  • Smarter money management for the retail banking customer
  • Improved bank-user engagement
  • Greater share of wallet for the bank

Why it’s great
Strands PFM allows banks to know how people spend and then helps them do it better. With all their accounts in one place and categorized transactions, customers are more able to plan ahead and budget.


Bavani Meganathan, Technical Presales Consultant
Meganathan is Strands’ Technical Presales Consultant in APAC. She is based in Malaysia.

Burgeoning Fintech Trends in Asia

Burgeoning Fintech Trends in Asia

When it comes to trends, Asia has always been ahead of the rest of the world. Because of this, it’s worth paying attention to the fintech themes that will be popping up at FinovateAsia.

Taking place digitally June 22 and 23, FinovateAsia will highlight discussions featuring the latest thought leaders in the industry. Tickets are still available; book before June 4 to receive a discount.

Here is a highlight of some of the topics you can expect to see throughout the two day event:

Embedded finance

After last year’s transition to digital, embedded finance has more potential than ever. During the panel titled Embedded Finance and the Future of Finance, our experts will address how to harness the power of data and digitization to build new models of finance across verticals and how to empower customers through better offerings. The group will share new models for meeting customer needs, and discuss how incumbent firms fit into the new picture.

The customer experience obsession

Asia is known for its hyper-focus on the customer experience. What are some of the lessons firms can learn from super apps like Alipay that delight customers? Our customer experience panel will discuss changing customer demands in line with the current climate, as well as address how to build successful partnerships and distribution channels with customers in mind.

Empowering ESG

ESG is one of the hottest topics in fintech this year, and it’s no longer limited to investing. The ESG panel at FinovateAsia, titled Leveraging Emerging Technologies to Meet ESG Goals, will assess the activities that can be done around ESG, look at how banks can make ESG a commercially viable product and scale up ESG initiatives, examine how regulators are approaching sustainability, and discuss how sustainability goals are encouraging new ways of partnering.

Cross-border payments and real-time payments

When it comes to cross-border payments, the future is real-time and global. FinovateAsia’s panel titled Integration between cross-border payments systems – The evolution of RTP across Asia will look at what the industry needs to do to support the regulatory agenda and at the additional services and value banks can offer. The team of experts will consider current progress with the interoperability of RTP systems and what the industry needs to do to overcome obstacles.


If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the fintech industry over the past few years, it’s that partnerships are key for survival. In a panel titled, Overcoming challenges and fostering successful partnerships across new ecosystems, we’ll host a range of bank executives as they share expert advice on how banks can best cooperate with startups, make the most of their networks, work quickly without sacrificing quality, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset throughout the organization.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

New Year, New Content

New Year, New Content

We just closed out the final Finovate event of 2020, but that doesn’t mean we are taking things easy. In fact, the work is just beginning! Our team is heads-down, focusing on curating speakers and content for our events in 2021.

We have a full lineup (and then some) for next year. Here’s what we have slated and how you can participate. Mark your calendars!

FinovateEurope Digital

FinovateSpring Digital

FinovateAsia Digital

FinovateFall (Face-to-Face!)

We’ll also have a range of new digital offerings that we’ll be unveiling soon. These products are unique to Finovate and will provide more options for time-conscious consumers.

We’ll be announcing these initiatives next month so stay tuned!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash