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Money 20/20 Singapore Day 3 Recap

A few things that caught my eye on the third and last day of Money 20/20 Asia:

Views from the CIO of Ping An

  • In a crowded environment, fintech companies must define their offering: either target financial institutions or a portion of the market that is under-served.

  • The "data lake" will become more important than product distribution, brand and capital.

  • ICOs are the training wheels for the token economy. The tokenisation of assets, not ICOs or blockchain, is the game changer.

On AirAsia launching financial services

  • An e-wallet will offer cross-border remittances and loans.

  • The focus will be on Southeast Asia as opposed to China or India.

  • The company will attempt to monetise the data it has collected on millions of passengers over 16 years.

  • Despite a crowded field, the airline’s founder Tony Fernandes believes Big Pay can coexist with competitors.

On challenger banks

  • Plummeting costs, consumer behaviour and welcoming regulation have reduced the barriers to entry.

  • Operations and regulations should be the main area of focus at launch.

  • Budget roughly 60 million dollars to start a virtual bank.

On the crypto speech given by the head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore

  • Cryptocurrencies are not money: they lack widespread acceptance, trust and stability.

  • Blockchains are well suited for applications where a central authority is missing or is too expensive with supply chains, trade finance and cross border payments being prime candidates.

  • Not everything belongs on the blockchain.

  • On the downside, cryptocurrencies facilitate illicit transactions and ransomware.

  • Regulation cannot address all issues related to cryptocurrencies; intermediaries must also do their part.

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