Fintech investments in APAC to quadruple in 2015: Accenture

A new report from Accenture has indicated that Asia-Pacific financial services will be making fintech investments in blockchain, cloud, and security.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Investments in financial technology (fintech) across Asia Pacific are set to at least quadruple in 2015, according to a new report by Accenture.

The report, Fintech Invest in Asia Pacific set to at least quardruple in 2015, showed that in the first nine months of 2015, fintech investments nearly reached $3.5 billion from $880 million in all of 2014.

The report showed the largest share of fintech investment deals were in payments that made up 40 percent of total investments, followed by lending at 25 percent.

Accenture has also predicted the volume of deals is set to increase slightly at 122 as of October 1, compared with 117 for all of 2014. This rise was said to be driven by investment deals made in and from China, by organisations including Alibaba Group Holding and its Ant Financial Services Group subsidiary, into Paytm, an Indian-based mobile payment and commerce platform; and fundraising efforts by Ping An Insurance Group venture Lufax.

Beat Monnerat, senior managing director at Accenture and the company's Financial Services lead in Asia Pacific, said major non-traditional financial services companies have been investing heavily in the fintech payments space in the last year.

"The increasing deal size should serve as a wake-up call to financial services companies in China and across Asia Pacific that if they do not offer truly useful, customer-friendly digital solutions, competitors will step into the breach not just on the retail front but also in commercial transactions," he said.

The report has also identified that financial services will look at investing in blockchain, cloud, and online security technology.

Greg Carroll, senior managing director and head of financial services for Accenture in Australia and New Zealand, said the investments financial services companies are making in these areas signal that they recognise the growth opportunities in fintech.

"Banks across Australia are looking at ways to incorporate the underlying technology, blockchain, into their systems. This opens the door for innovation and that's where fintech startups may find an opportunity in Australia," he said.

"Cybersecurity in financial services is a constant battle. What we're hearing (and our research shows) is banks are continuing to increase their investments in risk-management capabilities and efforts to fight cyber-related financial crimes. That means that startups with fintech solutions on this front are going to be seriously considered by banks.

"Most conversations we have with banks and non-banks across Australia and New Zealand considering banking services include discussions around how to utilise cloud. There's unquestionably interest. If fintech entrepreneurs come up with solutions that save banks money and make banking easier for customers, bank executives will be willing to listen."

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