By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
Transaction value of financial technology (fintech) market in the Philippines is projected to reach $10.5 billion by 2022, doubling the $5.7-billion level in 2018, industry data showed.
Quoting data from the 2019 Genome Report, Trade and Industry Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said there is huge opportunities for fintech to accelerate given the ₱1-billion budget for startups with the enactment of Philippine Innovation Act and Innovative Startup Act.
“With the funding, I believe we are in a better position to scale up,” she said adding that that Philippines is playing “catch up” with other countries in the region. Aside from direct support to fintech companies, there will be programs to build the ecosystem, capability and exposure of these startups.
“Opportunities for fintech is growing steadily in the Philippines,” she said adding more opportunities are seen as Fintechs will come together for the first Philippine Fintech Festival (PFF) on May 20-21 in Shangri-La, Bonifacio Global City. DTI will have a booth at the festival for business matching sessions with fintech players.
“We are catching up with other ASEAN countries. This budget will make a big difference,” she said noting that Singapore leads the region’s fintech space.
Aldaba cited the steadily growing fintech in the country reaching 136 already, and accounting for more than 36 percent of the more than 500 startups worth $378 million.
On the part of the DTI, the agency has come up with the ICube S, which focuses on innovative and creative industries. At the PFF, Aldaba said DTI will also open a booth at the PFF to match and link fintech businesses.
Aldaba said that government is ensuring an environment where fintechs can thrive both on the legal frameworks and industry support with the enactment of the E-commerce Act, Consumer Act of the Philippines, Data Privacy Act, Cybercrime Prevention Act, bills on open access data transmission.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas oversees the payment systems in the Philippines and exercise supervisory and regulatory powers to ensure the stability and effectiveness of the monetary and fiscal regime.
The BSP is digitizing payment & remittance transactions to achieve financial inclusion (lowers transaction costs & improve access to finance).
It also launched the National Retail Payments System in 2015, which aims to raise e-payments to 20 percent this year, she said.