Asia Financial Industry Blog

Zhong’an is probably the most famous digital insurance company in China. Not only because what they do, more interestingly, it is down to the famous background of its shareholders, who are collectively called the Three Ma: Jack Ma of Alibaba, Huateng Ma of Tencent, and Mingzhe Ma of Ping’an.

KPMG and H2 Ventures, an Australian Fintech ventural capital company, have issued their report on the 2016 Top 100 Global Fintech Companies. Amongst many of the key findings in the report, it is clear that China Fintech is in the lead. 

The recent wave of Alipay partnerships with merchant acquirers has spanned the globe. With the common goal of letting Chinese tourists pay with Alipay, one of their favorite payment methods, Ant Financial has partnered with Wirecard in Germany, Ingenico in France and First Data in the US.

With November 11th right around the corner, we will soon be in the midst of the China's largest shopping day of the year. The real question will be what happens this year. We know that e-commerce sales will be huge, but will Alibaba be able to beat their 91.2 billion RMB ($18.8 billion) 2015 singles day turnover and set another global record for the largest one day GMV sales?

Last week, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), who are collectively known in China as the “Yi Hang San Hui” (one central bank, three commissions), have issued four major implementation plans around Internet finance. The plans are aimed at reducing risk and further issues in the internet finance industry. Although the regulations will mean tighter controls around internet finance and fintech development in China, it should result in a more healthy environment for the industry in the future.

Alipay, the most popular mobile payment app in China, has launched a brand new feature at the end of September called “Everywhere”. This new function can help Alipay users to find people nearby who may provide certain services you want. So if you need a plumber, you can use "Everywhere" to find one near you. 

On October 14, HNA Usolv, a cross-border trade solutions provider under the brand of HNA Group, signed a cooperation agreement with CRIF, one of the leading European credit information companies.

On Oct 6th, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the operating guidelines for Payment Banks (PBs) and Small Finance Banks (SFBs).

October 06 2016

Sibos Geneva 2016 Wrap-up

Written by

SibosGeneva Large

Although it was only a week ago, Sibos 2016 already seems like a distant memory with most of the world (with the exception of the Chinese who are still in the midst of the October holiday) back to work. Hosted in Geneva, the conference didn't disappoint. The week was packed with meetings, panels, discussions, and presentations.

On September 28th, the Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) (1658.HK) finally made its IPO debut in Hong Kong after a lot of speculation.

Meituan-Dianping, the result of the merger of the group buying titans Meituan and Dianping, completed the acquisition of payment company QiandaiPay on the September 27th. The deal is significant in a few ways and demonstrates the current state of affairs in China’s payments industry.

SibosGeneva Large

Sibos is in full-swing here in Geneva with a record number of delegates and exhibitors on Day One already. Kapronasia is delighted to be part of Sibos 2016 and will be participating in three sessions of the next couple of days. Please join us at one of our sessions to hear our insights on the latest Asia Financial Industry trends and how we can help your business succeed in Asia. 

Here are the highlights:

On Tuesday September 27th at 11am Zennon Kapron will be moderating the Payments Market Infrastructure Roundtable. The session is a closed door event with regulators and central banks across the region to discuss the latest trends and challenges in payment infrastructure in Asia. 

On Thursday the 29th of September from 12:45-13:45 in the Innotribe space, Zennon Kapron will be guest speaking on Fintech Hubs and more specifically the developments around China Fintech. 

Later that same afternoon on Thursday the 29th from 14:00-15:00 in Conference Room 3 (CR3), Zennon will join an expert panel to speak on the topic of Emerging Markets: Mobile money and financial inclusion.

We have already met many of you at the event, but there are three days left, and we have a few open time slots if you are interested in learning more about how Kapronasia's products and services may help you, please reach out: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Bank of Harbin was granted a license to set up its consumer finance company, Hayin, on September 19th. The bank owns 59% shares of Hayin’s equity with paid-in capital RMB295 million ($44 million). It is another consumer finance license which is issued by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to a company that has a banking background. 

On September 4th, Urjit Patel officially became the new central bank chief in India. He succeeded Raghuram Rajan, who was famous for largely stabilising the economy during his three year term. Under Patel's leadership, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to continue the current policy regime.

The recent introduction of offline mobile banking apps in India underlines the determination by both government and private banks to push financial inclusion in India and is a strong signal that India is ready to embrace fintech and innovation to solve complex problems within its banking network.

China's internet finance, or fintech, sector has had a busy couple of years as the industry has developed to be a critical part of the financial industry as a whole. Yet, the developments have been somewhat imbalanced. While areas like digital payments and asset management grew and matured, others like credit scoring fell behind. On September 9th, China's National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) finally launched their digital Credit Information Sharing platform, which really brings credit scoring into the fintech fold in China. 

Over the past year, China's National Development and Reform Commission had been defining and refining the new payment card merchant fees. These came into effect on September 6th. The requirements have a range of implications, and are impacting the industry already.

Leaders of the world's largest economies gathered at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China this past week. For the first time, 'Green Finance' was written into the agenda among other topics. Clearly, there is more that we could do as a global society to manage climate and environment change, a fact recognised by many of the attendees. The effort also showed China’s determination to move towards a low carbon and more sustainable development track.

Xiaomi, the well-known Chinese technology focused electronics company, has announced the launch of its payment services “MI Pay”, which is in cooperation with China Union Pay, the biggest Bankcard Association in China. The official launch date is September 1st. After Apply pay, Samsung Pay, Xiaomi is yet another mobile company joining the competition with Alipay in the third-party payment industry in China.

Indian messaging app Hike raised $175 million in funding from global investors this month. This round of funding valued the messaging app at $1.4 billion, cementing Hike's entry into India's coveted "tech unicorn" club. Even so, it was one of Hike's new shareholders that lifted more eyebrows. Tencent, the owner of WeChat and China's most popular messaging app, were among the investors throwing their bets behind Hike. Kapronasia takes a look at possible advantages of this new relationship. 

The recent announcement that Canadian merchants will now accept UnionPay’s mobile QuickPass payment, along with Ingenico partnering with Alipay to provide mobile payments in Europe, highlight that huge strides are being made by both UnionPay and Alipay to infiltrate Western markets and that these efforts are being supported by the Western payments industry.

Beijing has approved a new trading link between Shenzhen’s and Hong Kong’s stock markets to be opened by the end of the year. With the start of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong link, 880 companies will be added to the already available 567 through the Shanghai link that opened in 2014.

On Aug 12th 2016, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issued license extensions to the first group of companies in China to ever receive a third party payment license five years ago.  It was a long wait for the 27 firms. Their licenses, including those of industry giants Alipay and China UnionPay, had expired 78 days ago. 

Ant Finance, the most valuable Fintech startup in China, announced their plan to launch another payment app based on Virtual Reality (VR) technology. It will allow customers to make payments when they are using VR.

Inclusive finance is one of the most focused on issues for the Chinese government this year. In January, authorities issued a five-year plan for the development of inclusive finance in the country, and since then, the term has appeared multiple times in government reports and is still gaining traction.

One of the significant implications of the Brexit EU referendum is that over 40 years of political and commercial contracts and relationships will need to be reviewed. Once Article 50 of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, which specifies the procedure for the exit from the EU, has been implemented, the UK will then have two years to negotiate its withdrawal as well as its participation in all of the existing UK-EU arrangements. Although the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has stated will only happen next year, the UK will need to re-establish its current trading interests and create new ones. One of the most critical partnerships to be re-negotiated will be the one that it has with China.

In its August 2016 report on the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for mobile financial services, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) conceded that their attempts to replicate the success of USSD mobile financial services in other nations, such as Kenya’s M-Pesa, and provide banking solutions for the underbanked, had failed.

In July, China released the second draft of its Cyber Security Law, just a year after the release of the first draft. On one hand, many of the key terms listed will have to be better defined before it is possible to draw definite conclusions about the implications of the Law. On the other, it is already clear that the Law makes it harder for foreign technology companies to conduct business in China, and this will likely be the case for financial institutions too. Specifically, the second draft does that by expanding and blurring the scope of the regulation, giving authorities broader access to information systems and raising data localization requirements.

Last week, the government injected Rs 22,915 Crores or approximately $ 3.14 billion in 13 public sector banks in India. Of this one third of the allocation went to the State Bank of India. The capital infusion is expected to help banking institutions clean up their books, increase lending activity and also raise additional funds. However, not everyone is celebrating the move.

Over the past few months Alibaba's 'Finance Cloud' has gained significant traction with an estimated 40+ banks subscribing to some, if not all, of the services available on the financial platform. Far from just a cloud platform, Ali Finance Cloud is the closest we have seen to 'Bank in the Cloud.'

Page 9 of 24