Next Tuesday the Next Money Asia 2018 Fintech Finals will kick off in Hong Kong. I’ll be there (so drop me a note on Twitter if you are too) networking, debating and celebrating with the who’s who in the Asia Pacific fintech scene.
Ably conceived, orchestrated and run by master networker and fintech leader Rob Findlay, speakers at this year’s event include:
- Dave Birch, payments expert, author of the excellent book Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us, and who, if there were an award for most entertaining storyteller in fintech, would win it hands down
- Megan Caywood, Chief Platform Officer for Starling Bank and recently listed on Forbes 30 under 30 European finance influencer list. Megan gave a stellar talk at Australian Fintech’s Intersekt festival in Melbourne last year. A serious talent to watch.
- Melissa Guzy, Founder & Managing Partner of Arbor Ventures, one of the more active and specialized fintech VCs in the region
But aside from the big names billed, the Fintech Finals is really all about trying to work out who could be next year’s Revolut, Betterment or Klarna. We trawled through the list of startups pitching, and these ones caught our eye, for various reasons. Put them on your watch list.
Identiti is developing an identity middleware like application for banks (on the blockchain of course), designed to help banks move away from a Know Your Customer world to a Know Your Transaction style of compliance thinking. The identity tokens at the heart of its overlay solution can interface with existing payment rails (SWIFT, ACH, RTGS).
Digital identity definitely seems to be the flavor of the event, with a number of other startups competing in the same vertical. Given the growing digital footprint in Asia, as more of the market comes online, it’s no surprise this would be a hotbed of innovation for the region. Some estimates suggest South East Asia’s digital economy alone will hit $200B in 2025, and Hong Kong a natural leaping off point for many startups coming into the region.
Baasis ID is one of the identity platforms vying for the top price. The venture is the offshoot of Estonian business Data Depot, who once described their customer analytics platform as ‘Tinder for fintech startups’.
Either way, aside from identity and KYC, there is no doubt blockchain will be the buzzword of the event. And when not watching the main stage, my guess is the crowd of entrepreneurs, fintech enthusiasts and fringe finance professionals will be maniacally monitoring the fluctuations in their crypto portfolios.
Here’s to Next Money Fintech Finals 2018, and hope to see you there, if you’re in town!
Daily Fintech Advisers provides strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech. Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy.