Key Takeaways from the Bay Area FinTech Salon
The Bay Area FinTech Salon (fiftieth session)
On 7th September 2023, I had the pleasure to join the Bay Area FinTech Salon (fiftieth session), held by the Shenzhen Financial Technology Association and the Hong Kong Financial Technology Association. The aim of the event was to foster continuous collaboration between technology leaders in the Financial Services industry in Shenzhen and Hong Kong and assist more Hong Kong and overseas enterprises to develop business in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and other parts of the mainland.
In the spirit of collaboration, industry experts shared their insights on the latest trends, innovations, and regulatory developments. One of the key takeaways from these discussions, was the shift in mindset towards driving digital innovation and digital transformation projects.
Trend in China towards digital transformation in Financial Institutions
In China, working long hours is a sign of hard work and dedication. Working beyond normal working hours, especially in Financial Institutions, is considered the norm. However, there’s a shift in culture and now working hard doesn’t mean you work 24/7, working hard means you have good technology tools to support the business to enhance the experience for clients and increase efficiency.
The mindset has developed in the region, for IT to empower businesses to automate the operations and allow their employees to focus on value added activities. Digital innovation will empower more possibilities for the business to seek more opportunities and generate the next growth.
Key Benefits of Driving Digital Innovations
Financial institutions in the GBA and other parts of the mainland are driving digital innovation to better serve their clients. To promote digital transformation they are focussed on four key things:
- Enhancing customer experience
- Increasing efficiency and reducing cost
- Incubate more talent/Upskill talent to ensure they have the right IT resources to deploy. (For example, RegTech lab and education centres set up to teach the new generation to drive digital innovation)
- Working with regulatory bodies to balance security and risk compliance
The Challenge of Balancing Customer Experience and Compliance
As the GBA unfold and greater integration is enabled, this involves several challenges. The key pain point for Financial Institutions is balancing the customer experience whilst guaranteeing security. People are becoming more impatient and demand a seamless online experience. Digital banks are growing massively in the region, with setting up 100% digitally, no paper forms from the outset.
For banks they have to some extent, the highest bar of regulatory and compliance requirements. To overcome this, they have to have an open channel with regulatory bodies to ensure they report credible data and work together to ensure they meet the standards. One of the key challenges is the regulatory framework in relation to cross-border data flows due to different regulatory frameworks and standards.
There is an immense workload at the beginning, but it makes it a lot easier for the future. Whilst regulatory frameworks may be seen to inhibit Financial Institutions to digitalise their operations, they actually need this to optimise the process and ensure compliance.
Adoption of FinTech and RegTech in the Greater Bay Area
This event represents the opportunities that follow from a continuous collaboration between the two neighbourhoods, strengthening the bonds and driving innovation and making a positive impact with our industry on both local and regional scales.
The GBA is a gateway for China to access the global market. With talent and resource to facilitate this, the adoption of FinTech’s and RegTech’s from Hong Kong and overseas companies into the GBA, will strengthen synergies and empower new businesses to grow.
We would love to talk to you about our latest digital innovations and see how you can use our expertise to achieve your digital transformation goals. For more information reach out to us or request a demo today.