China Has Overtaken Silicon Valley to Become World Fintech Leader, SDB and Ernst & Young Report Says

Yicai

2016-12-06

(Yicai Global) Dec. 6 -- Mainland China has become the international hub for fintech making it the leader among global industries, a joint report titled The Rise of Fintech in China by The Development Bank of Singapore and consultants Ernst & Young.

The report said China led in fintech due to its development rate, complexity and scale being far more advanced than those of other developed markets.

By comparison, Hong Kong has just begun to encourage innovations in science and technology and the UK and US are still striving for the title of the world’s leading financial science and technology centers.

China’s leading position in fintech is mainly attributed to the significant market opportunities in China’s financial service industries. In 2015, China achieved a Gross Domestic Product as high as USD10.9 trillion, equivalent to the sum of the ten next-largest emerging markets.

Such an economic growth rate could enable China to have over 70 percent of its population occupying the middle-class by 2030.

Moreover, Chinese consumers are more inclined to conduct financial transactions and consume online. Along with support from the government, the hi-tech in Mainland China has accordingly enjoyed a rapid rise.

The out-of-proportion digital supporters in China are more open-minded than those in western countries, and are less anxious about online public security and offering personal information.

For example, 40 percent of Chinese consumers will opt for new electronic payment methods, while in Singapore, the figure is only 4 percent.

In addition, 35 percent of Chinese are willing to learn about insurance products via fintech, whereas the number of consumers is merely one to two percent in Southeast Asian markets.

In the wealth management and loan markets in China, fintech also has a considerable presence.

Fintech products are more acceptable to Chinese consumers, the report found. Unlike other developed markets where financial services such as credit cards or simple investment products are easily accessible, most consumers here have less experience of traditional banking services.

Chinese consumers are more likely to opt for electronic methods rather than cash payment models.

In doing so, they also bypass other current services and then come to other non-traditional services.

“China’s fintech differs from other countries in the significant gap between market supply and demand as well as some opportunities afforded by less red tape. Compared with developed markets, new enterprises in China’s fintech industries are less limited by fixed infrastructures or laws and regulations.” said James Lloyd, the Chief Technology Officer of Ernst & Young in the Asia Pacific area.

“Rapid urbanization in China offers a huge market but with inadequate services. The rocketing e-commerce, the popularization of online services and smartphones together with the significant acceptability of customers to new products would bring a wider space for innovations in commerce, banks and financial services.” Lloyd said.

The report concluded that in the future, China will act as the leader in global fintech development and will spread the effects of the industry from cities to suburbs. Chinese fintech companies will also enrich the innovative development of science and technology via partnerships, investments, and mergers and acquisitions.

This will also facilitate fintech enterprises based in Southeast Asia and cooperation with startups.