The Financial Services committee has had an eventful 2016. For those of you who have missed it, here is our recap of the year! To make sure that you don’t miss any of our committee events this year, join our mailing list to receive personal invites.


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On Tuesday morning, the Financial and ICT Committees discussed about E-Commerce. The speakers of the session included Government Relations & Corporate Affairs, AUNZ, eBay Kristen Foster and Public Affairs Lead for North Asia and APAC Partnetships, UPS Asia Pacific Kim Le.


According to a study done by AT Kearney e-commerce has tremendous potential for the ASEAN region.  The survey, Lifting Barriers for e-commerce in ASEAN, discusses five key areas to help e-commerce thrive in ASEAN.  These include expanded broadband access, supporting the emergence of local players, enhancing online security, promoting e-payments and improving the logistics and trade efficiency.  The report suggests that focusing on these five key areas and identifying ways to improve will help the ASEAN region grow e-commerce.  Today the biggest economies in ASEAN account less than 1% of online global commerce whereas they account for 3-4% of global GDP and 8 % of the global population.  The e-commerce market has the potential to grow more than 25% per annum with the right policy environment and better ICT infrastructure in ASEAN. Today’s panel will showcase the impact e-commerce platforms are having in ASEAN and take a look at the current regulatory environment that is important for e-commerce to thrive.


Lifting Barriers for e-commerce in ASEAN

Lifting Barriers for e-commerce in ASEAN

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On Tuesday morning, the Financial Services and ICT Committee discussed about the potential of E-Commerce in Southeast Asia. The speakers for the session included Director, Government Relations & Australia, New Zealand, Japan & South East Asia, eBay Kristen Foster and Public Affairs Lead for North Asia and APAC Partnerships Kim Le.



Kristen Foster presented on international and regional trends in E-Commerce export patterns. She analogized eBay to a shopping mall with an online platform. 57% of eBay’s revenue is international and it aims to increase participation in the global economy by partnering with major retailers, for example, in Australia. Additionally, Kim Le presented on the regulatory framework governing E-Commerce transactions.

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On Tuesday morning, the Financial and ICT committee discussed about the impact of blockchain technology. The speakers for the session included Head of Product, Asia Pacific, Visa TS Anil and Senior Director, Innovation & Strategic Partnership, Asia Pacific, Visa Klas Hesselman.


The speakers covered three main questions during the meeting. 1) What is blockchain? 2) Why are the institutions launching them? 3) What are some smart people doing with them?


One of the current blockchain initiatives presented was London based startup Everledger. It has a global digital ledger which is able to collate dozens of cross-reference-able data points on each individual diamond in order to inject transparency into the market and eliminate associated criminal activity.


Blockchain, with the distributed ledger technology provides a new system to govern payments without the assistance of intermediate agents such as central banks. Transaction histories involving bitcoin are recorded on an open ledger such as the blockchain.




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On Tuesday morning, the Financial Services and ICT Committee had an engaging discussion on the regulatory aspects of Fintech. The panel of speakers included Head of Client Technology Solutions – Asia Pacific, BNY Mellon Hans Brown; Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Temenos Martin Frick; Head of Legal, Technology, Intellectual Property and Corporate Functions, Asia Pacific, JPMorgan Christian Gordon-Pullar; Chief FinTech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore Sopnendu Mohanty and Vice President, Innovation Management, Digital Payments & Labs Asia Pacific, MasterCard Tobias Puehse. The session was moderated by Global Head of the Telecom, Media & Technology (TMT) and Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting Charles Palmer. 


MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty suggested that there is an increasing need for bankers to adopt technology as part of their skill set. Additionally, he also outlined the MAS’ proposition for the Smart Financial Centre Architecture. The MAS’ guidelines for a “regulatory sandbox” ’empowers both financial institutions (FIs) and non-financial players to experiment with financial technology (FinTech) solutions. The ideal environment for companies which desire to harness the power of FinTech would be one where there is “regulation conducive for innovation”.

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On Thursday morning, the Financial Services and ICT committee discussed about payment systems trends and innovation themes. Director, Payments Markets Initiatives, Asia Pacific, SWIFT Rahul Bhargava and Director, Payments Markets, ASEAN, SWIFT Laetitia Moncarz presented on SWIFT’s latest payment, settlement systems and innovation initiatives.

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The committee kicked off the year with a programming meeting to discuss on the topics that they would like to focus on for 2016. It was decided that for 2016, the committee will focus even more on the quality of the meetings to bring the best for all members.

The meeting was led by co-chairs, Sean Hesh (Citi) and Jeff Paine (PS Engage). The feedback collected from members via an online survey sent out in December last year was also used to help shape the programming focus going forward.

We will regularly update the blog after interesting meetings and share upcoming events and interesting information related to financial services. We hope the information benefits you and we welcome your feedback on the new look.


Stay tuned and look out for our next blog post!


Jeff Paine

Jeff Paine

Public Sector (PS) Engage

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The Committee enables exchange of information on local and regional financial issues through presentations by speakers and informal networking opportunities. Representatives of major American and international financial institutions also exchange views on issues for potential advocacy to local or regional authorities.
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