FinTech Taipei 2018, held on December 7th and 8th, ended successfully as 125 Taiwanese and international FinTech startups, as well as 200 financial institutions, IT vendors, and universities from 11 countries including the US, UK, Australia, and Poland set up exhibitions. This two-day event was co-organized by the Taiwan Financial Services Roundtable (TFSR) and the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance (TABF), under the guidance of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). It is Taiwan’s first international FinTech trade show and a total of 32,303 visitors flocked to the exhibition sections, queuing to see the innovative FinTech applications displayed at the booths. The impressive number of attendees is indicative of the appeal and innovativeness of Fintech in Taiwan, showcasing the Taiwanese people’s interest in technology.
In addition to the booths, which attracted waves of visitors to the first floor of the Taipei World Trade Center, the event also featured an international conference on future trends and open banking. The audience exceeded the venue’s capacity of 500. Brett King, FinTech pioneer and author of “Bank 4.0”, pointed out in his keynote speech that financial services will start to become omnipresent. Using mobile phones, smart glasses, and smart watches, people will be able to access financial services they need anytime, anywhere. With support from AI, bank accounts will be transformed from a payment tool to a budgeting tool, analyzing daily expenses and producing money management advice. Future bank services are likely to be led by technology vendors. By 2025, mobile payment apps are expected to have more users than traditional bank accounts. Meanwhile, banking clients will no longer need to visit local branch offices — which will no longer exist — because applications will be filed and services will be received through apps.
In response to these trends, this year’s FinTech Taipei showcased a number of mobile-based financial services. Many service providers presented apps allowing users to access their offerings using a mobile phone or tablet. There were also demonstrations of AI-powered mobile banking, inviting visitors to try out services in daily scenarios such as checking foreign exchange rates, and in wire transfers using smart voice recognition backed by AI natural language processing. Another highlight this year was AI + biometric identification. For example, the newest generation ATMs, equipped with facial recognition, anomaly detection, and smart visual analysis technologies, can prevent ATM heists and money transfer scams. Palm vein authentication and Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) open the door to even more applications of open authentication standards. Visitors to the event got a chance to experience Taiwanese traditional temple culture with new, convenient FinTech services, as they made online payments using palm vein authentication to light worship candles.
As FSC Chairman Koo remarked at the opening ceremony, “Taiwan boasts a large technology talent pool, well-established telecommunication infrastructure, a mature financial sector, and good regulatory and consumer protection systems — all keys to technological innovation. Financial regulatory sandboxes, the Fin + Tech Village, and FinTech Taipei are all part of the government’s continuous effort to create a healthy environment to encourage new financial services. The government will continue its work while learning through forums about international experiences in FinTech development to facilitate the transformation of our financial institutions and creation of new ideas. Meanwhile, we are also striving to create more opportunities for startups through matchmaking. I believe that collaboration between financial institutions, known for their prudence, and startups, known for their technology and innovation, will bring people new financial services that are safe, smart, and convenient.“
“As global FinTech pioneer Brett King said in his keynote, financial services will become omnipresent and international in the future. Safer, smarter, more pro-active and convenient services combining finance and technology are an inevitable trend in order to create an edge for us facing this global wave of FinTech opportunities,” said TFSR Chairman Hsu Jan-Yau. His remarks were followed by those of TABF Chairman Wu Chung-Shu, who stressed that he was “happy to see that the first FinTech Taipei set several records for its reception among Taiwanese and international financial institutions, IT vendors, start-ups, and universities, as well as the general public. We’ve seen many good examples of financial institutions or startups integrating finance and technology at this year’s event, from AI, big data, and biometric identification to blockchain, offering safe, convenient, and innovative services.”
FinTech Taipei is a milestone for the sector in Taiwan, serving as a platform for domestic financial institutions and start-ups to showcase their ideas, and for businesses at home and abroad to meet and explore collaboration possibilities. The impressive number of exhibitors and visitors wowed the international exhibitors and event partners from around the world. The event has built a good foundation for FinTech in Taiwan, and will be a model for future FinTech trade shows.