“Fintech”, short for financial technology, has become a major buzzword in recent years, especially in the most developed countries of the world. It is, however, still a relatively murky concept in some areas of the Asia-Pacific, even though it has already brought significant change to the economic landscape in the region.

Many experts are seeing enormous fintech opportunities in the Asia-Pacific, and are also predicting the region to surpass the US and Europe in fintech innovations. Some say that government support, regulatory facilitation, consumer willingness, and easy access to capital are just a few of the reasons contributing to this shift.  

They also note that fintech development in the East is taking a different course from that of the West. The bulk of investments still come from China, and developing Asian countries have been relatively slow to adapt compared to their developed counterparts. But increased political and economic interaction, mostly in the form of bilateral agreements, is continuing to enhance fintech co-operation between countries.    

Asia Business Law Journal recently sat down with JJ Disini, managing partner of Disini & Disini Law Office, and discussed the state of fintech in the Philippines.

He says that the government’s objective of financial inclusion, as well as the massive remittance of overseas Filipino workers, are the main drivers of Philippine fintech. He also lauds the BSP for creating legal stability, citing the current regulations that allow virtual currency exchanges to be licensed for operation.

Disini is optimistic about the future of fintech in the country, saying:

“I’m hopeful that because our regulators have permitted virtual currency exchanges to operate legally, extended blockchain implementations such as coloured currency or registries can find some legitimacy because blockchain transactions would have the force of law.”  

He adds that the proposed payments law in Congress will facilitate the legal framework for electronic payments in the country.

Read the rest of the article at Asia Business Law Journal.

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