Investments in fintech across Asia-Pacific have nearly quadrupled – from about $880m in all of 2014 to nearly $3.5 billion in the first nine months of 2015, according to a new report by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) based on analysis of data from CB Insights, a global venture finance-data and analytics firm.
According to the report, “Fintech Investment in Asia-Pacific set to at least quadruple in 2015“, the volume of deals is set to increase slightly – at 122 as of October 1, compared with 117 for all of 2014 – but the value of deals has increased substantially due to larger investments in and from China.
They include investments from Alibaba Group Holding and its Ant Financial Services Group subsidiary into Paytm, a mobile payment and commerce platform in India, as well as fundraising efforts by Ping An Insurance Group venture Lufax, which has been developing multiple alternative financing and investment platforms, including peer-to-peer and business-to-customer platforms.
The document says that financial services firms are now turning to fintech to streamline operations, comply with changing regulations and new currencies.
Accenture forecasts that blockchain, the underlying distributed ledger technology that supports the exchange of crypto currency and cryptographically secured financial assets, will increasingly be a focus for startups, banks and investors. As a stand-alone technology, blockchain can help banks, credit card companies and clearinghouses collaborate to create safer accounting and optimize capital use by reducing counterparty risk and transaction latency.
Another opportunity is given by cloud with banks beginning to identify which data can be hosted in the public cloud and which data should be maintained in a private cloud and satisfy regulators by keeping sensitive customer data more securely in a private cloud, while taking advantage of on-demand capabilities and lower costs cloud can offer.
Accenture also expects investment in cyber security to increase significantly in the coming year.