Passport to Possibilities: Fintech Mission to Asia

As a global provider of financial technology, ViewTrade serves clients in every corner of the world. Our team is composed of globetrotting industry experts who make it a point to visit new prospects and current clients, familiarizing themselves both with the unique workflows and requirements of each firm and the nuances of the local markets they serve, all to help them drive continued innovation. In this series, ViewTrade team members report from the field on their latest travels and key takeaways.

Describe the purpose of your recent trip.

ViewTrade’s recent trip to Asia happened as a result of our selection for FinTech Mission to Asia, a financial technology business development initiative from the US Department of Commerce’s ITA (International Trade Administration). This first-of-its-kind mission took us to three key destinations: Singapore, Japan and South Korea. The primary objective was to engage with regulatory authorities, senior executives at prominent financial services companies, leaders in the fintech venture capital industry, and other key stakeholders. Our aim was to acquire knowledge and enhance our business prospects within the region.

How would you characterize ViewTrade’s current presence in the APAC region?

ViewTrade has a long history of helping firms in the APAC region satisfy increasing demand for cross-border investing, but 2023 was a particularly successful year, with accelerated expansion in India, New Zealand and Australia. Our established presence in Asia means we have a strong grasp of the priorities and needs of APAC-based firms serving the retail community – including digital transformation, round-the-clock investing and plug-and-play, white-label solutions that ease the customer journey. As we eye further expansion in 2024, Fintech Mission to Asia was an ideal opportunity to interact with some of the retail trading community’s most prominent players face-to-face and introduce them to what’s possible with ViewTrade.

What emerging trends or new developments did you observe in each country?

Across the three nations we toured, we observed varying levels of digital transformation, regulatory oversight and technological advancement. In Japan, we met with leaders at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, major banks, digital banking entities and regulatory agencies. We saw a major focus on what we’ll call “fintech conservatism” – in other words, an emphasis on risk management and regulatory compliance. For providers looking to penetrate this market, strong local connections are required to win the confidence of the key players – but their appetite to accelerate digital transformation should not be underestimated. We heard a lot of buzz about early-stage VC investments, with less capital deployment occurring post-Series A. Another emerging trend is the rise of new online brokers, such as Kabucom and Docomo.

In Singapore, the major trends we observed were a significant focus on AI and increasing demand for advanced OMS products. Fintech is booming in Singapore amid pressure to streamline, electronify and digitize at scale. In addition, Singapore has significant connectivity to a number of global markets, including US, China, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Lastly, in South Korea, we observed a strong community of female fintech founders who are actively collaborating with US-based startups. Primary focuses here include high-frequency trading, crypto and robo-advising. We also enjoyed the dynamic, open and direct networking style we observed in Korea, which gave us the opportunity to share information about our business with ease.

Tell us about your experience at the Singapore FinTech Festival, Asia’s largest fintech event.

Attending the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) – the largest trade show of its kind – was undoubtedly the highlight of our trip to Singapore. With over 10,000 attendees present, it was a wonderful networking opportunity for us – the discussions were highly interactive and great for lead generation. Traveling with our fellow Fintech Mission representative companies proved to be beneficial as we explored the festival, as it was a natural jumping-off point for conversations. Singapore is the financial services hub of Southeast Asia, so it’s only fitting that this event was extremely informative, featuring panels with industry frontrunners and global fintech changemakers. Most impressive of all was the sheer number of countries that were represented – nations from Australia to Belgium to Africa all exhibited on the conference floor. Overall, SFF was a truly incredible opportunity to seek out talent, initiate partnerships and attract foreign investor capital.

Overall, how was this trip beneficial to your business growth in APAC?   

Fintech Mission to Asia helped us further cement ViewTrade’s presence in APAC through meeting with key decision-makers and participating in educational roundtable discussions focused on regulatory and governmental insights. The trip provided valuable insights into the fintech landscapes of three key Asian markets, highlighting the diverse strategies and innovations prevalent in each. Our findings will undoubtedly inform ViewTrade’s future product roadmap and partnerships in APAC over the coming year.