City well suited for fintech development

Tracy Li
Shanghai forum hears of city's great potential for developing fintech with its complete financial elements, sound market system and solid foundation for scientific research. 
Tracy Li

Shanghai has broad prospects and great potential for developing financial technology, thanks to its complete financial elements, a sound market system and a solid foundation for scientific research and innovation, the Lujiazui Forum heard on Friday.

The city has the basic conditions to become a global financial technology hub and it is emerging toward that goal, said Li Wei, director of the People's Bank of China’s science and technology department.

The central bank has been supporting Shanghai with guidelines and innovative supervision regarding fintech industry development. Next, it plans to set up a financial technology subsidiary and build a data center to lend further support to the city becoming a fintech hub, Li said. 

The COVID-19 epidemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation in the financial industry and Shanghai is embracing that trend.

With its top financial institutions, strong industrial foundation and rich application scenarios, Shanghai will definitely be able to build itself into an international fintech center with its own characteristics, Li noted.

“As most of our operations are headquartered in Shanghai, you will understand that empowering the city as a financial center is something very important in my view,” Denis Duverne, board chairman at AXA Group, told the forum.

On the future potential of fintech, he said the next success stories were more likely to be B2B fintech players.

“The next stage of fintech development will be about combining the strengths of fintech firms with those of financial incumbents, which will help the entire financial sector move forward by providing the customers with modernized products and services,” Duverne added.

Shanghai Shuhe Information Technology, a locally rooted fintech firm focusing on consumer credit, feels it is a great opportunity for its own development while the city speeds up its efforts toward a financial technology center.

“In the past, when we talked about fintech, we mostly discussed the cooperation of financial institutions and technology companies. But now, the goal of constructing the city into a fintech hub means that the government has become an important participant, which will be of great significance for building a good business ecology,” the company said.

With the city’s favorable policies on new economy, Shuhe Technology said it will strive to help financial partners improve their products and data analysis capabilities, enhance their customer relationship management by fully exploring and developing its technological advantages.

JD Digits, a digital technology company with core competitiveness in areas of data technology, artificial intelligence and blockchain, said in the era of digital economy, financial technology has become a new engine to drive high-quality economic development.

Financial institutions will no longer be limited to the pursuit of Internet traffic; they need to learn how to better integrate offline and online business and build stronger and more professional financial technology capabilities, the firm said.

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