Taiwan has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems in Asia, ranked 6th in the world.1 Vast expertise in manufacturing, ICT infrastructure, highly-trained tech professionals, a large Mandarin-speaking population, an understanding of business practices on Mainland China, and an increasingly tech-friendly regulatory regime are supporting factors for turning Taiwan into a FinTech Centre in Asia.

Notable FinTech innovations in Taiwan include, but are not limited to: a consortium blockchain payments infrastructure, a crypto-fiat currency blockchain wallet, a wealth management robo advisor, and a multi-factor identity authentication system.

The AMIS consortium blockchain enables an alternative secure communication channel between banks for P2P payments clearing and netting instructions, without touching the final settlement of funds. Individuals and merchants can make two-way payments via their registered mobile wallets to any registered AMIS nodes as if those transactions were facilitated by a centralised clearing house.

WageCan enables crypto- to fiat- currency exchange through its blockchain debit card and wallet. Fugle provides two analytic tools for stock investors, including a robo assistant that answers personal wealth management issues on Facebook Messenger and a personalised workspace for account aggregation and data visualisation.

iDGate offers an identity authentication system for mobile transactions that do not require one-time passwords. By leveraging a multi-factor authentication process, financial institutions can send a push notification when a transaction is initiated, enabling smooth user authentication via their smartphones.

Two major trends are also emerging in the Taiwanese FinTech landscape. First, growing collaboration between financial institutions and FinTech firms, as new regulations now allow an incumbent player to own up to 100% of a FinTech firm. Second, regulatory sandbox adoption and further use of RegTech are increasingly being viewed as policy priorities.

The key to turning Taiwan into a regional FinTech Centre lies in the country’s resolution to cultivate and embrace financial inclusion, as well as syncing local reforms with global standards. Extending financial services to the underbanked presents an opportunity to facilitate financial inclusion with new technology. Various policy initiatives promoted by international standards organisations suggest a need for Taiwan to fine-tune its pace of reform and keep up with global benchmarks. The mission of FinTech Taiwan is to become a catalyst for the paradigm shift in regulatory mindset, and to facilitate constructive policy formation.

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