In its latest report on the financial technology trends to look out for in 2018, venture capital data analysis firm CB Insights expects the wealth management sector to see some of the fiercest fintech skirmishes in Asia.
The massive generational transfer of wealth across Asia Pacific aligned with the proliferation of smart phones as payment devices and maturing investment knowledge has created a huge demand for new money management services.
Chinese fintech's such as Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial and technology giant Tencent are building their market share of wealth management customers both domestically and increasingly throughoutSoutheast Asia. Tencent's Webank platform is also noted as a potential template for the distribution of a full range of financial services in the future.
Beijing based tech wealth manager CreditEase upped its presence in Singapore last year with the opening of a larger office targeting growing Southeast Asian wealth. It too has plans to push further up the value chain.
Others such as Chinese startup NewBanker are working to provide technology products for independent wealth management managers therefore easing acquisition costs, streamlining regulatory demands and product development.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse recently identified the value offered by a Singapore-based data aggregation platform for the wealthy produced by an independent fintech firm and snapped up a 10 percent stake.
In the short term the sophisticated financial services offered by private banks in Asia may remain out of scope for the voracious technology players for the moment, but demands for asset allocation, succession planning and inheritance from new wealth customers is now being tackled by financial technology innovators in Asia
Wealth management will be a key battleground as China and Southeast Asia witness another wave of financial technology offerings this year.