Experiencing a self remittance in Manila (& other peculiar facts)

So, world tour has begun.

After Zagreb and a great #Novathon event with Intesa San Paolo (soon something about it as well) I am now in Manila, and jet lag is really rough, but only consequence is an erratic sleep, I actually feel great!

Philippines is an amazing country: 100M population, and 23.5 AVERAGE age. This is key to understand the future challenges here.

Thanks to Miguel “Mikko” Perez, CEO of Ayannah (whom I met last year when I judged the NextMoney challenge in Singapore where they won and his veritable passion about sustainable impact and technology-driven solutions, I have been taken to a great journey.

PS forgot to say, Ayannah also won the FinTech Finals global challenge in Hong Kong, was there as well 🙂

Few more facts:
87% of the population here is unbanked
95% of economy is in cash
90% of Utility bills are paid in cash
25 Billion USD inbound remittances … but more importantly 40B intra-country remittances
the top 5 local remittance companies combined process over a million transactions per day …. and the average transaction is 30 USD

Talking about internal transactions: Ayannah ensures interoperability between money remitters (amongst other things) and this is exactly the journey we took together with Mikko, in Baclaran, one of the most lively areas of Manila.

People here are intimidated by banks. They prefer to go to the “pawn shops” and most of them don’t have cards or wallets (they have a smartphone, though, obviously).
We basically entered a pawn shop in Baclaran and send 1000 pesos (20 dollars give or take) to ourselves and collect it in another part of the town from a different remitter ( A LOT of paper and waiting time later of course, but I didn’t mind because learned a lot in the meantime).

This is the photo-story of the journey 🙂

Baclaran Area

Deposit 1000 Pesos, first Pawn shop

on the road again

second shop (and more papers)

Finally we get our money (back) – litterally 🙂

Another goal of Mikko is to create a local credit score (exportable of course) based on different data sources, one of them being the main Electric Company here.
Mikko explains me as well that given the young population all the global insurers are coming over, and opportunity for InsurTech here are enormous.
They call it VIP … Vietnam, Indonesia,Philippines. Half BILLION people.

Will be back. Also because I want to go to El Nido Palawan (the cover picture). I am so close.

Thanks to Terrapinn and Seamless Asia to bring me here. We also had a great conference, a FinTech GOT reloaded and an amazing panel on Remittances and Inclusion (where Mikko was as well).

Tomorrow night I am heading to Atlanta, 26 hours flight, for BAI Beacon (FinTechStage is curating a consistent part of the content, really excited).

Stay tuned

Matteo

fintechstageinclusion

FinTechStage Inclusion Forum Jakarta : snapshot debrief

Sitting in Doha Lounge, in a stopover on my way back from Jakarta, where we – awesome team – delivered an awesome FinTechStage Inclusion Forum.
600+ participants over 3 days, 2 workshops, a great conference, 29 countries represented, close to 20 regulators, 150+ participants from Indonesia.

The objective of this event was to enhance the dialogue at the crossroads of RegTech, FinTech and Innovation, with a Financial Inclusion focus.

The 1st day we had an invitation only workshop managed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where Kosta & C talked about fundamentals and progress of the Level One project, a bold initiative to standardise open API financial infrastructure for emerging markets.

The 2nd day, in a beautifully crowded space, we welcomed the local government officials and a number of great speakers for a super content rich conference.

We will post the report soon, but one of the highlights of the day was really the eco-system mapping. Basically, we extrapolated from the conversation the interactions amongst the different players and spot the intensity or the lack of it in the dialogue.

The last day was a RegTech workshop with Omidyar Network, where we :
– worked on the sails and anchors of the regulators dialogue,
– announced the R2A Initiative (accelerator for Regulators) from ON,
– shared best practices around the world on Technology, SandBoxes and market initiatives.

We had at least 15 different regulators or central bank representatives in the room and most of our speakers.

FinTechStage cube flying microphone went from Uganda to Tanzania to Pakistan to Singapore to Nigeria in the same conversation.

Sopnendu Mohanty, one of the smartest, forward looking and innovative regulators in the world (if not The smartest) said he never saw such a powerful and interactive conversation on RegTech.
That says it all 🙂

 

Here is the knowledge wall we built :

And here is the v2 of the eco-system mapping we built during the workshop, which is very consistent with th one built during the conference day :

 

We are very humbled and grateful to have the support of ON and BMGF and we really hope this is the first instance of a long term collaboration !

On a personal note, this is what I really LOVE to do : build dialogue and knowledge bridges around the world. Having fun in doing that. This picture says it all…

 

Lastly, kudos to the team.
We proved ourselves to be resilient, flexible, hard working and I am beyond proud of you !

 

We also just opened FinTechStage Milan registrations – http://fintechstage.com/milan-2017/ – just saying 🙂

Stay tuned

Matteo

fintech-revolution_matteo-rizzi

More FinTech hecticness

There is a reason why I have been so quiet lately. Truth is that since my last post (here), I had a very hard time in keeping track of everything that happened.

I am actually grounded by an historical cold, the first of this year and between one drug and another manage to at least make a little summary.

Finally, I can announce that the deal I was talking about is now completed and announced.

https://blog.digi.me/2016/09/27/omidyar-network-investment-completes-digi-mes-series-a-at-5-3m-7m/

It is not only very exciting but an impressive learning curve for all of us as a team, rapidly gearing up for more activity in this space in 2017.

On another note, we successfully managed out first FinTechStage conference in Chicago, hosted by BAI (Banking Administration Institute) in a very successful rebranding of their annual gathering.

BAI Beacon 2016 was a first of its kind, and I must say a format I have never seem before, with 8 simultaneous stages (of which FinTechStage was the largest one) and with a creative controlled chaos that adjusted itself joining the course of the conference for the 1300+ attendees.

Back from Chicago, the roadshow to present FinTech Revolution, my first book, (for more details : http://innovationschool.talentgarden.org/tag-books/) took place in Milano and Rome and immediately after went to Johannesburg  for 48 very intense hours speaking at the Indaba Conference, that hosted the African FinTech awards.

How can you possibly resume 6 planes, 3 trains, 40 hours of travels in 2 lines only, but that’s how it was.

Another great news of this month is the opening of the FinTechStage Innovation Hub in Sestri Levante, where we opened both a physical office but most importantly launched a series of initiatives to build, develop and foster the Italian Fintech eco-system.

We have now dedicated ressources helping financial institutions, technology partners, startups and venture capitalists to create a virtuous circle of though leadership, education and training, entrepreneurship and coaching focused on the Italian market.

I think there is no better explanation of what the mission of FinTechStage is, starting with events to put the community together and then investing ressources to become the catalyst of that community.

I am officially announcing that next year (in the summer, so that the Sestri Levante location asset will be very difficult to beat) we will be holding the first Italian FinTech Leaders summit, gathering compatriotes from all over the world to create a community that will help the Italian eco-system to grow.

I realise that each one of these news could a post on its own, but bear with me I will eventually do that. Remember, this is also a diary for my kids one day to figure out why dad was so often on the road.

 

PS : picture is celebrating my great friend Roberto, who we invited in Sestri Levante as well and we took the opportunity to have a double-book shot 🙂

 

Stay Tuned

Matteo

How would you categorise FinTech Eco-systems?

A couple of days ago Lazaro, Mariela and I sat together and, treasuring the experience of the first 4 events with FinTechStage, we tried to spell out our mission, and the first thing we did was to define different Type of FinTech Eco-systems, to assess where the value we can bring reaches its best potential.

We came out with FOUR categories:
Disconnected
Disorganised
Organised
Recognised
1- Disconnected
In many countries there is some form of Startup gathering and related capital, and even a significant banking presence.
FinTech is more a “wave” they see being talked about, but there is no “go to” place to even have a meaningful discussion. Capital and Statups are definitely not focusing on FinTech, and at best there is a Meetup around a beer (I am not undermining here, it s actually a great excuse to have a beer :))
2- Disorganised
Up until only 12 months ago, this category (in developed countries) was by far the biggest.
In this type of eco-system you can easily identify the FinTech initiatives, either from financial institutions or private (sponsored) incubators and accelerators and few local gaterings on the topic.
Venture Capitalists have these countries on their radar, and often there is little “local” FinTech Capital available, mostly because the effort of local scouting is left to the goodwill of the global investors themselves.
Disorganised Eco-systems tend to set up local events mostly, for the very precise reason of getting together the different pieces of the system, and to exchange with other experts or listen to Chris Skinner they have to go abroad (Chris, I have stolen you a slide today, I making it up :))
3- Organised
The nuance between this category and the “Disorganised” one is actually very thin.
An Organised (FinTech) system has a local catalyst, and what we observed is that it usually works best when this role  is taken by some sort of super-nation, government or community backed (or linked) and in any case non-commercial, “super partes” body. Like Luxembourg for Finance, Holland Fintech, FinTech CH, Innovate Finance, FinTech France, FinTech HK and others.
A strong nuance between Disorganised and Organised eco-systems is the sense of sharing and collaboration, and i have a story about it.
FinTechStage is mainly a sponsorship based business, that s how it gets sustainable.
Whilst in certain countries having two big banks co-sponsoring the same event is just an utopia, on other places they are OVER  the “pissing contest” stage, and understand how the engagement with the start-ups, the investors, and the other innovators from the rest of the world is the right approach.
In our last event a government-backed organisation acted as the single point of contact with the entire financial community, to organise without doubt has been the best Fintech Event event in the country.
4- Recognised
London, New York.
Now, we have to make a difference between the Financial Services Centres and the FinTech Centre. For Singapore and Honk Kong, for instance, I am not sure – yet – what would matter the most.
This exercise was extremely helpful.
Discovering talent, bringing or build capital, bridging the different communities in for the Disorganised and the Organised Eco-systems and structure great content is what FinTechStage should do and what he does best.
Is not perfect, and we have plenty of ideas on how to make it better.
I have NOT nominated any of these (category 2 and 3) on purpose, I am expecting you reactions to figure out wether or not I made sense of it and – most importantly – where some of the countries of my readers might stand.
Italy, for example, was disconnected until two years ago, and is getting disorganised, which sounds rough but is actually a positive sign (and – of course – my opinion). Actually my almost omonym Prime Minister, that s a call for you. Well, there will be more YouTube video with your english sloppiness, but I have plenty myself 🙂
Stay tuned
Matteo