If the past few years has proven anything about financial services, it’s that innovation is the lifeblood of the industry, particularly where competition and greater consumer choice are concerned.
The new generation of fintechs have relied on innovation to carve out their niche in the market. Many growing firms are harnessing the potential of technology to provide new experiences for customers, offering a genuine alternative to established financial institutions.
All the signs suggest that this trend will gather pace over the coming years. In the Asia-Pacific region, we can expect to see more innovation as a result of a new agreement between the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
These organizations recently announced details of a framework for cooperation, which they said was reflective of the “global nature of innovation in financial services”.
By sharing information, advice and support via ASIC’s Innovation Hub and the JFSA’s Fintech Support Desk, the bodies hope to facilitate the entry of fintechs into the Australian and Japanese markets.
The JFSA has taken a number of specific actions in recent years to support the development of the fintech sector, including the establishment of a legal framework for virtual currencies and open APIs.
ASIC commissioner John Price said: “Japan has been a world leader in technology for a long time. As we move into a new era of financial regulation, we look forward to sharing experiences and insights with our colleagues at the JFSA.”
JFSA vice-commissioner for international affairs Shunsuke Shirakawa added: “We believe that this framework further strengthens our relationship and facilitates our cooperation in further developing our respective markets.”
ASIC has also formed fintech referral and information-sharing agreements with global industry bodies including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the Ontario Securities Commission and Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.
Over the coming years, we will see what impact this latest partnership between Australia and Japan has on fintech activity in the region.