Seoul, Republic of Korea, November 12, 2019—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, organized a forum where experts highlighted
why emerging Asia is essential for the long-term growth of Korean fintechs.
The forum is part of the Innovation Day series that IFC launched in 2017.
The series aims to encourage more Korean businesses to come up with innovative
solutions targeted to emerging markets.
According to a KPMG report, only two firms from Korea made it to the global
list of top 100 fintech firms. However, with the recent shift towards innovation-friendly
policies, Korean entrepreneurs and investors can play a critical role in
accelerating digital transformation in emerging markets, especially Asia.
Further, to close gaps with leading global players, Korean fintechs are
pursuing more opportunities abroad.
“Fintech is one area where technology can and has directly improved the
lives of millions in the developing world, especially Asia. The emergence
of new technologies and better connectivity in most markets have reduced
the cost of services, improving financial inclusion,” said Rosy Khanna,
IFC Asia and Pacific FIG Regional Industry Director. She added, “South
Korea has always been an early adopter of new technology and the country
has all the right ingredients to become a fintech hub in the region.”
Entitled, ‘Connecting Korean Fintechs with Asia,’ the event brought together
Korean and global fintech experts, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders from
financial institutions, think tanks, and government agencies. Apart from
their observations on the current state of fintech in Korea, panelists
at the forum shared insights on connecting Korean fintechs with scopes
in Asia and discussed ways to catalyze cross-border fintech opportunities
in the region.
“In developing countries, 1.7 billion
adults lack a bank account and only 21 percent of adults have access to
formal financial services such as credit and savings,”
said Jiyeon Janice Ryu, IFC Resident Representative in Korea. She added,
“Against this backdrop, IFC is well-positioned
to help Korean innovators harness the benefits of providing financial services,
thereby improving financial inclusion in the region and driving Korea’s
IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets and a leader in spurring disruptive technologies
for development. As of June 2018, IFC invested $340 million globally in
fintech, with a committed portfolio of $267 million.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than
$19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.