Digital Economy

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Data from the World Bank suggests that ASEAN countries face the risk of increased unemployment as a consequence of automation. Policymakers within the region have begun to recognise this trend and are preparing their economies for it.

Edited by Nina Ti | 06.03.2019

 

Automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and the innovations of the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" are permeating a wide array of commercial activities—ranging from automotive, garment and electronics manufacturing to business processes, logistics and healthcare—across the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The benefits, in terms of efficiency and productivity, are clear. However, there is a high risk of significant negative side-effects on macroeconomic performance, as a consequence of the substitution of labour.

Rising unemployment is a threat frequently attached to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, popularly known as "Industry 4.0".  Policymakers worldwide need to balance the threat of human workers being replaced by technology with the efficiency gains from doing so.

According to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the rate at which some sectors have begun to adopt intelligent technology has been unprecedented and there is a risk that this could worsen inequality, undermine social cohesion, increase poverty and eventually reduce aggregate demand in labour-intensive regions, including ASEAN.

Machine learning and automation, through which physical and digital robots acquire abilities once considered uniquely human—such as strategic thought, self-corrective learning and context responsiveness—could replace many semi-skilled jobs that have been engines of social mobility.

A Region in Transition

East and South-east Asia's development "miracle" was built on the success of their labour-intensive manufacturing sectors. Many of these could become completely automated in the longer term. Additionally, robotic process automation (RPA) has threatened service industries, which have also been key drivers of GDP and employment growth.

The share of manufacturing value added (MVA) as a percentage of GDP is still highest in East Asia, but it is also on the rise in ASEAN countries, to which supply chains are gradually migrating in search of cheaper labour. However, the most recent MVA data from the World Bank suggest that Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are the countries within the region at greatest risk of increased unemployment as a consequence of automation, with Cambodia and Vietnam following. Data from the International Labour Organisation indicate that more than 60% of salaried workers in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam consider electronics manufacturing positions at high risk of automation. The least exposed country in the region is Laos.

The share of MVA alone does not determine automation prospects: the technical nature of production is a crucial consideration. Vietnam, for instance, faces higher risks in this respect because of the size of its electronics sector. Electronics is an automation-sensitive sector because robots excel at handling structured, hard materials of pre-determined sizes and also because the sector has high commercial margins and is subject to intense global competitive pressure, which forces firms to invest in cost-cutting measures to keep up with their rivals. Asian manufacturers Samsung, Foxconn and Huawei are all progressing automation plans.

Automation is thus already relatively advanced in export-led electronics manufacturing, and the prospect of this increases as countries establish more advanced production sectors. This dynamic has implications not just for the countries already present in the sector, but for lower-income economies that would hope to enter global product market categories such as these, as inexpensive labour becomes a less valuable asset in attracting such industries.

Machine learning, algorithm-driven decision frameworks and rapidly improving voice- and face-recognition technology are increasingly being used in services sectors, resulting in increased automation. RPA is reducing the need for human input in areas such as paralegal services, compliance, administration, IT support and customer services.

Policy Vagaries

A number of negative implications emanating from Industry 4.0 could derail ASEAN countries' strong economic performance; primarily through a reduction in employment and, as a consequence of this, a narrower distribution of income. However, many policymakers within the region have indicated that they have begun to recognise this trend and are preparing their economies for it.

In May 2016 the Thai government unveiled a sector-specific investment policy known as "Thailand 4.0", which is geared towards innovation and technological transformation of the country's manufacturing base over the long term. Similarly, in March 2018 Indonesia's administration launched its "Making Indonesia 4.0"' plan. This identified five key sectors—automotive, textiles, electronics, chemicals, and food and drink—to be encouraged to increase their use of technology and digitisation in order to enhance their capabilities and productivity. Arguably, however, these policy initiatives turn something of a blind eye to the threats arising from automation and are more geared towards attracting foreign investment, seen as an easy road to sustained growth.

Fundamentally, ASEAN's half-century of growth has been built on labour-intensive manufacturing and outsourced business services—precisely those sectors that are now threatened by a new wave of technological transformation. Given the wide range of activities that Industry 4.0 might impact, the most desirable policy mix to mitigate the negative effects will be highly country-specific. The best solutions will give adequate weight to a country's resources, and its current (and expected future) trade relationships, as well as taking into account the stance of its government regarding the role of the state in guiding development.

This article was first published in MGCC Perspectives, the magazine of the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry

With waves being made in a number of sectors in a relatively short span of time, calling the rise of fintech as a boom wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration. But is this new buzzword here to stay, or is it just a flash in the pan?


Photo: 123RF.com

Buzzwords come and go, but “fintech”, an abbreviation of financial technology, has been gaining prominence over the past half-decade. To many, the moniker represents an unstoppable wave of innovation that is changing the way people pay, send money, borrow, lend and invest.

Major retail banks still dominate the financial services landscape, but they are no longer the only players in town. Fintech challengers have infiltrated every financial border there is, offering customers new and fresh services at lower costs, through well designed platforms or mobile apps.

In Malaysia, active fintech takes many forms. It exists in online marketplaces that facilitate online shopping, payment gateway solutions, crowdfunding platforms, self-serve insurance and banking services, and in the regulatory sandbox by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

As we move from a physical world to a digital world, having fintech means that the concept of money has morphed to accommodate unique business needs. Speaking during Selangor Smart City and Future Commerce Convention 2017, I-Cheng Liu, chairperson of the Electronic Payment Committee from the Bankers Association of the Republic of China, noted that digital services have begun to replace traditional financial services.

We are already witnessing fintech success stories in Malaysia, notably for mobile payments. For many local fintech startups involved in digital transactions, a common model is to leverage on the existing infrastructure of banks, mobile network operators and further specialised corporate partners, creating stakes in the payment industry’s value chain.

 

FINTECH'S GROWING INFLUENCE

Local research house UOB Kay Hian believes the Malaysian market is ready for the next leg of fintech innovation. It noted that, from 2006 to 2016, Internet banking subscribers had jumped from 3.2 million to 22.8 million. During the same period, mobile banking subscribers climbed upwards from 0.2 million to 8.9 million. Such growth rates reflect an increasing level of acceptance by consumers to conduct banking transactions via digital and mobile channels.

This signifies a growing amount of trust among the populace of fintech, and dovetails nicely with the comments of BNM assistant governor Marzunisham Omar, who believes that Malaysia, with its diverse population and growing middle class, stands as an “ideal test bed” for developing and commercialising fintech solutions.

“The emergence of fintech has opened up new opportunities which can greatly benefit the financial industry,”Marzunisham said in his opening remarks at the Islamic Fintech Dialogue recently.

This is not the first time that BNM has spoken for fintech, considering the central bank has played key roles in not only providing regulations for equity crowdfunding in Malaysia, but also in providing a regulatory sandbox for fintech startups to test their solutions. This led to the establishment of the Financial Technology Enabler Group (FTEG) by BNM, with the task of overseeing the entry of technological innovations in financial services.

According to local fintech startup MoneyMatch’s CEO, Adrian Yap, the regulatory sandbox is “an amazing initiative that is proving to be the bedrock of fintech in Malaysia”.

“I think that Bank Negara Malaysia has taken a lot of positive and encouraging steps to spur and accelerate the growth of the industry in general and I am extremely excited for the future of fintech in Malaysia. I believe that the fintech industry in Malaysia has all the right elements and conditions for it to grow into a force that will drive change and create significant impact to the lives of the good people in Malaysia,” said Yap.

 

WORD ON THE GROUND

Germany is acknowledged as one of the frontrunners of fintech in Europe, with Berlin being acknowledged as one of the leading fintech cities there. With the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, Germany stands as a strong contender of becoming the leader of the fintech ecosystem in the EU. However, Malaysia is no slouch either, standing as one of the leading nations on fintech in Southeast Asia, with Singapore coming up as a close rival. Where Singapore was the nation to first launch its regulatory sandbox for fintech, Malaysia served as the first in the region to bring equity crowdfunding to fruition.

This close level of competition stands as a boon for the fintech ecosystem in the region, leading to more innovations and solutions being tested. This, in turn can lead to more options for consumers and end-users, while solutions and services, not to mention infrastructure, will be constantly improved upon, to keep up with the demands of the sector.

German businesses looking to find a foothold here and then to expand to the rest of Southeast Asia will find a recognisable business landscape within Malaysia’s fintech ecosystem. For obvious reasons, fintech in developing countries like Malaysia is not about making existing services more convenient. It is about introducing new infrastructure, and providing for greater access, competitiveness and inclusion in a real global economy.

 

WHAT ELSE IS BEING DONE?

Other than the regulatory sandbox, Malaysia has shown continued support for a Digital Economy, evidenced by initiatives such as the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) as well as the National e-Commerce Strategic Road Map. The former is meant to capitalise on the confluence and exponential growth of the Digital Economy and cross-border e-commerce activities through the use of technology to hasten processes.

The DFTZ is intended to give SMEs better access to the global market, and it makes Malaysia the first such e-Commerce trading hub outside of China. Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Abdul Razak has expressed his confidence that the DFTZ will be the new hub for the digital economy.

“With the DFTZ, the ecosystem of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurship will change and be more inclusive,” he stated, noting that the DFTZ could definitely learn from China’s e-trade and the Alibaba Group’s achievements, adding that it saw the future and was quick to embrace the new way to trade in the 21st century.

The National e-Commerce Strategic Road Map, on the other hand, is an action plan by the  government to further align the Digital Economy with the national economy, promoting the adoption of e-Commerce and technology among citizens, and represents the coming together of numerous government entities such as the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, BNM, as well as numerous ministries.

In the recently-tabled National Budget 2018, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Abdul Razak declared that the government had allocated RM83.5 million for the construction of the first phase of the DFTZ, while also increasing the de minimis or minimum value for imports from RM500 to RM800 to further establish Malaysia as a regional e-Commerce hub. The Budget also included mentions of the government expanding the regulatory sandbox to facilitate the testing of new innovations and business models by companies.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

With everything said and done, it can be agreed that fintech is definitely spreading in use and popularity, as it heralds the arrival of speed, efficiency, and convenience in a field once thought of as impossible to innovate. However, as with all technologies, there will be those who will lead the charge for, or sink in their heels against the changes brought by innovation.

With fintech being the way forward, and with banks and financial institutions (noted as the most resistant to change due to their centralised nature) already stepping up to the plate, it seems merely a matter of time before fintech becomes an unobtrusive part of everyday life. With the trend  marked the way it is, whole sectors, industries, and businesses, even the individual, will all have to consider the transition to fintech, or risk being left behind as technology and innovation march onward.

 

About the author: Gabe Ng is an experienced business journalist and corporate writer. He keeps tabs on the digital economy, with the hopes that more can be achieved to help burgeoning and thriving local SMEs.

One of the fastest growing sectors in Malaysia is its digital economy, which consistently has been continuously over the past 10 years and aims at accelerating the country’s economic development. 

Malaysian Digital Economy: A catalyst for Dynamic Growth 

Over the last couple of years, Malaysia has been driving itself into becoming a highly productive economy through digital transformation. With this objective, various government agencies and ministries have been working in collaboration with the industry to foster digital transformation – under the patronage of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the lead agency responsible for the development of the nation’s digital economy.

In 2018, Malaysia, for example, started to promote the adoption and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. With the objectives of maximizing social and economic benefits, Malaysia is accelerating AI development across three key areas: Talent, Industry Development, and High Impact Use Cases in the areas of smart cities and smart manufacturing, resting on a foundation of a progressive regulatory framework. 

Another example is the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) – the world’s first outside of China  that aims to capitalize on the exponential growth of the internet economy and cross-border eCommerce. Established to streamline and augment Malaysia's constantly growing eCommerce space, this platform will also boost cross-border trade and position Malaysia as a transhipment hub for eCommerce logistics. 

The government of Malaysia also places a major emphasis on talent development for the future of work, focusing from primary to tertiary education. MDEC is supporting the Ministry of Education’s efforts to integrate computational thinking including coding and other digital making activities into the national school syllabus. Another core initiative is a joint public-private-academia collaboration to strengthen tertiary-level digital technology curricula and teaching.

 

Results already being witnessed 

  • In 2016, the digital economy contributed 18.2% (RM224 billion, at current exchange rate, US$54 billion) to Malaysia's economy, as indicated by the Department of Statistics Malaysia; 

  • The contribution to the country’s total GDP comes from the digital industry (RM149.4 billion /US$36 billion) and the eCommerce industry (RM74.6 billion/US$18 billion);

  • The digital industry continues to focus on exports (RM216.9 billion/US$52.23 billion);

  • The digital industry employs more than 1.07 million people. 

 

2019: the year of digital economy?

This is at least what the recently announced 2019 budget tends to make us believe – once again showcasing the governments' continuous efforts to spur the digital economy in the country and bring more entrepreneurs nationwide into the digital space.

A budget that has received high praise from various industry players and tech specialists – Malaysian and foreign alike.

E-Commerce, tech, and logistics players are all seen as generally positive on the series of proposed policies and investments for the development of Industry 4.0.

Measures such as the ‘Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund’, ‘National Fiber Connectivity Plan’ and other policies will not only boost the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy but aid small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well.

With the announcement of those measures fostering digital industry, and also putting money on the table to support the transformation of the country, we can be hopeful that 2019 will be a very fruitful year for Malaysia’s digital economy.

 

An article by the French Trade Commission - Business France Malaysia

5 Startup Unicorns in South-East Asia You Should Know About

If ASEAN remains a mystery for many European tech companies – which cannot keep their shiny eyes of Silicon Valley – ASEAN is yet the birthplace of startups that over the years have turned into now famous unicorns (i.e. valued at more than $1 billion).

Here is a glimpse of 5 South-East Asian unicorns you should definitely be watching.

 

Who in Malaysia does not know Grab, and the tale of that Malaysian startup success story that ended up relocating to the rival Singapore?
Founded in 2012, Grab has become a leader of ride-hailing transport services in eight countries of Southeast Asia. It is now diversifying in other connected services of delivery and payments.

 

Our second unicorn is also a ride-hailing app…. And way more. Coming from Indonesia, and now reaching a valuation of more than $3 billion, Go-Jek started out as a motorcycle ride-hailing mobile app, before turning into a full on-demand service platform which includes delivery, logistics, ticket booking (including cinema or massages) digital payments and even cleaning services.
In 2018, Go-Jek was already used in 50+ cities across Indonesia and is now in the process of expanding to other South-East Asian nations – mentioning Thailand, Singapore or the Philippines. 

 

Philippines-based startup Revolution Precrafted, a company that develops and designs luxury prefabricated homes and hotels among others. Founded by a young Filipino billionaire named Robbie Antonio, Revolution Precrafted allows consumers to pick a home design from a selection and have it delivered to them. The project notably included some of the most famous architects and designers – such as Zaha Hadid or Jean Nouvel – to create an exclusive series of prefabricated, livable spaces. Revolution Precrafted’s success did not limit itself to Asia: the company is now having a presence in 24 countries across the world.

 

Lazada is an eCommerce platform founded in Singapour in 2012 by Rocket Internet, that quickly became the market leader in ASEAN. Now owned by the Chinese giant Alibaba, Lazada is the largest eCommerce operator, present in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Its platform allows 155 000 sellers and 3000 brands to reach out to 560 millions of consumers.


Founded by Chinese-born entrepreneur Forrest Li in Singapore in 2009, Sea Ltd, the acronym for Southeast Asia was rebranded from a former brand name of Garena. Its businesses originally focused on the online games brand Garena, but now more largely include e-commerce operator Shopee and digital payments service AirPay. Backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent, Sea Ltd is the first ever ASEAN startup to go US IPO and be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (since 2017), and raised $575M in June 2018 to support its expansion in ASEAN, and especially the one of its eCommerce platform Shopee. 

 

An article by the French Trade Commission - Business France Malaysia

Malaysia: Gateway to the Fastest Growing Region in the World

Malaysia presents the perfect platform and ecosystem to fuel digital economy growth

As the ASEAN region continues to boom, investment opportunities in the region have become even more alluring.

However, the cultural complexities of the countries within ASEAN add to the challenges of forming a sound investment strategy. Understanding the big picture includes taking into consideration various factors such as the economics of a country’s Gross National Income (GNI), social landscape, state of digital adoption and talent resources.

So, what would be one of the most attractive investment destinations in the ASEAN region today? Which country would best leverage your investment and deliver significant growth for you?

Not only one of the most visited tourist locations in the world, Malaysia also boasts an economic ecosystem offering a rich ground for investment considerations. Located at the heart of ASEAN, the country is an ideal and cost-effective gateway to access the region’s population base of 640 million with a collective Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$2.5 trillion. With strong economic fundamentals, the World Bank anticipates Malaysia to become a high-income nation as early as the year 2020.  

One of the fastest growing sectors in Malaysia is its digital economy, which consistently continues to be on upward trajectory and accelerates the country’s economic development.

 

Digital Economy: A Catalyst for Dynamic Growth

Malaysia’s digital economy development is impressive. In 2016, the digital economy contributed 18.2% (RM224 billion, or at current exchange rates, US$54 billion) to Malaysia's economy, as indicated by Department of Statistics Malaysia. The contribution to the country’s total GDP comes from the digital industry (RM149.4 billion /US$36 billion) and the eCommerce industry (RM74.6 billion/US$18 billion). The digital industry continues to focus on exports (RM216.9 billion/US$52.23 billion); and employs more than 1.07 million people.

This growth seen by Malaysia is a result of its forward-looking vision on driving itself into becoming a highly productive economy through digital transformation. Various government agencies and ministries work in collaboration with the industry to drive digital transformation. Under the Ministry of Communications & Multimedia, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is the lead agency responsible for helping to chart a path for the holistic development of the nation’s digital economy. MDEC’s implementation efforts are centred on four strategic pillars - driving investments, building local tech champions to regional and global markets, catalysing digital innovation ecosystems to nurture start-ups and propagating digital inclusivity among its citizens.

 

Wooing Foreign Direct Investment

Malaysia has been at the forefront of foreign direct investment and these investments came from various parts of the world such as US, UK, Netherlands, Singapore, Germany, China, India, Australia, and Japan. Global corporations and hyper growth technology companies have been attracted to the conduciveness of setting up businesses in Malaysia. These companies have invested, and continue to invest, in technology and platform, digital and global business services as well as digital content development, to expand these services regionally and globally from Malaysia as their hub.

Malaysia's position as a favoured country for digital investment has been recognized by its consistent 3rd ranking (behind world giants India and China) in AT Kearney's Global Services Location Index since the ranking's inception in 2004.

To ensure that Malaysia continues to attract foreign direct investment, various digital initiatives that fuel investment opportunities have been developed and implemented, including a number of high impact national programmes.  For example, to keep abreast of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, new frameworks are being developed under Malaysia's Digital Economy plan focusing on Big Data Analytics, eCommerce and Internet of Things (IoT), offering massive growth potential.

In 2018, Malaysia started to promote the adoption and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. With the objectives of maximising social and economic benefits, Malaysia is accelerating AI development across three key areas: Talent; Industry Development; and High Impact Use Cases in the areas of smart cities and smart manufacturing, resting on a foundation of progressive regulatory framework.

Another example is the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) – the world’s first outside of China that aims to capitalise on the exponential growth of the internet economy and cross-border eCommerce. Established to streamline and augment Malaysia's constantly growing eCommerce space, this platform will also boost cross-border trade and position Malaysia as a transhipment hub for eCommerce logistics.

 

A thriving digital ecosystem

Malaysia is constantly looking at initiatives to transform its human capital infrastructure to be ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Coupled with its proficiency in languages including English and other Asian languages such as Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Bahasa, Hindi, Arabic and others, as well as the investment in the hard infrastructure of roads, railways, ports and high-speed internet connectivity, this has undoubtedly been the major attraction for enterprises to expand their operations in Malaysia. With its diverse multilingual and multicultural population, Malaysia offers a conducive business environment through its unique cultural diversity, making integration of local talent to be part of the global workforce a seamless experience to many global multinationals and unicorns.

As the ASEAN region continues to boom, investment opportunities in the region have become even more alluring.

However, the cultural complexities of the countries within ASEAN add to the challenges of forming a sound investment strategy. Understanding the big picture includes taking into consideration various factors such as the economics of a country’s Gross National Income (GNI), social landscape, state of digital adoption and talent resources.

So, what would be one of the most attractive investment destinations in the ASEAN region today? Which country would best leverage your investment and deliver significant growth for you?

Not only one of the most visited tourist locations in the world, Malaysia also boasts an economic ecosystem offering a rich ground for investment considerations. Located at the heart of ASEAN, the country is an ideal and cost-effective gateway to access the region’s population base of 640 million with a collective Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$2.5 trillion. With strong economic fundamentals, the World Bank anticipates Malaysia to become a high-income nation as early as the year 2020.  

One of the fastest growing sectors in Malaysia is its digital economy, which consistently continues to be on upward trajectory and accelerates the country’s economic development.

 

Malaysia boasts a young, well-educated, tech-savvy, multilingual and multicultural talent pool.

The government of Malaysia also places a major emphasis on talent development for the future of work, focusing from primary to tertiary education. MDEC is supporting the Ministry of Education’s efforts to integrate computational thinking including coding and other digital making activities into the national school syllabus. Another core initiative is a joint public-private-academia collaboration to strengthen tertiary-level digital technology curricula and teaching.

These efforts have already seen results and international recognition. Malaysia is 2nd in ASEAN in the Digital Evolution Index 2017; 5th in Asia in the Huawei Global Connectivity Index 2018; 6th in Asia for the Networked Readiness Index 2016 and the Asian Digital Transformation Index 2018; 7th in Asia in the ICT Development Index 2017; and 8th in Asia for the Cloud Readiness Index 2018. Its tech savvy population was also recognised by a 2016 Thomson Reuters Foundation poll, which ranked Malaysia the 9th best place to be a social entrepreneur in the world.

As of now, thousands of companies from 60 nations have already cast their anchors in Malaysia. Do not miss out on your opportunity to expand from Malaysia to Asia and the world!

 

This article is brought to you by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the lead agency in driving the digital economy in Malaysia. For more info, visit www.mdec.my

This article was first published in MGCC Perspectives, the magazine of the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry

With the Southeast Asian region’s internet economy looking to grow to more than RM847 billion by 2025, now seems to be the time to get in on the action, and establish a trusted brand in that growing economy. But which industries are affected?


Photo source: 123RF.com

1. RETAIL

The biggest sector to be affected has to be the retail sector, with the advent of e-Commerce bringing the ability to more easily purchase from vendors in other countries (allowing more choices and options), while fintech in the form of payment gateways handles the complexities of transactions, making for smooth transactions between buyer and seller.

 

2. BANKING SERVICES

No more standing in line at a bank! While this may seem slightly underwhelming, the ease and convenience of being able to conduct banking at home on a personal computer, or on the go using a mobile, is just so time-saving and efficient compared to waiting in line at the bank. Furthermore, blockchain technology is being utilised to further improve upon transaction security, something that the banking sector can never get enough of.

 

3. MONEY REMITTANCE

Money remittance has gotten its own facelift from fintech innovations, as platforms and solutions providers hit upon this particular industry. Sending money to relatives studying abroad, or sending money home while working overseas used to be a lengthy and often expensive affair, depending on the currencies traded. However, by digitising the process, verification becomes easier, while the fee structure becomes more transparent, allowing for savings whenever possible.

 

4. INSURANCE

Insurance technology, or insurtech, forms yet another branch of fintech. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 74% of the insurance industry views fintech as a challenge of their business. In turn, disruptive solutions that have shaken up the industry also present new opportunities and segments, which savvy insurance players are taking advantage of. Having a better risk insight due to Big Data Analytics, leading to the shift from protection-based models to preventive-based models, is but one way the industry is being given a shakeup.

 

5. FUNDING

Any company seeking funds in recent times can now look towards equity crowdfunding as a potential source of funds. Exchanging equity for a set amount of shares, this particular form of crowdfunding is set to target companies looking to grow, but who are not yet ready to list on the stock exchanges. Investors, on the other hand, get to spread their funds in a wider net, allowing for less risk and more opportunities for people to start investing.

 

About the author: Gabe Ng is an experienced business journalist and corporate writer. He keeps tabs on the digital economy, with the hopes that more can be achieved to help burgeoning and thriving local SMEs.

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