The population boom in the Philippines, currently with over 100 million people, is set to be the catalyst for the looming widespread market penetration of financial technology-based businesses.
This is according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, who noted that there are 76 million active Internet users in the Philippines, accounting for 71% of the population. In addition to those numbers, there are 71.44 million active mobile Internet users, which is roughly 67% of the country’s population.
To take advantage of this opportunity, the government and the private sector are moving to further cement the role of the country as a hotspot for innovation in the fintech space via the inaugural Philippine Fintech Festival (PFF) to be held on May 20 to 21.
“With more than 500 startups valued at $378 million, the Philippine startup ecosystem has full of potential. There’s plenty of room to grow,” Aldaba said during the presser for the upcoming event.
She said fintech is set to bridge the gap in business services, technology, and financial inclusion of the unbanked. From the large-scale remittances of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to the quick adoption of e-commerce, the opportunity for fintech businesses to thrive is huge, according to Aldaba.
The festival, which will be held at the Shangri-la at The Fort, will feature the Tech Experience Zone where tech solutions providers can showcase their technologies and capabilities.
For his part, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) undersecretary Jose Arturo de Castro said fintech offers convenience, accessibility, and security. “The Philippine Fintech Festival promises to be a showcase of the latest technological innovations both here and abroad to local and international businesses,” he said.
The lineup of speakers for the event includes angel investors, CEOs, CTOs, and representatives from the government. C-level execs, industry regulators, and key stakeholders are also expected to attend.
Some of the event’s government partners are the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the DICT, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the DTI). Private organizations like the FinTech Philippines Association (FPH) and the Distributed Ledger Technology Association of the Philippines (DLTAP) are also partners for the festival.