The article is taken from FCI In-Sight Newsletter August 2022, written by Thompson Lui, Regional Manager for South and South East Asia.
During our 54th annual meeting (past June in Washington, DC), there was a special arrangement for seven technology/solutions providers (mostly non-members) to present their visions and capabilities to our advisory committee members. Prior to their attendance in DC, lots of preparatory work was required because most of these participants joined FCI’s events for the first time, challenges including unifying presenting formats, VISA applications, continuous rescheduling of presenting sequence due to altered arrival expectations, e.t.c. One may ask why going through all these hassles in great length, including travelling over 12.000kms and over 24 hours in connecting flights, to gain a 15-minutes face time?
The leadership roles of FCI in the trade receivables and risk mitigation industry need no repeating here, for they are recognized globally. Many of these presenters probably represent some of the best in their industries, starting from emerging markets in South and Southeast Asia; their main activity is facilitating platforms so that exporters/importers can seek financiers to fund their transactions. The industry may quickly identify their role first as invoice discounters, but they are not, for they do not fund transactions themselves; that is not their intent to do so. From exporters’ perspective, they are no different from discounters to FIs, banks, investors, and financiers; they are both professional service providers and business originators.
By now, you have already painted a picture of where this will happen for platform providers facilitating risk mitigation and international trade financing transactions to sit together. Wait, this is not where it ends but where things start to get interesting. Since they do not fit right into any of our existing member categories now, FCI is working on creating a new one to work with them towards common goals. By the time you search for my following insight end of 2022, we may likely have a few new members from this arena. By then, I will likely have the means to share with you where we are heading and why and how we can work together to create more value.
Most consider this Fintechs rise suddenly with blessings of technologies like internet 2.0, B2B, cloud storage and blockchain e.t.c, think again. Whilst all these elements play a role in contributing to their success stories, leadership from regulatory and monetary authorities started drafting these development paths years ago. India is an excellent example of the above, where RBI issued licenses allowing Fintechs to build receivables exchange platforms so international (export or domestic) trade can be funded more easily. Search IFSCA adding RBI, SEBI and IRDA, and you get ideas connecting the dots. At least, it made me picture what would happen in the next decade. The southbound move I mentioned in my previous articles makes this year the perfect time to explore partnerships and identify areas to cooperate with in this direction. As an industry body, FCI is keen and equipped to work hand in hand with regulatory bodies like IFSCA providing professional advice in areas where possible.
Last but not least, I am glad to share with you that south and southeast Asia has added three new members in the past three months. We have MonetaGo Asia Private Limited from Singapore, Vietnam Technological and Commercial JS Bank from Vietnam, and PT Fundo Sukses Bersama (INDOOGOO) from Indonesia. Congratulations and welcome to the FCI family.