Alliance promotes inclusive digital finance

THE Philippines’ FinTech, the premier trade association digital players in the country’s digital finance sector, together with Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, recently announced the launch of the fintech industry sandbox program, a new initiative designed to increase local financial institutions’ access to inclusive digital finance.

The first-of-its-kind program, in support of the Philippines’ massive digitization initiatives of the country’s regulators: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), enables local businesses in the finance sector to explore the use of advanced cloud computing products and fintech (financial technology) services from Alibaba Cloud in a risk-free testing environment.

Under the program, each eligible Philippine business would receive up to $10,000 in cloud coupons, which could be used to adopt Alibaba Cloud’s proven solutions, as well as access to complementary cloud training, technical and industry expertise and regulatory compliance guidance.

“We created this program with Alibaba Cloud to support emerging digital technologies, which help address current challenges in the financial industry. With more financial companies joining this program, we are glad to see the acceleration of access to inclusive digital finance in the country,” said Lito Villanueva, founding chairman of the FinTech and chief innovation and inclusion officer and executive vice president of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

Beginning this month, the program would be accepting applications from BSP-supervised financial institutions who are registered with the SEC and meet eligibility criteria.

As the leading public cloud service provider in Asia Pacific, Alibaba Cloud is one of the founding members of the FinTech, offering its expertise in cloud technology and providing solutions around elastic compute, database, security, storage and network services. It is also developing machine learning and data analytics capabilities to address challenges and unlock opportunities for companies across the FinTech space.

For example, Alibaba Cloud provides a mix of fintech solutions to GCash, a leading mobile wallet enterprise, to handle large volumes of digital transactions with minimal interruption and high-cost efficiency. The company also works with UBX, the fintech venture studio and fund spin off of UnionBank of the Philippines, to provide eKYC (Electronic Know Your Customer) solutions. These products are designed to help local financial institutions boost their efficiency and security through digitalizing the identity verification process.

Motivated by the demand for digital solutions and the need for greater financial inclusion, the Philippine fintech sector has sustained rapid growth in recent years. The BSP forecasts that the share of digital transactions value would reach at least 50 percent by 2023.

“Alibaba Cloud and the FinTech Alliance are working hard to create a business-friendly environment for local fintech companies to deploy digital finance solutions tailored to their needs, and this program is an important step towards this goal,” said Allen Guo, country manager for the Philippines, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “We are excited to collaborate with companies in the Philippine fintech sector and further contribute to their development.”


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