PHL rises 8 rungs in Global Fintech Index

THE Philippines has improved its financial technology (fintech) ratings by eight notches in the Global Fintech Index 2020, but was kept at the lower end of the group when compared with its Southeast Asian peers.

In the 2020 edition of the yearly index, the Philippines obtained a score of 8.831 to climb eight places to 46th. This landed the country fourth in the region, where six economies overall were included in the rankings.

The Philippines fell behind Singapore at third, Malaysia at 36th and Thailand at 39th, but was slightly ahead of Indonesia at 47th and Vietnam at 51st.

In terms of city, Manila was among the three Southeast Asian cities that got in the top 15 in the Asia-Pacific region for its viability for fintech business and transactions. Along with Manila, Singapore City (first) and Jakarta were included on the list.

In Asia-Pacific, Manila was also in the company of Bangalore, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Sydney, New Delhi, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Melbourne, Pune and Hyderabad. Further, the Philippines was listed among the watchers—the group of economies from Africa, Asia and the Middle East that fintech firms should watch out for, being fast-growing communities in spite of investment challenges.

“The countries here are all fast-growing fintech destinations with much higher Fintech Index rankings than their Global Startup scores—and picked for their combination of local entrepreneurial success, regulatory foresight and the early signs of a growing local fintech ecosystem,” the index read.

The index listed payments systems, enabling processes and technology, as well as banking and lending, as the strengths of the Philippines. The country also recorded a total value for all its fintech transactions in 2018 at $96.8 million.

Also, the index noted local fintech firms GCash, and Ayannah are starting to grab the headlines, making the community noticed by the general public.

Deep diving into the fintech ecosystem, the index said the accelerators and incubators of local fintech firms are the Fintech Philippines Association, Asean Fintech Council, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority. The Central Bank’s regulatory sandbox, on the other hand, was cited as a fintech-friendly rule.

Included in the watchers list here are Kenya, Cyprus, Vietnam, Nigeria, Peru, Ghana, Bangladesh, Uganda and Lebanon.

US is tops

Topping this year’s index was the United States, which was cited for its payments systems, business-to-business fintech transactions and overall security.


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