Fintech & Digital Banking

Road to Cashless Society

Makoto Shibata - Head of FINOLAB, Chief Community Officer

Can you tell me a bit about your background and your current role?

I was in banking business for many years at MFUG, the top commercial bank in Japan. After experiencing various areas in banking, including retail and corporate banking, I worked in digital banking area from 1998 for 20 years. I joined FINLAB in 2019 to support Fintech startups. FINOLAB is a Fintech center in Tokyo where we have +50 startups members and 16 corporate members and promoting open innovation.

Can you tell us more about Fintech and its importance today?

In the early days, FinTech startups are considered to be disruptors in the financial service. But after a few years, financial institutions started to realize that they can be enebler for their digital innovation. And now we often see FinTech startups and banks are co-creating new products and services

What’s Gone Wrong with Traditional SMB Banking?

Large financial institutions often apply same credit evaluation method used for large corporates, which would provide limited credit to SMEs. And now we see many startups using data analytic technology to come up with credit evaluation suitable for SMEs.

What is the future of digital banking?

We expect to see the expansion of embedded finance, where digital banking capabilities would be included in various services, such as retail or mobile network. It is important that users would not feel any pain to make payment or any financial transaction.

Will banks eventually migrate to a cloud and what hardware they will keep?

Some banks are alreaday migrating significant part of their system infrastructure could environment, but the main challenge would be their core-banking system. Becuase of the regulatory requirments in may parts of the world, it may take some years to see core bankikng system shifting to cloud on full scale.

What do you think is the future of the Fintech industry in Asia?

In many markets in Asia, we are seeing continuous appetite to invest in Fintech area and many financial institutions are making big effort in digital transformation with various collaboration with Fintech startups. Based on these trends, we expect Fintech industry to enjoy health expansion for some years to come.

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