Asia-Pacific financial service firms are set to at least quadruple their investments in financial technology (fintech) in 2015, according to report by Accenture.
In the first nine months of 2015, fintech investments have nearly reached $3.5bn from $880m in all of 2014, the study found.
The report, Fintech Invest in Asia Pacific set to at least quardruple in 2015, showed largest share of 2015 Asia-Pacific fintech investment deals were in payments (40%) and lending (25%).
The report also predicted that volume of deals is set to increase slightly – at 122 as of 1 October 2015 compared with 117 for all of 2014.
The value of deals has increased substantially due to larger investments in and from China. They include investments from Alibaba Group and its Ant Financial Services Group subsidiary into Paytm, a mobile payment and commerce platform in India, as well as fundraising efforts by Ping An Insurance Group venture Lufax.
Jon Allaway, senior managing director of Accenture’s Financial Services group in ASEAN and executive sponsor of the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific, said: "We are seeing the convergence of two trends: venture capitalists are clearly signaling fintech is a growth opportunity and simultaneously financial services companies are waking up to the vast opportunities created by the current wave of fintech.
"Financial services institutions are embracing cloud technology, mobile wallets and blockchain to fundamentally redefine their business and operational models. We are seeing this in the increased investments from banks in fintech venture capital funding, incubators and startups."
Beat Monnerat, senior managing director at Accenture and the company’s Financial Services lead in Asia Pacific, said: "Major non-traditional financial services companies have been investing in fintech payments in China for the past year. The increasing deal size should serve as a wake-up call to financial services companies in China and across Asia-Pacific that if they do not offer truly useful, customer-friendly digital solutions, competitors will step into the breach not just on the retail front but also in commercial transactions."
The report also forecasts that blockchain will increasingly be a focus for startups, banks and investors.
As a stand-alone technology, blockchain could help banks, credit card companies and clearinghouses collaborate to create safer, faster accounting and optimize capital use by reducing counterparty risk and transaction latency, authors of the report opined.
Accenture also said that it expects investment in cyber security to increase significantly in the coming year, especially in light of recent large-scale data breaches reported in the media.