Japan opens up to FinTech revolution


The Government of Japan has launched a series of events across Europe to inform and promote active discussions around the future opportunities in Japan's lucrative and intelligent market

With a rapidly changing, quality business environment, the Government of Japan has launched a series of events across Europe to inform and promote active discussions around the future opportunities in Japan's lucrative and intelligent market.

On February 19, a "Japan You Didn't Know" roundtable event kicked off in London at the office of global management consulting firm, A.T. Kearney. Over 20 industry experts from established financial services and innovative FinTech companies including A.T. Kearney partners Andrew Stewart, Nobuko Kobayashi and Simon Horner-Long attended the event, which featured panelists Toshio Taki, Board Director of Money Forward and former researcher at Nomura, and Alastair Lukies, CBE, Founder at Motive Partners and Prime Minister's Business Ambassador for FinTech.

Discussions at the event focused on the impact of the new wave of finance, technology, consumerization and personalization sweeping Japan, and how the country is adapting its policy and regulatory framework to welcome foreign investors to deliver predictable conditions for accelerated growth.

Japan boasts the world's third largest economy and has seen eight straight quarters of stable macroeconomic growth. Driven by a transformation of the market by means of bedrock deregulation and international trade deals, Japan is designing an efficient and productive environment that welcomes foreign business for the coming opportunities in financial services.

"There is a lot of talk about open banking in Europe, but many do not realise this is just the catalyst for a wider movement," said Toshio Taki. "Japan has its own extremely ambitious targets for banks to open up their customer data, and we expect that by 2020 more than 80 banks will have successfully adopted API Standards. This is a remarkable achievement which seems to have gone unnoticed, yet it has opened up amazing possibilities for businesses seeking a new means to access consumer markets in a way that Europe has not yet managed."

"To address the changing consumer needs, Japan has seen new developments such as artificial intelligence programs to provide greater accessibility and integration into the financial advice and personal finance markets," said Toshio Taki. "These types of innovations not only provide homeowners, renters and savers greater security over their finances, but also allow service providers within these fields to take innovative solutions to other, similar markets."

"The growth of FinTech is a global movement; it is supposed to transcend international borders and jurisdictions and this is why it is exciting - it is a truly transformational phenomenon," said Al Lukies (pictured). "We are starting to see that the international FinTech movement is only as strong as the sum of its parts. The UK is leading the way in FinTech and Japan has made astonishing progress in recent years and has cultivated an extremely accommodating environment for FinTech growth and expansion, and this only serves to inject further impetus into the rise of a truly global FinTech culture."

The Government of Japan continues to transform its market into a high quality business environment to meet the needs of worldwide businesses through strategic investments and international partnerships. By providing world-leading, high-value business investment that enables companies to expand and thrive, the country is generating new and exciting opportunities in an economy that is aligning its regulations with those of other advanced economies to enable seamless transition for companies ready to expand into new growth markets.

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