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SINGAPORE (Mar 10): The Philippines will be holding its first Philippine Fintech Festival (PFF) on September 16-17, 2020 at Shangri-La at The Fort, Manila. The PFF is in partnership with various government agencies including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Trade and Industry, along with private corporations and organizations such as Distributed Ledger Technology Association of the Philippines (DLTAP) and FinTech Philippines Association (FPH).

While Singapore has led the region with one of the world’s largest fintech festivals – the SFF – initiatives such as financial inclusion, the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN), and the API Exchange or APIX -introduced in the SFFs over the years - are useful to emerging markets such as the Philippines with its high portion of unbanked population.

For instance, AFIN was set up to facilitate innovation and collaboration between financial institutions and fintechs, in order to digitally transform the financial sector and enhance financial inclusion across the Asean region and beyond. To support this, AFIN launched APIX, the world’s first cross-border, open-architecture API marketplace and sandbox platform for collaboration between fintechs and financial institutions to test solutions. Other aspects of the SFF are Deal Fridays where investors are matched with companies in early growth phases; and the Global Fintech Hackcelerator competition.

The PFF is building on some of the initiatives introduced in SFF. The PFF will gather global innovation experts to discuss the future of banking, industry transformation, and financial inclusion for its plenary sessions.  The Festival will also feature various side events including Business Matching activity with Trade Connect where entrepreneurs can network with possible investors and learn from their peers in the industry. There will also be a PFF edition of The Final Pitch wherein startups can present their innovative business ideas to industry leaders and venture capitalists.

The PFF Hackathon will challenge students and tech enthusiasts in creating impactful solutions for current pressing issues in the Philippine financial industry for which the APIX platform will be made available. These activities will culminate during the PFF Awards wherein winners from these activities will be recognized.

“We are working closely with the various government and industry partners in putting together PFF 2020 because this is an opportunity to showcase the Philippines’ capabilities in the fintech space. Through the PFF, we are taking a shot at co-creating the future together,” says Justo Ortiz, DLTAP and FPH chairman.