In a landmark move, FinTech Alliance.ph, the Philippines’ largest digital trade organization, and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on November 15 to elevate collaboration in the fintech sector. The agreement, a result of the strategic partnership declared by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, aims to deepen engagement on fintech policy and regulation, providing mutual access to capital opportunities and addressing regulatory hurdles.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu PSM emphasized the potential for growth in the digital economies of both nations, highlighting the MOU as a means to fully realize the trade and investment relationship. The partnership is especially timely following Australia’s economic pivot to Southeast Asia through the launch of Invested: Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 in September.
Under this collaboration, FinTech Alliance.ph and Austrade will embark on initiatives to innovate financial services in both the Philippines and Australia, fostering enhanced commercial opportunities. The partnership aligns with the Philippines Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 and Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy, providing a practical pathway to boost two-way trade and investment.
FinTech Alliance.ph Founding Chairman Lito Villanueva expressed honor in working with the Australian Government to accelerate progress in the fintech and trade industry, emphasizing the potential for significant digital transformation. The partnership aims to drive extensive digitalization and positively impact the lives of citizens in both countries.
The collaboration will also facilitate information sharing on emerging market trends and developments, including the exchange of insights on new technologies to improve the fintech ecosystem in their respective markets. Moreover, it provides a framework for the Philippines to gain insights from Australia’s experience in open banking, while Australian fintech firms can learn from the rapid development of the Philippines’ digital economy.
Australia, known for its robust fintech ecosystem supported by stable regulatory environments, excels in innovation areas such as payment systems reforms, enhanced digital assets, and open data regulations. Meanwhile, the Philippines’ fintech sector is undergoing a remarkable transformation driven by rapid digitalization, a supportive regulatory framework, and concerted efforts to enhance financial inclusion.
The collaboration aligns with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ goal to shift 50 percent of all payment transactions to digital and onboard 70 percent of adult Filipinos into the formal financial system by the end of the year, showcasing a commitment to advancing fintech on a global scale.