SEOUL, March 8 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s top financial regulator said Wednesday authorities will expand “systemic” support for nascent fintech firms in the country, with 3 trillion won (US$2.6 billion) earmarked for a three-year support project.
South Korea, known for its information and communication technology prowess, launched a government-led campaign in early 2015 to foster the fintech industry as a significant breakthrough in the financial industry facing a host of challenges.
Investment related to fintech businesses here jumped to 777 billion won as of June last year from 87 billion won in 2014 and 473 billion won in 2015, government data showed.
“But we can’t be satisfied with that,” Yim Jong-yong, chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), said at a meeting with the heads of 15 related financial and technology companies. “It’s a reality that the gap between South Korea and such leading countries as the U.S., Britain and China still exists.”
He cited the acceleration of the fintech revolution in the global financial market amid the combination of finance and digital technology like big data, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Yim stressed the need for a new strategy to make the local fintech industry leap to the next level.
State policy lenders will expand funds for fintech startups to 3 trillion won for use through 2019, he said.
“I think this year will be the tipping point,” he said, adding the government is working on a road map for the second-stage development of the fintech industry to revolve around “systemic support.”
The government plans to host additional Fintech Demo Day events in major foreign markets this year as part of efforts to help local fintech firms launch businesses abroad.