Seoul, Republic of Korea, November 12, 2019—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, organized a forum where experts highlighted why emerging Asia is essential for the long-term growth of Korean fintechs. The forum is part of the Innovation Day series that IFC launched in 2017
The series aims to encourage more Korean businesses to come up with innovative solutions targeted to emerging markets.
According to a KPMG report, only two firms from Korea made it to the global list of top 100 fintech firms. However, with the recent shift towards innovation-friendly policies, Korean entrepreneurs and investors can play a critical role in accelerating digital transformation in emerging markets, especially Asia. Further, to close gaps with leading global players, Korean fintechs are pursuing more opportunities abroad.
“Fintech is one area where technology can and has directly improved the lives of millions in the developing world, especially Asia. The emergence of new technologies and better connectivity in most markets have reduced the cost of services, improving financial inclusion,” said Rosy Khanna, IFC Asia and Pacific FIG Regional Industry Director. She added,
South Korea has always been an early adopter of new technology and the country has all the right ingredients to become a fintech hub in the region.”
Entitled, ‘Connecting Korean Fintechs with Asia,’ the event brought together Korean and global fintech experts, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders from financial institutions, think tanks, and government agencies. Apart from their observations on the current state of fintech in Korea, panelists at the forum shared insights on connecting Korean fintechs with scopes in Asia and discussed ways to catalyze cross-border fintech opportunities in the region.
In developing countries, 1.7 billion adults lack a bank account and only 21 percent of adults have access to formal financial services such as credit and savings
” said Jiyeon Janice Ryu, IFC Resident Representative in Korea. She added, “Against this backdrop, IFC is well
positioned to help Korean innovators harness the benefits of providing financial services, thereby improving financial inclusion in the region and driving Korea’s economic growth.”
IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets and a leader in spurring disruptive technologies for development. As of June 2018, IFC invested $340 million globally in fintech, with a committed portfolio of $267 million.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit