Meet 15 Fintech Influencers in the Philippinesby Tom Noda August 16, 2018
Perhaps the usual impression of an influencer would mean a person that you can tap into or refer to for marketing purposes either to improve sales or help in educating and convincing target consumers or investors for your business.
Indeed some of the important criteria of an influencer are popularity, and a significant social media following. But authenticy and advocacy are two other essential things. In this article, we are featuring influencers in the Philippine fintech industry that mostly meet the two latter criteria.
Many of these personalities belong to specific companies that have their own fintech products but they often discuss in public about the technology as a whole, its innovation potentials and the huge opportunities that it brings to improve financial inclusion in the country whose two-thirds of adult population are still unbanked.
We listed 15 persons who are frequent speakers in fintech summits and conferences here and abroad, and who speak with authority based on their expertise and passion in spreading the word about fintech adoption.
Here they are listed in alphabetical order:
Fintech Influencers in the Philippines
Paolo is the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of e-money issuer PayMaya Philippines, the digital financial services arm of PLDT and Smart’s digital innovation unit Voyager Innovations. He joined Paymaya in November 2014 after his stint with Rocket Internet AG, Europe’s online startup builder, where he did fintech responsibilities as managing director. Paolo also currently sits as board director of InstaRem, a Singapore-based international money transfer company.
An IT veteran for over 30 years, Phil is an Executive Director and Board Member of Fintech Philippines Association (Fintech PH). He is a cofounder of MYP Technology Services in the Philippines and consults as Chief Experience Officer or CxO on cyber security, big data, cloud computing and fintech. Phil is also active in spreading the word about fintech on social media as co-administrator of the fintech association’s Facebook page.
Tagged as “the voice for the Philippine Bitcoin community” since 2014, Miguel Cuneta is the co-founder of fintech firm Satoshi Citadel Industries Inc (SCI), as well as co-founder and chief marketing officer of SCI Ventures Rebittance, a remittance and transfer company. SCI is backed by K Venture Group, the investment arm of South Korea-based tech giant Kakaotalk.
Miguel frequently appears in print, online, radio, and TV media to educate people about fintech. He also co-founded the Bitcoin Organization of the Philippines, a non-profit SEC registered corp. that aims to promote and protect the industry. He has a degree in Human Resource Management from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
Arvie de Vera
Arvie heads the Fintech Business Group at Union Bank of the Philippines (Unionbank), a local-listed universal bank that has built a blockchain-based B2B payments system with Visa. Through his vast professional experience in banking, telecommunications and new media, Arvie has been seeking out and executing groundbreaking technologies that help ease and enable cash management to the bank’s corporate partners, retail customers and even emerging communities.
He was previously Unionbank’s corporate product management head and business development director. He has worked with Citibank, Globe Telecommuications, and broadcast/digital media TV5 for the past two decades where he did roles on product management, sales, finance, strategic planning, and business development.
Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.
Nestor assumed the role of Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) or Philippine central bank in July 2017 and has been active ever since in encouraging different financial institutions, businesses, and organizations to adjust and leverage on the opportunities that fintech brings. He strongly believes fintech products stand to help broaden financial inclusion in the country.
Nestor claims BSP has continuously monitored fintech developments via “risk-based and proportionate regulation, active multi-stakeholder collaboration, and consumer protection.” In his first few weeks as BSP head, the central bank has granted virtual currency licenses to SCI and Coins.ph. He led the launching last November of BSP’s major initiative called the Philippine EFT System and Operations Network (PESONet), an electronic fund transfer (EFT) payments system that would allow individuals to digitally transfer funds to any bank in the network within the same banking day. PESONet is the first automated clearing house (ACH) under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS).
Mario Jordan “Magellan” Fetalino III is the Founder and CEO of Acudeen Technologies, Inc., an online peer to peer marketplace for receivable discounting in the Philippines. He is currently a Member Board of Trustee of Fintech Alliance Philippines and a Board Director of the Philippine Association for Digital Commerce and Decentralised Industries (PADCDI).
Magellan also used to serve as the Chairman of the Board of The Global Filipino Investors, one of the biggest financial education companies in the Philippines. Launched in 2016, Acudeen is regarded by IDC as one of the Top 10 fastest growing fintechs in the Philippines. The fintech startup is winner of Seedstars Global 2017 & Founder Institute’s Best Global Fintech 2017.
Chuchi G. Fonacier
Chuchi is deputy governor of the supervision and examination sector (SES) at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) who strongly supports the development of inclusive fintech in the Philippines geared to enable any person, regardless of economic and social stature, to have access to digital finance products.
Her office is implementing BSP’s strategy to adopt regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions in partnership with Regulators Accelerator (R2A) – a pioneering project that provides technical assistance for financial sector regulators to develop and test the next generation of digital supervision tools and techniques. Fonacier attained her Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in Accounting at the La Salle College-Bacolod. She got her Master in Business Administration degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.
Colin is Head of Cryptocurrencies at Coins.ph, a local blockchain-enabled crypto company and bitcoin platform. Based on his LinkedIn profile, he is a San Franciscan technologist living and working in Manila who has a significant experience in Silicon Valley as a technologist, strategist/operator, and financier, all in the technology sector.
He also claims to have substantial domain exposure to mobile payments/commerce, bitcoin/blockchain, mobile devices, internet-of-things (industrial & smart home), digital content, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence technologies.
Ron is the founder and CEO of Coins.ph and an active investor and adviser to several Silicon Valley startups. Prior to coins.ph, he was a founding partner at Innovation Endeavors, an early stage venture capital fund backed by Eric Schmidt.
Ron was also the co-founder of TokBox (acquired by Telefonica), a consumer video conferencing company. TokBox was backed by Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital, Stanford University and some of Silicon Valleys best-known angel investors. Ron holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from Cornell University, where he graduated at the top of his class.
Xavier is the founder and president of TrueMoney Philippines, one of several fintech services firms of Ascend Money (an ALIPAY/Ant Financial & C.P. Group Financial Services Venture). He also serves as Ascend’s country managing director in the Philippines. With over 15 years of industry experience in technology (Internet, online media, mobile, telecom, and finance), Xavier was concurrently CEO & COO of Globe Telecom’s domestic payments business where he established a turnaround strategy and drove the most significant year-on-year growth in the active user base vs. the company’s recent history. He also drove the organization’s merchant acquiring/ mobile POS business to a number one market leadership position.
Patrick Paul Palacios
Patrick is the president and CEO of Appsolutely, and Loyalcoin (Appsolutely’s digital asset). He founded Appsolutely in 2013 after seeing the huge growth potential for e-commerce in the Southeast Asian region. Prior to establishing the company, he went on a stellar two-decade run as a tech entrepreneur and executive, creating digital business ventures Ilios Resources and Helius Tech and setting strategies for tech and telco conglomerates such as Digitel, Nortel, and Lucent.
Mikko leads growth-stage fintech startup Ayannah, which caters mostly to OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) by offering digital remittances, payments and business solutions through its own platforms: Sendah, Sendah Direct, and Sendah Remit. He has a successful track record investing in and operating innovative technology, new media, and telecom-related ventures.
Some of his previous positions were director of finance and business development at Chikka, investment manager at Next Century Partners, as well as investment banker at JP Morgan Chase (Hambrecht & Quist) in San Francisco where he advised technology, media, and telecom ventures. Mikko serves on the board of several companies and foundations.
Albert is the President & CEO of G-Xchange Inc. (GCash), the micropayment arm of Mynt which is the joint venture among Globe Telecom, the Ayala Corporation, and Ant Financial. He is also the current president of Philippine eMoney Association. His previous roles at Globe were as VP for mobile sales, and VP for national broadband direct sales.
Three years before joining Globe, Albert worked with Smart Communications, Globe’s rival mobile carrier, as general manager in Visayas and Mindanao. He later on joined DB Shenker as director of its air division. Some of his previous roles include national sales manager at FedEx Philippines, and account executive at ocean carrier APL.
Mark is the founder and owner of digital wallet firm Tagcash. He is an IT veteran for three decades and has been engaged in the fintech industry in Southeast Asia for the last six years. Mark is also a blockchain developer, angel investor, and current chairman of Fintech Philippines Association.
Lito serves as managing director of FINTQnologies Corp, the fintech arm of PLDT-led Voyager Innovations, reportedly the “largest fintech business in the Philippines”. Lito is considered as one of the very few digital finance global practitioners to have a mix of experience in banking, payments, and the mobile network operating sector.
He is a recognized subject matter expert and thought leader on digital financial services, including emerging regulations on financial inclusion and inclusive growth. In January 2016, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Asian Fintech Leaders during the Fintech Finals 2016 in Hong Kong.
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