Top 10 Female Fintech Leaders in Asia That Inspires Us

Top 10 Female Fintech Leaders in Asia That Inspires Us

by March 7, 2024

In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Fintech News Network is unveiling its selection of ten of the most influential female fintech leaders in Asia Pacific (APAC).

These trailblazing female fintech leaders and founders are elevating the industry, demonstrating resilience and leadership in the ever-evolving fintech landscape. Their influence goes beyond their own organisations, significantly impacting the fintech sector across the entire APAC region.

For this list, we focus on female fintech leaders and founders in Asia Pacific delving into the careers, achievements, and accolades of ten of the most prominent figures in the region.

We explore how these professionals have contributed to the advancement of their respective companies and the broader sector.

1. Lucy Yueting Liu, Co-Founder and President, Airwallex

Top female fintech founder asia - Lucy Yueting Liu, Co Founder & President Airwallex

Lucy Yueting Liu is the co-founder and president of Airwallex, a global payment and financial platform for businesses. At Airwallex, Liu is responsible for the company’s branding and operations. Under her leadership, the company has grown rapidly, becoming a fintech unicorn in 2019.

Prior to Airwallex, Liu worked as an investment consultant for banking firm China International Capital Corporation (CICC) in Shanghai. She also served as the director of Hong Stone Investment Development Limited, a Hong Kong-based investment company, and was an advisor to the University of Melbourne’s accelerator program.

As a female fintech founder, Liu has received several entrepreneurial achievements and accolades. She was listed on the Forbes’ 30 under 30 Asia 2017: Finance and Venture Capital list and on the SmartCompany’s Smart 30 Under 30 2019 list. She also won the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Australia Southern Region award 2018.

2. Winnie Chua, Co-Founder and CPO, PolicyStreet

Top female fintech leader asia - Winnie Chua Co-Founder & CPO, PolicyStreet, Malaysia

Winnie Chua is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of PolicyStreet, an insurtech platform from Malaysia that aims to make it affordable, simple to understand and easy to access private healthcare.

The startup targets underserved markets in the insurance space, such as the poor, students and startups. PolicyStreet also serves millennials and the rising middle class. Besides Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, other footprints are in Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.

Under her leadership, PolicyStreet was recognised as the “Top Insurtech Startup” at the 2023 Fintech Frontiers Awards by Fintech News Malaysia, in recognition of its dynamic growth and contributions to digital insurance solutions that cater to users’ bespoke needs.

Besides her role at PolicyStreet, Chua is also a member of the Industry Advisory Council of the Payments Network Malaysia. The council aims to guide the development of Malaysia’s financial market infrastructures and ensure that the direction of PayNet, Malaysia’s payments network, is aligned with market and stakeholder needs.

Chua’s professional career began in the insurance sector where she held various roles at Allianz. Transitioning to entrepreneurship, she co-founded PolicyStreet in 2017.


3. Caecilia Chu, Co-Founder and CEO, YouTrip

Top female fintech founder asia - Caecilia Chu, YouTrip

Caecilia Chu is the Co-Founder and CEO of YouTrip, Singapore’s multi-currency mobile wallet established in 2018 to offer users a seamless and affordable way to manage multiple currencies on-the-go.

Under Chu’s leadership, YouTrip raised US$50 million in its latest Series B fundraise, bringing its total funds raised to over US$100 million since its inception.

YouTrip plans to grow its team with the aim to expand its regional presence in new markets across Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Her rich background in the finance industry includes overseeing growth investments in the technology and consumer sectors at Citi, advising financial institutions on product and growth strategies at McKinsey, and holding significant positions at Lufax, Chinese online wealth management platform, and QF Pay, a mobile payments company backed by Sequoia China.

As a female fintech founder, she has earned her global recognition, including being named to the Top 50 Financial Technology CEOs in 2021, ranking amongst the Top 10 Fintech Leaders in 2020 and 2021 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore Fintech Association, and receiving the Tech Leader of the Year award by the Singapore Computer Society in 2022.

Furthermore, she serves as an independent director at SGX-listed iFAST Corporation Ltd and has been elected as chairperson of the payments group sub-committee for the Singapore Fintech Association.

4. Tessa Wijaya, Co-Founder and COO, Xendit

Top female fintech founder asia - Tessa Wijaya, Co-Founder & COO Xendit

Tessa Wijaya, the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Xendit, a payment gateway in Indonesia, is instrumental in simplifying payments for businesses in Southeast Asia.

As the COO, Tessa oversees the company’s overall business operations, including service and support, partnerships, government and public relations, and compliance. S

Tessa is a strong advocate for diversity and women’s leadership in the fintech industry having spearheaded Xendit’s Women in Tech Indonesia programme.

Xendit offers a range of services from payment acceptance to payroll disbursement to address the fragmented payment landscape, enabling businesses to thrive in the digital era.

The firm first launched in Indonesia in 2015 and entered the Philippines market in 2020 and then expanded to Malaysia last year with an investment in local player Payex.

Having raised US$538 million in funding so far, Tessa is one of the first female fintech startup founders to achieve unicorn status in Indonesia.

Before co-founding Xendit, Tessa had a seven-year tenure at various private equity firms, including QUVAT, Fairways, and Mizuho.

5. Martha Sazon, President and CEO, Mynt (GCash)

Top female fintech leader asia - martha sazon, President & CEO Mynt (GCash)

Martha Sazon, President and CEO of Mynt, the holding company of GCash, often touted as the top finance superapp in the Philippines, has significantly impacted the fintech landscape.

Appointed as CEO as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, her focus on customer-centricity has propelled GCash to be embedded into the lives of many Filipinos.

Under her leadership, GCash has become the one of the two fintech unicorns in the Philippines with a valuation of over US$2 billion.

GCash has now evolved beyond its core money transfer business and begun offering other financial services such as lending, investment, and insurance among others.

Additionally, the company has secured approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to introduce its financial services to overseas Filipino workers in Europe and the Middle East, planning to launch in countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, and Spain within the year.

Before her tenure at GCash, Martha accrued over 20 years of experience in diverse sectors including food, OTC drugs, personal care, and telecommunications. She spent 12 years at Globe Telecom, where she led groundbreaking projects and headed the broadband business.

She’s is one of the most recognized female fintech leaders in Asia and especially in the Philippines.

6. Melissa Wong, Group Chief Product Officer, bolttech

Top female fintech leader asia - Group Chief Product Officer, bolttech

Melissa Wong holds the position of Group Chief Product Officer at insurtech firm bolttech, focusing on the company’s product innovation and digital transformation efforts. Thanks to her role at bolttech, she was recognised as one of Insurance Business Asia’s “Elite Women” in 2022, making a prominent female fintech leader in Asia.

Previously serving as the Group Chief Digital Officer, Wong has expanded her responsibilities globally, including overseeing bolttech’s digital and product management activities.

Her role encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities, from the development of commercial products to managing aspects of technology, digital initiatives, pricing, and delivery processes.

Founded in 2020, bolttech has expanded to over 35 markets and four continents, serving various sectors such as travel, device protection, and financial services.

Since July 2021, bolttech has amassed US$493 million from backers including Tokio Marine from Japan, global life insurance leader MetLife, and Malaysia’s state fund Khazanah Nasional, among others.

Wong’s experience prior to joining bolttech includes FWD Insurance, where she was Group Vice President of FWD Digital Ventures, Executive Director at DBS Bank and Head of Digital Banking at Standard Chartered Bank in China.

7. Oi-Yee Choo, CEO of ADDX

Top female fintech leader asia - Oi-Yee Choo

Oi-Yee Choo is the CEO of ADDX, one of Asia’s largest private market exchange, with 20 years of experience in capital raising and M&A advisory.

ADDX provides a platform for tokenising assets, making it easier for investors to access private equity, debt, and real estate investments. With a strong background in investment banking, Choo has leveraged her expertise to drive innovation and growth at ADDX.

To date, ADDX has listed more than 80 deals on its platform and worked with blue-chip names such as Hamilton Lane, Partners Group, Investcorp, Singtel, UOB, CGS-CIMB, as well as Temasek-owned entities Mapletree, Azalea, SeaTown and Fullerton Fund Management.

Her leadership has been instrumental in democratising investment opportunities, previously available only to institutional investors, and making them accessible to individual investors.

Before her tenure at ADDX, Oi-Yee was with UBS for six years as Head of Investment Banking for UBS Singapore, a position she took up after serving as Head of Singapore Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley.

Her career also includes leading the Southeast Asia real estate investment banking franchise for Nomura Singapore, and she began her investment banking journey with Citigroup, focusing on Singapore corporate and real estate clients.

Between 2006 and 2008, Oi-Yee was the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Parkway Holdings, the largest healthcare company in Asia, where she played a key role in creating the Parkway Life REIT.

8. Fernn Lim, Chief Operating Officer for audax

Top women fintech leader asia - Fernn Lim, COO, audax

Fernn Lim serves as the Chief Operating Officer of audax, a cloud-native tech stack company specialising in digital banking and Banking as a Service (BaaS) solutions backed by Standard Chartered.

Lim’s role is central to guiding audax’s strategic direction, overseeing people, marketing & communications, shareholder engagements, legal/corporate secretarial, new markets entity setup, organisational excellence, and business operations. Her expertise ensures audax’s smooth expansion and operational success across multiple markets.

Before her tenure at Audax, Lim made significant contributions to the fintech ecosystem as the Head of Culture and Fintech Acceleration at The Open Vault at OCBC.

There, she led the corporate accelerator and directed OCBC’s fintech engagement strategies, contributing to the team’s expansion in Malaysia and securing the title of Asian Banker’s Best Innovation Centre 2018.

Her role in advancing women in the fintech space is notable, serving on the Money 20/20 RISE UP Advisory Board and the BoardAgender cohort of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) to help advance female leaders to boardrooms.

A recognised leader in fintech, Lim has earned accolades such as Top #5 Women in Fintech (APAC), Top #15 Fintech Women (Asia), and other global recognitions for her influence and contributions to the industry.

9. Toh Su Mei, CEO of Anext Bank

Top women fintech leader asia - Toh Su Mei, CEO, Anext

Toh Su Mei leads Anext Bank as its CEO, bringing a proven track record of enhancing customer value and fostering highly engaged teams for business transformation.

Anext Bank, a digital wholesale bank incorporated in Singapore, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ant International, has set out to make financial services accessible and effortless for SMEs, especially for micro and growing businesses since its launch in June 2022.

Her experience spans decades, ideally positioning her to helm ANT Group’s inaugural digital bank outside of the People’s Republic of China.

Prior to Anext Bank, she served at DBS Bank for over three years, where her roles included Regional Head of SME Loan Product Management & Alternative Lending and Head of SG Channels & Distribution.

Anext Bank aims to accelerate financial inclusion through technology-driven innovation to deliver accessible and effortless financial services for SMEs in Singapore and across the region.

10. Cynthia Wu, COO and Founding Partner at Matrixport Technologies

Top female fintech founder asia - Cynthia Wu, COO & Founding Partner, Matrixport

Cynthia Wu serves as the Chief Operating Officer and a Founding Partner at Matrixport Technologies, a digital asset ecosystem platform that manages over US$4 billion in assets.

In her multifaceted role, Wu is integral to steering the company’s strategic direction, overseeing its comprehensive operations, and spearheading global business development and sales initiatives.

At Matrixport, Wu has played a pivotal role in developing Cactus Custody, a qualified institutional-grade digital asset custodian, while she managed key investor relations, ensuring robust and strategic communications with stakeholders.

Before embarking on her journey with Matrixport, Wu was the Investment Director at Bitmain Technologies, where she concentrated on blockchain technology investments and the proliferation of decentralised applications, with a special focus on enhancing financial services. This experience equipped her with a deep understanding of the potential for blockchain to revolutionise traditional financial systems.

Wu’s tenure in the financial sector is marked by a significant role at Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX), where she was responsible for derivatives product development and institutional sales as Vice President.