1. 7 Global Hubs, 23 Regional Hubs
The TOP30 cities worldwide can be categorized into “Global Fintech Hubs” and “Regional Fintech Hubs”. The Global Fintech Hubs are Beijing, San Francisco, New York, London, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen. Out of the top 7, 6 are in Asia and Americas. Out of the 23 Regional Fintech Hubs, 15 are in Asia and Americas, only 7 are in Europe. Generally, Asia and Americas are leading the global Fintech race, while Europe seems to be falling behind. Further, many Emerging Fintech Hubs are located in Asia and Europe; relying on their advantages such as huge markets, large proportion of young people, financial repression and strong government support, they may find breakthroughs and catch up finally.
2. Each Country Attaches Increasing Importance to Regulation, However the Regulatory Capability in Developing Countries may Become a Hindrance
Since the UK first invented the regulatory sandbox, developed countries and regions such as Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea began to experiment or implement innovative regulatory regimes. Developing countries like China, however, are experiencing an inadequacy of regulatory capabilities, where they encounter the dilemma of “regulation leads to the cessation of activities all together, but no regulation leads to a messy market”. This situation has already impacted the performance of Chinese cities: although they did well in the rankings, the drop in their scores compared to the first indexing period is material.
3. Fintech Industry: Beijing Tops, China and USA Lead Fintech Industry Development
Chinese cities become the leader in the Fintech industry through having many world leading Fintech companies. With respect to Fintech Industry Ranking, 5 cities out of TOP10 and 7 cities out of TOP30 are in China, which is the only developing country out of TOP10. Beijing tops the Fintech Industry Ranking, with 58 leading Fintech companies whose total VC investment exceeding USD 50 Million. Hangzhou, in which Ant Financial is headquartered, becomes the city that has the highest total VC investment amount in Fintech industry globally. The USA is also leading Fintech developments, counting 3 positions in the TOP10, and tops the ranking in the digitalization of traditional financial sector.
4. Fintech Consumer Experience: Increasing Percentage of Fintech Users Globally, China Leads
As Fintech overtakes the world, the number of Fintech users increases quickly. The TOP5 cities in Fintech Consumer Experience are all in China, where Hangzhou, famous as the “city of mobile payments” tops with a percentage of Fintech users at 91.5%. At the same time, India’s rise is noticeable while Mumbai and Bangalore are both in the TOP10; the huge number of young people, the spread of smartphones and the rapid growth of marketplace lending are the main reasons for their good performance. Fintech satisfies the needs of finance for the masses in developing countries, meeting the original aim of financial inclusion.
5. Fintech Ecosystem: Developed Countries Lead, New York, San Francisco and London are World Leaders
9 of the TOP10 cities in Fintech Ecosystem Ranking are in developed countries, where advantages such as developed economic infrastructure, strong technology capability, active innovation environment and high-quality regulation together provide Fintech development with fertile ground. Cities in developing countries, however, rank significantly lower in the Fintech Ecosystem Ranking. Other than weaknesses in macroeconomic, research ability and development strengths, the lack of regulatory capability may become another hinderance for their sustainable Fintech development.