Podcast: Fintech likely to gain greater foothold in Kazakhstan post-pandemic

Covid-19 has forced incumbents to innovate, allowing fintech firms to increase presence in the market

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The pandemic looks set to hasten digitalisation within the financial services sector and will help level the playing field further for fintech firms.

Speaking in Central Banking’s latest Tech Talk podcast episode, Assylbek Davletov – chief fintech officer at the Astana Financial Services Authority – speaks about how the pandemic has helped give a boost to emerging players.

He notes that in the central Asian region, financial services are drastically less digital than in Europe and other parts of Asia.

“The environment was not favourable to fintechs,” Davletov explains. Consumers tended to have established relationships with more traditional firms already active in the market.

However, the pandemic has forced market players to look at how to provide services remotely. Fintech companies, he says, have the ability to help incumbents onboard customers more efficiently and at a reduced cost.

These players have now also gained a foothold to the extent that they are now in a position to challenge some of the incumbent banks.

One way the AFSA is attempting to foster the growing fintech landscape is through its fintech lab, which acts as a sandbox for new entrants looking to gain traction in the market.

The AFSA is the independent regulator of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), which was established as an independent financial area by former Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Davletov explains the aim of the AIFC is to attract investment into the Kazakh economy through the establishment of an “attractive” environment for financial services and capital markets.



00:00 Introduction

01:20 Kazakhstan’s financial regulatory landscape

04:50 Deployment of new technology

08:00 Emerging sources of data during the pandemic

12:15 The standardisation of data reporting

14:20 AFSA’s fintech lab

18:30 The impact of Covid on competition

23:15 Future use of fintech

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