The Olympics is arriving in Tokyo in 2020, and all goes as planned by London Mayor Boris Johnson, the sporting event will include an array of products powered by technology from London fintech firms. Potential examples could be kiosks for low cost currency exchange and transfer, bracelets with embedded banking information to allow simply swiping an arm to purchase tickets or memorabilia, and additional contactless payment solutions to help increase efficiency for travelers using public transportation.
Arriving in Tokyo, Johnson is leading a trade mission to Japan along with representatives from London’s fintech sector. With a goal of introducing technology that could potentially be used by Japan for its upcoming Olympics, the trip will include Johnson showcasing examples of how financial technology is adding value for the UK market.
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According to research conducted by London and Partners and EY, investments by venture capital funds in London’s fintech sector is on pace to increase over twenty-fold in 2015, with £312 million in deals taking place so far during the first half of 2015 compared with £24 million for all of 2010. The research added that over the last ten years, “London has attracted 1000 international tech investment projects – which is not only more than any city, but more than any other country in Europe”.
The research also uncovered certain points that are important for Johnson’s courting of Japan. The research showed that over the last six months, at least one fintech product was used by 35% of the UK’s online population, with the figure expected to increase to 43% over the next 12 months. Among the specific areas of fintech update is in the area of payment related products such as contactless payments.
With this backdrop of London’s growing fintech uptake, Johnson is aiming to demonstrate to his Japanese counterparts the potential benefits of adopting new technologies. As part of those plans, and participating in the trip, is London based WorldRemit. Arriving in Japan, WorldRemit announced that they are entering the Japanese market to provide services to the growing percentage of foreigners that are making Japan their home.