The CEO of one of China’s biggest fintech unicorns believes that the country’s fintech market is on track to exceed its e-commerce market in scope, while its retail finance market will become the biggest in the world by 2020.
“Following another 10, 20 years of growth [China’s] fintech market will definitely be larger than that for e-commerce,” said Ye Daqing (叶大清), Rong360 CEO, according to a report from www.cebnet.com.cn.
Ye points to retail finance as being a key driver of growth in the Chinese fintech sector as the country’s population of urban consumers expands.
“China is already a major consumer nation, and will in future become a major retail finance nation,” said Ye.
“China’s retail finance sector is seeing average annual growth of 20 – 30%, and some sub-sectors are achieving growth of 50% or even higher with the assistance of the internet, big data, artificial intelligence.
“We can see that in 2020 China will surpass the United States to become the biggest retail finance market in the world, and with regard to the retail finance market in five or 10 years time…I am one of the optimists, anticipating a credit card or retail finance golden era of ten to twenty years.”
Ye points to low levels of credit card ownership and high savings levels as key factors abetting the growth of retail finance in future.
“China’s credit card-holding demographic is not numerous, with an average of 0.46 credit cards per person, which is far lower than the rate of 5 per person in the United States.
“The [household leverage ratio] isn’t high, at less than 60%, while in the United States it’s 80%. China is still a savings society in the traditional sense, and the average savings rate is far higher than in the United States.
“People born in the 80’s and 90’s and third and fourth-tier cities will become the main actors in Chinese consumption, so structural imbalances are supply-side and demand end imbalances, and the financial sector needs to implement supply-side reforms.”