March 3, 2021 (9:23 PM)

3 min read


DIGITAL MONEY. FinTech expert and resource speaker, Mr. Alexander T. Sarmiento discusses the pros and cons of virtual transactions emphasizing on the digital divide and encouraging financial planning during a Zoom webinar hosted by AdDU JFinex. Photo taken from @addujfinex Twitter page.

Albeit elaborating the use of financial technology in making monetary transactions accessible and convenient, Fintech expert Alexander T. Sarmiento advised, in a Zoom webinar, not to concentrate entire savings in a single digital app last February 27. 

Sarmiento admitted that he himself was skeptical in facilitating large money transactions online. 

“To this day, I would not recommend you to put all your savings in just one digital app” he said

“But suffice it to say though that things are much safer these days.” he added emphasizing that Financial Technology is safer and more secured in some places particularly in China.

According to Sarmiento, studies showed that there are less cases of fraud and hacking in China compared to the ‘average bank’ due because of their technology companies equipped with data analytics and artificial intelligence as guards against hackers. 

The Fintech expert further highlighted that rich countries have this advantage and it is that they are very much ‘tech forward’.

“This is in a sense that updates with the latest technology is easily acquired by them,” 

Meanwhile, he stated that in the Philippines, Fintech is vulnerable to hackers and this had been evident through cases of online fraud for the past years. 

Despite the risks, Sarmiento still encouraged students to make use of Financial Technologies reminding them to diversify savings among different financial institutions and financial technologies and “always be extra careful with your personal data”. 

Digital Divide in the Philippines

Urging everyone to adapt to global changes, Sarmiento pointed out that the digital divide in the Philippines has to end.

“We have to adapt to the changes in the world for us to be not left behind,” he said.

Sarmiento believes that private sectors have influence on this issue for they are the ones which “could and should innovate cheaper smartphones and data for consumption.” 

“Everyone deserves to have access to such technology.”

“Even you guys [should] advocate for FinTech solutions so that people can use financial services in a better, safer, faster and more convenient way” he said.

The Basics of Personal Financial Planning

Sarmiento said that Before setting a Financial plan one must first learn to recognize needs, wants, and dreams. 

“As you translate your financial goals,  you have to be specific because it helps  you have a clear mind.”

“Assess your financial status. It is like  knowing where your starting point is,” he said.

Sarmiento further stated that it is good to be aware of one’s own financial standing explaining the importance of budgeting and how [we] spend our money.

“The bigger the savings component, the better.”

According to him, when a business person implements a plan following particular steps, tracking and making sure to stick to the plan is “the hardest thing to do but it is  a must.”

The Fintech expert ended his talk with the statement “there will be more and more technology and content as we go along and it is controlling our attention, and budgeting our time will be the name of the game.”

“A man either disciplines his finances or gets disciplined by them.”

The said zoom webinar “Financial Technology” was facilitated and organized by AdDU’s Junior Finance Executives (JFinex).

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