China’s Ping An Technology CEO Ericson Chan Foresees “Exponential” Fintech Growth

CEO of China’s Ping An Technology Ericson Chan stated that he thinks that future growth in financial technology will be “exponential” for the firm in a recent interview with CNBC. According to Chan, years of dedicated investment and research in the sector is poised to pay off for the finance group.

“I think we are just hitting a tipping point because of all the investments…and the pie is getting bigger also—the growth is not linear, it’s going to be exponential. A lot of the capability that we’ve built over the years is exciting right now,” Chan concluded.

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Chan joined Ping An Technology in May 2016 as its CEO. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ping An Group, one of China’s major finance conglomerates with a focus on insurance, investment, banking and technology. Chan’s role as the head of Ping An Technology is putting various technologies into practice in a diverse range of areas including health care, finance and smart cities.

Chan’s predictions are backed by Ping An Group’s actions: the firm has stated that it plans to invest approximately $15 billion in technology R&D over the next 10 years in an effort to cement its leadership within the financial services industry.

In the interview, Chan also pointed out that his company’s approach to technology is “quite different” from that of competitors such as Alibaba: for example, “we develop our own cloud technology out of a necessity…because we have so much technology built, we need to have a strong foundation ourselves. So this is why we build ourselves. When it is good enough for ourselves, we start to share with others."

Prior to joining Ping An Technology, Chan was with Standard Chartered Bank for almost 18 years, holding positions in Singapore, Hong Kong and China; at the time of his departure, he was CIO for the bank’s Hong Kong division and regional CIO for its Greater China & North Asia division. Chan started his career as director of information systems at the University of Wisconsin’s UWHealth. Chan received his BS in computer science from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1990 before going on to get his MBA from Edgewood College.

In addition to his business ventures, Chan is a committed philanthropist. He has sat on the Hong Kong board of the Jane Goodall Institute for the past four years. Past volunteer positions include serving as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services Committee and as a fintech mentor for the SuperCharger Fintech Accelerator.