In the third episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Shuhei Aoki, Executive Strategist at Hitachi and advisor to the President of Hitachi’s Information and Telecommunications Systems Company. Before joining Hitachi, Shuhei served as the Director General of Payment and Settlement Systems at the Bank of Japan. He is also an Associate Professor at Shinshu University, where he teaches and conducts research on resource allocation and macroeconomic productivity.
Hitachi is one of Japan’s leading industrial conglomerates, manufacturing everything from TVs to tanks and quite likely some of the electronics that power the device you are using to listen today. What Hitachi is not necessarily known for is financial services, but earlier this year they established a Financial Innovation Lab here in the Bay Area.
We invited Shuhei to speak with us about the reason non-financial companies are getting involved in FinTech and how the space is impacting Asia and places like Hitachi’s home market of Japan. Our chat covers a number of interesting topics, including the role of cash in an increasingly digital world, how banks view the rise of fintech, and the Bank of Japan’s early consideration of a virtual national currency not unlike Bitcoin.