After delivering a speech in California, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. made a surprise appearance in Singapore via hologram more than an hour later. In an effort to modernize the way he speaks, Marcos adopted hologram technology, a three-dimensional projection of himself.
He was the only speaker at the Singapore Fintech Festival to take this innovative step, using a technology that is currently being explored by startups and giants like Google and Microsoft Corp. as a revolutionary method of communication.
While in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, Marcos delivered his speech via hologram before "attending" SFF 2023. Preparations for the hologram were made a week before he left for the US for the summit, and coordination was done through a partnership between SFF, MAS, UnionBank, UnionDigital, the Philippine Presidential Communications Office, and Radio Television Malacañang.
In his speech, Marcos expressed his commitment to prioritizing the digitization of cash transactions in Southeast Asia. He also emphasized the Philippines' attention to the growth of digital banking and financial inclusion, with a focus on digitizing cash flows to ensure access and progress for all. Marcos also expressed the country's readiness to adopt new technologies to address regional and global challenges, while keeping the fintech ecosystem open for collaboration with diverse stakeholders.
The central bank of the Philippines aims for half of retail payments to be digital by this year. According to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the share of digital payments in retail transactions reached 42.1% last year, with adoption accelerated by the impact of the pandemic.