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Why The Future of Fintech Looks Bright in the ASEAN Region The low penetration of banking services brings ASEAN countries to the forefront in the development of financial technologies

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Fintech is a hot topic these days. The technology is quickly gaining popularity and adoption, as many global countries are going through a complete digital transformation. A recent report by global accounting firm Deloitte, in partnership with Robocash Group, states that ASEAN countries have the highest potential in the fintech market up to 2020. The advanced landscape facilitates both the development of financial technologies and the inflow of investments is expected to increase by over 20-30 per cent compared to the previous year.

More than 60 private fintech firms shared their views on the factors facilitating or hindering the fintech development. The poll, which was released recently, revealed that the market capacity is the main driving force for the industry across the world. Most respondents were positive about its opportunities in North America (96 per cent), ASEAN (94 per cent), and Europe (92 per cent) and considered Latin America to fall behind (81 per cent). At the same time, 89 per cent of surveyed companies mentioned that the low penetration of banking services brings ASEAN countries to the forefront in the development of financial technologies and this is less relevant for Europe (84 per cent), North America (82 per cent), and Latin America (61 per cent). What's more, many experts pointed on the openness of ASEAN customers to new technologies and products facilitating favourable changes in the technology ecosystem. Altogether, these factors promise to boost significantly the development of fintech in ASEAN in one-three years already.

The Key to Financial Inclusion

Although many ASEAN countries are still emerging markets, the insufficient financial inclusion has become the main driver for the industry and allowed to bring in the advanced expertise and technologies from the developed markets. In 2017, fintech in ASEAN gained US$ 5.7 billion, which was one quarter less than in the US. By the end of this year, the market expects to see the growth by over 20-30 per cent considering the results in the first quarter of the year, the report says.

The Bright Future of Online Lending

The report also adds that online lending is regarded as the most promising direction in Asia owing to its contribution to a better financial inclusion.

"As the company operating both in the European and Asian online lending markets, we see that ASEAN successfully follows the global trends. High Internet penetration and mobile connectivity make local fintech firms aim at providing intuitive, accessible and effective solutions. We actively invest resources and time in customer verification, process streaming and automation that involve the use of artificial intelligence and big data. Fintech is a rapidly changing industry and inevitably brings in positive changes to the market. However, technologies connected with scoring, personal finance and other areas will definitely stay in focus in the long-term perspective," says Sergey Sedov, chief executive officer of Robocash Group.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .


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