ASEAN embodies the aspiration of 10 uniquely different countries in Asia to bring about greater economic prosperity, and social and cultural progress for the people of ASEAN.

More than half the adult population of ASEAN is unbanked and this becomes more acute in rural areas. As a result, most of the focus of FinTechs has up until now been on payments and mobile wallets as the first step towards greater financial inclusion. The speed of FinTech adoption across ASEAN is varied, but the momentum is building.

To achieve the 2025 ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) plan for regional economic integration, three strategic measures stand out as critical for the continued development of FinTech in the region:

  1. Expand broadband access to more people and businesses to help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas.
  2. Create a unified payment infrastructure to support mobile financial services, reducing the costs and complexities of cross-border payments and promoting financial inclusion.
  3. Harmonise government policies and coordinate legal and regulatory frameworks in the areas of digital identity, privacy, trade and e-commerce.

This report will cover the following:

Rise of FinTech in ASEAN

ASEAN is witnessing visible growth in FinTech. In 2016, investments in the Southeast Asian FinTech market increased to US$252 million, compared with US$190 million in 2015, a rise of about 33 per cent. Total investment up to September 2017 has already exceeded that of 2016 to reach US$338 million. Most of the funding in the region is from seed and angel investors.

Drivers of FinTech in ASEAN

  • Robust macroeconomic growth and a young urban population will drive FinTech demand in ASEAN
  • Banking penetration remains low for the majority of ASEAN countries
  • ASEAN is ripe for digital adoption
  • Consumers are ready for FinTech solutions
  • Regulators are embracing change

Trends across sub-sectors

  • Payments
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending
  • Savings and investment
  • Emerging areas of technology

Future of financial services in ASEAN

  • Increased ASEAN-wide cooperation needed to drive digital innovation
  • Nurturing the right talent
  • Collaboration between banks and FinTechs – the way forward
  • Abundant supply of FinTech funding in ASEAN
  • Future is bright for FinTechs in ASEAN
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