Despite the hardships that the year 2020 brought to governments and people across the Asia Pacific, the fintech industry was one of the few bright spots. Throughout the area, billions of people and businesses have gone digital, a movement that has been hastened by the pandemic. Fintech is one of the few areas of the economy that has risen in recent years.
The fintech industry is expected to grow at a rapid pace in Asia-Pacific. In the continuously changing Asia-Pacific fintech market, there are numerous opportunities, and investment in them is rapidly expanding. Open banking and other regulatory initiatives are redefining the financial services market, and external providers can access data from previously owned bank customers. China and India have a much greater penetration of financial services. Singapore already has the best mobile payment solutions to promote acceptance in the islands. Advanced FinTech technologies are quickly becoming part of the fabric of everyday life in mature nations like Australia and Japan.
Consumer use of FinTech-powered services has increased, and in some cases tripled, in only two years across key Asia-Pacific economies. FinTech adoption is 67% in Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, and 58% in Australia. Except for India, which is now nearly tied with Asia's leading digital power, most markets still lag far behind China's 87% penetration.
Fintech apps are rapidly gaining popularity in the Asia Pacific, dominating other regions.It was found that there were over 1230 fintech apps available in the Asia Pacific as of 2020, and marketers have spent USD 244 million to acquire new users in 2020 alone. Within this region, a total of 2.7 billion installations occurred between Q1 2019 and Q1 2021. India and Indonesia, together with Brazil, make up almost half of global fintech app downloads.
Overall, developing markets show 70% more finance app installs as opposed to developed markets. Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam all saw fintech app demand grow in 2020. The rapid growth of financial app installations in the region generally reflects the changing finance and banking landscape, as well as consumer demand, in this region.
Key Market Trends
China Dominates the Asia-Pacific Fintech Market
In Asia, China continues to set the tone for FinTech innovation. FinTech services are now deeply integrated into the lives of Chinese consumers, free of outdated technology and supported by their integration with China's powerful and omnipresent e-commerce and social media platforms, like as Alibaba and WeChat.
Payment firms were eventually regulated. Restrictions were put on the size of wealth management products. Millions of Chinese individuals and businesses have been positively impacted by the increased availability of digital finance products and tools. China leads in consumer and SME-focused financial services innovation, but in other Asian markets, Chinese investments, and the inspiration of their example to local entrepreneurs, are driving rapid market penetration and innovation.
The People's Bank of China has issued a three-year strategy to help the country's fintech industry grow. There have already been a lot of steps taken in the direction of implementation since then. A fintech sandbox, for example, is being developed and is currently being tested in Beijing. This plan is likely to aid future fintech investment, particularly in key areas such as risk management, cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence, distributed databases, and authentication.
The Rise of Asia-Pacific's Digital Banks is driving the Market
In 2020, the excitement around the launch of Hong Kong's digital banks and the awarding of Singapore's digital banking licenses was palpable and dominated much of the fintech conversation. Hong Kong now has eight digital banks with products covering nearly all segments of the market. Among the more interesting aspects of the launch is how companies sought to differentiate and acquire customers. ZA Bank from Zhong An was one of the first out of the gate and launched a special offer of 6% interest on a three-month time deposit subject to a cap of about USD 25,000.
Forced to react in order not to be left behind, Asia's traditional banks responded proactively. HSBC responded reactively to the launch of the new banks in Hong Kong by re-jigging its fee structure on both account maintenance and payments. It is often difficult for traditional banks to make dramatic shifts to the user experience, even so, they used what levers at their disposal to stay competitive.
Singapore's Lucky Plaza is one of the main remittance centres in the city-state. On any given Sunday, it is typically packed with foreign workers looking to send money home. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Lucky Plaza was a ghost town. With both Singaporeans and locals confined to their homes, remittances went digital.
2020 was a litmus test for fintech and there were a multitude of additional stories to talk about, not least of which is Asia’s push towards Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – one of many developing stories.
The Asia-Pacific fintech landscape highly differs from the global landscape. Whereas on a global scale many FinTech startups are already directly influencing the financial landscape the Asia-Pacific startups are either copying the global initiatives or are just started to influence and disrupt their respective local established financial companies. Some of the major players in the market are Ant Group, PineLabs, Phonepe, VoltBank, Policy Bazar, Judobank, WeLab, PayPay, CRED, Harmoney and others.
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Table of Contents
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 A Brief on Internet and Smartphone Penetration in the Region
4.3 Insights on Key Regulations and Industry Policies Impacting Fintech Market in the Region
4.4 Market Drivers
4.5 Market Restraints
4.6 Revenue and Funding Statistics
4.7 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.7.1 Threat of New Entrants
4.7.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.7.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.7.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.7.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.8 Imapct of Covid-19 on the Market
5.1.1 Money Transfer and Payments
5.1.2 Savings and Investments
5.1.3 Digital Lending & Lending Marketplaces
5.1.4 Online Insurance & Insurance Marketplaces
5.2 By Country
5.2.5 Hong Kong
5.2.6 Rest of Asia-Pacific
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Ant Group
6.2.5 Policy Bazar
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Ant Group
- Policy Bazar