Unleashing Consumer Finance Innovation in Asia Pacific

July 2021

Prior to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Asia Pacific had already begun to emerge as a leading edge of development in financial technology and digital transactions. This report leverages data from Euromonitor’s Consumer Finance and Economies and Consumers research to explore factors on the ground in Asia Pacific and how they have shaped financial innovation and commerce. This analysis also explores opportunities to apply learnings from the region to new global markets.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

A region with a favourable macro environment…

Consumer finance innovation in Asia Pacific is driven and shaped by favourable trends in consumer income and expenditure, increased data connectivity and rising device penetration. Governments in the region are particularly active in promoting the digital economy, through investment in and the adoption of digital technologies.

…and a tech-savvy population who can leapfrog technologically

In emerging and developing Asia, where huge proportions of the populations are digital natives (typically Gen Z) and where many people still do not have access to banking services, consumers are leapfrogging traditional banking to jump straight to digitised financial services.

China fundamental in driving innovation throughout the region

The scale of Chinese consumer payments and the speed of conversion away from paper has created some of the largest payment companies in the world, which are expanding throughout the region.

Technology is increasing access to financial products and services

Technology and policy have greatly expanded access to financial products and services throughout the region. Fintech has played a crucial role in providing low-cost products which are simple, convenient and accessible through mobile devices.

Openness to technology creates significant opportunity

Asia Pacific has seen a significant amount of growth in recent years in technologies beyond the traditional financial core. Whether that is text-based payments in India, QR codes in China, or AR/VR commerce, the region is open to new payments.

Region of the superapp

So-called superapps – which bundle a large number of different features, from social media, to commerce, to payments, and any number of other products – are tremendously popular in much of Asia. The role of superapps going forward will be critical to understanding the region as well as potential extensions of the idea.

Key findings
Payscape in Asia Pacific saw dramatic overhaul prior to pandemic
Leveraging digital technologies for economic growth
Asia leads in consumer spending growth on telecom services
Not all countries in the region are equally network-ready
A clear leader in capital investment in telecommunications
Significant regional stratification of access to financial services
Smartphone adoption driving significant m-commerce value
Explosive growth in proximity payments redefines the region
Local operators and fintech growth elevating merchant acceptance
Asia Pacific rests on the leading edge of development
Exploring Forces Catalysing Innovation in Asia Pacific
Governments focus on developing new-age technologies
Governments successfully leverage payment policies for change
Innovative technologies offer new commerce capabilities
A large consumer base with favourable demographics
Rapid urbanisation creates substantial opportunities
An expanding middle class with rising affluence
Consumer expenditure is fuelled by consumer finance
Country Storylines – Asia Pacific as an innovation breeding ground
China: A confluence of factors driving demand for financial services
China: Mobile payments and a shifting retail landscape
India: A young, large and growing population to drive demand
India: Ambitious policy and technology experiments
Southeast Asia: A high-growth region with large consumer base
Southeast Asia: Superapps enjoy a bright outlook
Japan: The transit card of the future and a legacy of innovation
South Korea: Effective consumer payment policy
A diverse region with great opportunities
Asia Pacific: Consumer finance lessons
Report notes

Consumer Finance

This is the aggregation of ATM, charge, credit, debit, e-purse and retail cards. Note that smart cards are not included in financial cards.

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