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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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