Experts in both the public and private sectors all agreed that ASEAN stands to be at the forefront of the development of financial technology (Fintech) by making financial services and financing available to both the 53 percent of unbanked population and MSMEs in ASEAN, drawing opportunity from ASEAN’s above global average internet penetration rate of 63 percent and mobile connectivity at 132 percent.
However, there are regional and domestic gaps that hinder the growth of Fintech that must be addressed to yield maximum benefits for the peoples of ASEAN. These include upscaling human capital, enhancing broadband infrastructure at the home front, while harmonising policies to create a seamless ASEAN-wide digital economy.
These were some of the observations made during the first of the Smart Showcase Series organised by CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI), which focused on the future of fintech within ASEAN, supported by ASEAN-BAC Malaysia and the ASEAN Business Club.
The one-day conference presented over 30 speakers from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan showcasing the latest fintech covering Bank-tech, Insurtech, RegTech, Wealth Tech, Lending Tech, Equity and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Crowdfunding and blockchain technologies.
The Fintech Smart Showcase Series also saw ASEAN-wide initiatives such as the APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange) presented by Chief Fintech Officer of Monetary Authority of Singapore, Sopnendu Mohanty, as well as the ASEAN Regional Digital Trade Connectivity presented by Secretary-General of the Thai Bankers Association, Khun Kobsak Duangdee.