As digitalization is starting to cement its footing in our daily lives, the notion of traditional banking is set for a transformation in the years to come. However, countries in South East Asia are facing challenges in a bid to push citizens to start banking altogether before the wide adoption of Fintech can be made possible.

According to the Financial Inclusion Survey (FIS) conducted in 2017, one of the most diverse country in South East Asia, the Philippine has recorded only an estimated 22.6 percent or approximately 15.8 million adult Filipinos have access to bank accounts. This translated to a vast number of its population at 52.8 million at 77.4 percent remain unaccessible to basic banking services. The phenomenon is also felt throughout the developing countries in the region.

An assessment of the financial inclusion gap across four focus markets (C) Development Asia

Without banking services, they are denied of saving products or credit loans that may help them in their businesses, especially for small and medium enterprises. Contrary to the traditional belief of having cash safely secured with them, having a bank account can provide a more secure way of keeping money and accessing them whenever required.

Moving to a regional perspective, it was reported by Bain that more than 7 out of 10 adults in Southeast Asia are either “underbanked” or unbanked The numbers signal a need for the government or institutions especially developing countries to uplift and advocate stronger ownership to financial services. The transition to the adoption of Fin-tech is therefore critical for the citizens to improve financial literary collectively first before the rewards can be reaped in the region.

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