Fintech in ASEAN Report Get Up, Reset, Go!

January 11, 2021

FinTech in ASEAN: Get Up, Reset, Go! report, produced by UOB in collaboration with PwC Singapore and Singapore FinTech Association (SFA).

Special thanks to Regina Ooi for her assistance in putting together this piece.

1982 Ventures shares insights in UOB Fintech in ASEAN Report

In a collaboration with PwC Singapore and Singapore Fintech Association, UOB published Fintech in ASEAN: Get up, Reset, Go! which examines the pandemic’s impacts on businesses, fundraising, and industry outlook for fintech firms. 1982 Ventures was invited to share their insights on how Southeast Asia’s fintech industry has been impacted by the pandemic. 1982 Ventures was interviewed alongside prominent venture capital firms and fintech founders.

THE PANDEMIC HAS ACCELERATED THE DIGITALISATION TREND BY 5 TO 10 YEARS. LENDING, PAYMENTS AND INSURTECH ARE AREAS THAT SOME VCS IDENTIFIED AS BULLISH.”

A significant proportion of the Southeast Asia population falling under the unbanked or underbanked. Southeast Asia countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are identified with biggest potentials for growth as digital payments and alternative solutions bridge the unbanked to digital financial products and services. Aligned with the view, payments and alternative lending remain the highest funded categories in Southeast Asia.

Figure 1: Proportion of total investment deals by category (US$), 2020 YTD (Obtained from report)

Herston Powers (Managing Partner at 1982 Ventures) stated, “What we’re really excited about right now are the opportunities in payment infrastructure, enabling businesses and individuals to transact more effectively, more efficiently and more securely. This is a huge opportunity in Southeast Asia. We believe that Insurtech will play a huge part in closing that protection gap in Southeast Asia. This will drive more traditional insurance or reinsurance players to partner with Insurtech firms to expand their coverage around the region and provide products that are more fit for purpose.”

“PAYMENTS, AI AND DATA ANALYTICS AS WELL AS CYBERSECURITY WERE THE TOP THREE FINTECH SECTORS PERCEIVED TO BENEFIT THE MOST FROM THE PANDEMIC.”

Despite the pandemic, Fintech firms experienced positive business growth and increase in customer acquisition volume. While majority of respondents already used fintech services prior to the pandemic, the variety and frequency of fintech tools used increased. A survey conducted by Plaid found that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of fintech tools as people increasingly use these platforms to manage their financial needs.

Similar in the Philippines, Greg Krasnov (Co-founder and CEO of Tonik) stated, “There’s been a massive uptick in the demand and take-up of digital financial services in the Philippines as a result of the lockdowns.”

FUNDS OFFER BETTER ACCESS TO HIGH-QUALITY DEALS RATHER THAN DIRECT INVESTMENTS BROKERED THROUGH PRIVATE BANKERS.

Frank T. Troise (Managing Partner and CEO of SoHo said, “What we are going to see in APAC over the next 12-18 months is a continued wave of M&A activity. That is clear as day for us.”

Most Fintech firms are looking to continue expanding while some are intending to put their plans on hold. Within and outside of ASEAN, majority of Fintech firms will continue developing plans to expand in ASEAN.

THE CRISIS HAS PROVEN TO BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR FINTECH FIRMS TO DRIVE ADOPTION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA.

The report says that Southeast Asia’s market opportunities are big enough for incumbents, digital banks and Fintech firms to coexist.

About United Overseas Bank (UOB)

United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. UOB is rated among the world’s top banks: Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA- by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. In Asia, UOB operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as branches and representative offices across the region. Over more than eight decades, generations of UOB employees have carried through the entrepreneurial spirit, the focus on long-term value creation and an unwavering commitment to do what is right for our customers and our colleagues. We believe in being a responsible financial services provider and we are committed to making a difference in the lives of our stakeholders and in the communities in which we operate. Just as we are dedicated to helping our customers manage their finances wisely and to grow their businesses, UOB is steadfast in our support of social development, particularly in the areas of art, children and education.

Find out more at https://www.uobgroup.com.

About PwC Singapore

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 155 countries with over 284,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services.

Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at https://www.pwc.com/sg.

About Singapore FinTech Association (SFA)

The SFA is a cross-industry and non-profit organisation. Its purpose is to support the development of the FinTech industry in Singapore, and to facilitate collaboration among the participants and stakeholders of the FinTech ecosystem in Singapore. The SFA is a member-based organisation with over 850+ members. It represents the full range of stakeholders in the FinTech industry, from early-stage innovative companies to large financial players and service providers. To further its purpose, the SFA also partners with institutions and associations from Singapore and globally to cooperate on initiatives relating to the FinTech industry. The SFA has signed over 60 international Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 40 countries and is the first U Associate organisation to be affiliated with National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). Through its FinTech Talent (FT) Programme, launched in 2017, over 300 professionals have been trained in FinTech, including blockchain, cryptocurrency, cybersecurity and regulation.

For more information visit https://singaporefintech.org.