Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand Top 3 Fintech Lending Destinations In SEA

Money remittance Philippines
Philippine Peso bills sent by a Filipino working abroad are pictured being received by a relative at a money remittance center in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, September 19, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

The Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand have recently been recognized as the top countries in the Southeast Asian region where fintech lending initiatives can be grown and expanded.

According to Finance News Asia, Robocash found out in a new survey that the three countries have displayed favorable fintech conditions for lenders who are interested in growing their businesses in Southeast Asia (SEA).

Robocash, a financial group specializing in consumer alternative lending in Europe and Asia, discovered that the Philippines displayed high figures in terms of borrowed money. Thus, the country makes for a suitable destination for fintech lending companies.

The Philippines is first in the entire world in terms of time spent online. This opens an opportunity for lending companies working around financial technology (fintech) to penetrate the booming e-commerce market in the country.

It is expected that younger people will start becoming active in online transactions as the year's pass. Another point for focus for financial firms is the fact that fintech has yet to be developed in the Philippines. There's a lot of space for growth and development in the sector.

Thailand is third in the list of top SEA nations for fintech lending readiness. The country has 82 percent of Internet users and 62.3 percent of transactions were recorded as digital payments in 2017 in the Thai e-commerce market.

Indonesia came in first in the list as researchers revealed that the country is open for digital adoption and financial inclusion. The Philippines and Thailand also garnered strong points in these areas but Indonesia secured the most points in the index for fintech lending readiness.

It was only this year when multiple lending institutions and banks in the Philippines made announcements about exploring fintech developments. One of the main attractions last week was Union Bank of the Philippines Inc. (UnionBank) as it announced the creation of its fintech unit, UBX.

According to the Business Mirror, UBX will be the arm that handles investments in fintech and technology-related projects. "UBX is a manifestation of the transformation of UnionBank's 'dual transformation' road map, where we want to co-create businesses and financial services that technology will unlock," UBX President and CEO, John Januszczak, said.

Also this month, fintech startup PearlPay secured a deal with the BHF Rural Bank, Inc. (BHF) for the development of cloud-based financial services that will target bankers in rural Philippine regions.

BHF President, Armand Bonifacio, said the joint venture will allow for unbanked Filipinos in rural towns to transition smoothly to e-wallet use and other digital transformations that other countries have already adopted.

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts