Financial Inclusion Index increased by 1.4x in SEA

digital payments

The survey conducted by Robocash Group revealed that key indicators, reflecting financial inclusion in Southeast Asia have increased by 1.4 times on average over a four-year period since 2017. Increased financial inclusion in the region suggests that the potential for credit services development in Southeast Asia remains untapped.

All countries recorded growth in the use of digital financial services, digital accounts and transactions. Myanmar is at the forefront of digital payments, savings and informal borrowing. However, borrowing from financial institutions fell twice as a result of COVID-19, adding to the influence of unauthorized lenders. Vietnam has become a leader in growing savings in financial institutions. Over the past four years, the country’s authorities have built a well-developed financial system that includes banks, P2P platforms and pawnshops, which contributed to the stable growth of financial inclusion in Vietnam.

Starting 2017 from a similar position to Vietnam, the Philippines has since shown a less intense rate. However, the country’s authorities have already taken strong measures to massively digitise finance among the population. In Laos, the decline in loans from friends and acquaintances may be related to the increase in credit offerings on the local market. The reason for the relatively low development in Indonesia is likely to be the higher starting point in 2017 compared to Vietnam and Myanmar. The country is qualified to become a fully-fledged macroregional fintech centre with a well-developed in-house fintech system. 

“Most countries have sustained growth in borrowing, either informally or through financial institutions. Along with the growth of loans, the population of Southeast Asia shows an increase in savings.  This confirms an increase in consumption and justifies a broad outlook for expanding financial institutions in the region. The potential for development of credit services in Southeast Asia remains untapped. ”- comment Robocash group analysts.

A total of 688 Facebook and Instagram users from Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Laos were surveyed.

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