Due to its large population, the Asia region has a very diverse and attractive market. There’s virtually no more barrier to operate and engage due to the high smartphone penetration and adequate internet speed in the region. The Asian market is many entrepreneur’s destinations mainly because a lot of people there are financially literate, and there has been raise in disposable income that not only drove more financial activity and the need to deposit money, but also the need to manage domestic and international transfers.
Asian fintech is surely soaring and especially attractive to European fintechs and regtechs, here are why:
1. Market Specifics
The Asian market is unique due to the wide degree of separation between each market compared to European countries. Asian countries are moving at different spice, at their own pace. There is a diverse set of needs to capitalize on and this is a great opportunity for fintech.
For example, in Indonesia, microfinancing is much more popular as opposed to Singapore where the country is planning to aggregate all QR code payments with digital payments and national QR code initiative.
In Singapore, regtech is more needed especially to manage internal compliance for big banks that operate across Asia and have acquired local banks. Since the integration of local entities into a group is often still note done perfectly, this technology can help banks see discrepancies with local processes in Asian countries so that everything can be made consistent eventually.
2. Fintech Regulation in Singapore
Singapore is one of the best Asian countries for a fintech startup. However it is also one of the most challenging as well. Singapore’s market is very well-developed yet highly regulated, especially for fintech. Currently, fintech regulation in Singapore is transitioning. A new regulation called the Payment Services Bill is currently in the plan as local regulators attempt to consolidate the number of country’s payments and stored value facilities rules and regulations that may no longer be relevant to the current market. Regtech can offer solutions in light of this situation for financial technology companies that work in Asia.
3. Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the country’s strong regulator. MAS follows the FCA among a lot of other things they do, including funding to fintech and regtech startups. MAS’ collaboration with FCA really shows how to lead innovation forward and provide a sandbox environment to the market’s new entrants. With this method of work, MAS is developing the market as fast as they can.
4. Fast Technology Adoption
Technology adoption is fast in Asia, and this clearly makes the market develop at a high pace. This fact opens opportunities for regtechs to speed up sales cycles and have faster adoption of Singapore banks’ platforms, as well as other countries in the region.
5. Open to Newcomers
Asia has its arms spread wide to newcomers. For example, many Singaporean companies are open to working with European companies. This also can be seen in Hong Kong, where European companies also thrive. To fintech companies, Hong Kong is a gateway to China aside from the fact that it is a great financial market. If you manage to establish a business in Hong Kong, then you will get a better chance of penetrating China as well.