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One ASEAN Fintech Movement Launched at the Point Zero Forum

ASEAN FinTech space to reach USD 207B in 2024 

The 10 member-nation ASEAN, with a consumer base of 650 million people in the most culturally diverse countries in the world, is primed to become the fourth-largest economy in the world, driven by the emergence of FinTech, which has accelerated the region’s digital transformation. 

At the One ASEAN FinTech Movement (OAFM) launch and a panel discussion on the ASEAN unicorn journey on the sideline of the Point Zero Forum in Zurich, Switzerland, and sponsored by Philippines-based Digital Pilipinas, the group aims to solidify the region in establishing its leadership in financial technology. The movement also wants to create the possibility of an ASEAN super economy as a collaborative region united by FinTech. 

The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia are the original convenors of OAFM. 

Reuben Lim, Chief Operating Officer at the FinTech Association of Singapore, said that “FinTech is making big waves in Singapore,” with the tiny island hosting a number of unicorns with many more growing scale-ups. 

He said, “As a financial hub, we have a wide spora of FinTech solutions venturing to Southeast Asia is critical for companies based on this tiny island. The One ASEAN FinTech Movement is the right platform to support the tribe.” 

FinTech Association of Malaysia President Wilson Beh commented, “In the financial services where technology is advancing financial inclusion and advancement in Malaysia and most of the parts of the Southeast Asia region.” 

According to Sanjay Chakrabarty, Board Member at the Cambodian Association of Finance and Technology, the opportunities and potentials of Cambodia in the FinTech space are “very well understood.” We are among the few countries in the world where we have payment infrastructure which is blockchain-based and is backed by National Bank of Cambodia.” 

Amor Maclang, Co-convenor, Digital Pilipinas, and chair of the ASEAN Esco of the Global Impact Fintech, stated, “The largest FinTech association in the world is not one entity, and it is the One ASEAN FinTech movement. There is never a better opportunity to be an Asian than today because of the region’s huge potential in the technology and innovations spaces.” 

ASEAN is FinTech focus 

“ASEAN is the current focus of [FinTech] development worldwide,” said Derrick Loi, General Manager for International Business and Digital Technologies at Ant Group. “The region is the largest area where there are active FinTech activities, which is the core of our mission,” he added, referring to the OAFM’s purpose. 

According to Loi, 70% of the ASEAN population are online, with the Covid-19 pandemic expediting online migration that hastened the adoption of online banking and promoted financial inclusions that supported MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises). 

Indeed, the region saw a 58% increase in internet penetration and a 141% growth in mobile connectivity in 2018. $206.89 billion) in 2024, according to a pre-Covid-19 estimate by audit and advisory firm Deloitte.  

In 2021, DealStreetAsia reported that FinTech startups in Southeast Asia raised $5.83 billion in funding – out of at least $23.18 billion in equity funding and another $2.57 billion in debt financing.  

The Digital Payments segment is forecasted to expand the largest this year, with a projected total transaction value of USD 196.10 billion. In contrast, the Neobanking segment is expected to show a revenue growth of 37.9 percent in 2023. 

Advance.AI Philippines Country Manager Michael Calma expressed his focus on working with FinTech players in the region and helping map their direction towards providing the best customer journey. 

One area Calma is looking at is the eKYC (electronic know-your-client) by providing a frictionless identification process utilizing artificial intelligence. “Many ASEAN citizens remain unbanked,” Calma said. “How do you credit someone with no bank details? That is where alternative data comes in, from the telco to eCommerce tools.” 

In addition, the OAFM champions the socio-economic change that can transform the region into a technological hub that can set the standard for emerging economies worldwide.  

The one ASEAN Fintech has identified three points of cooperation that will bridge the geographical gap between the ASEAN nations. 

Thought leadership. A platform where ASEAN leaders in the tech and startup space can showcase their region-building breakthroughs to a global audience. 

Education & Creation of Business Opportunities. A platform that provides students and aspiring entrepreneurs with micro-certification in Web 3.0 that can guide them as certifiable leaders that will thrive in a region-wide ecosystem powered by FinTech. 

Information Sharing. A platform that will strengthen cross-border business between ASEAN nations through the open exchange of data and statistics to expand the region’s continued economic and technological growth. 

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