bank innovation, fintech future of banking

Main image

Asia maintains its global leadership in Fintech adoption, in the survey of 27,000 digitally active consumers in 27 markets and 1,000 SMEs across five markets, spanning banking and payments, financial management, financing, and insurance. FinTech tools across the region have risen rapidly in the last few years, among consumers and small businesses, particularly in China, India, and the financial hubs, according to the EY Global Fintech Adoption Index 2019.

Fintech’s top priority is to make it easy for consumers to manage their financial data across traditional and fintech propositions. Consumers want a frictionless and fast service experience. In many countries in the EU and Asia, open banking trends, and concerted regulatory oversight and infrastructure, have changed consumer behavior across the region.

Fintech services offered by banks, insurers, stockbrokers, and other incumbent financial institutions have risen sharply the adoption in markets from 2017 to 2019. We’ve also seen increased collaboration and partnering between technology/social media platforms, traditional financial institutions and fintech companies leading to greater adoption rates.

Often, technological advantages diminish as sluggish markets acknowledge the benefit of doing things a new way and overtake. To an extent, that’s happening now with global FinTech, as all eyes turn toward China. However, in some of the Asia-Pacific markets, several factors will help keep the East on the forefront: a new openness to innovation by regulators; the initiation of virtual banks; the growth of the API ecosystem; and, finally, the arrival of new competitors backed by Chinese financial and technology giants.

However, beneath these averages are very different market preferences.

  • In China Mainland, which has emerged as a clear forerunner in the region, few consumers (7%) are motivated by ease of onboarding – a reflection of China Mainland’s widespread adoption of open APIs and platform-based services, which has made opening any kind of financial services account virtually frictionless. For these consumers, while attractive rates and fees are important (17%), the most compelling reasons for using a FinTech challenger are to get better customer experience (31%) and access to more innovative products (23%).

  • In Hong Kong, 29% of respondents said attractive rates and fees are a top priority, with ease of onboarding and a better experience considerably less important (both 16%).

  • In Japan, only 3% of consumers choose FinTech for a better experience. A massive 41% choose price, with 21% still interested in the ease of onboarding.

  • In Singapore, while price topped the list (36%), the next most important reason for the city state’s tech-savvy consumers is to get access to different and more innovative products and services than are available from traditional institutions (20%).