Southeast Asia’s Fintech Startups Face Shakeout From Coronavirus
The coronavirus is unlikely to halt the rapid advance of fintech firms in the emerging landscapes of Southeast Asia. Along the way, however, it is amplifying the gains of some startups while inflicting pain on many others.
Take Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s absolute leader in fintech both by size and technology sophistication, according to Varun Mittal, EY Global Emerging Markets FinTech Leader. Despite the devastation caused by Covid-19, growth has continued for an array of companies providing services in payment systems, fintech-based financing from peer-to-peer lending, equity crowdfunding to insuretech. Also holding ground are fintech enablers for e-know your customer, as well as for social network and robot advisors.
Their growth comes in the form of rising transaction volumes and the acquisition of new users, according to a recent survey by the Indonesia Fintech Association (AFTECH). In one area alone, peer-to-peer lenders have to counter the negative impact of the virus on their borrowers’ finances. AFTECH’s sister association, the Fintech Lenders Association, reports half of its members, or 80 of them, receiving applications from clients who seek to restructure their loan payment terms.
Photo courtesy of Diego Gennaro.