Asean consumers keen to try new digi-bank players

Bank tellers and customers in Bangkok on May 15, 2020.
JUNE 16, 2020 - 3:57 PM

DIGITAL banking looks to be in vogue in South-east Asia, with three in four consumers telling pollsters that they are keen to venture online for financial services.

And although consumers trust established banks and financial services firms with online-only services, a large majority would also turn to non-financial brands, or even startups.

That’s according to payments provider Visa’s latest Consumer Payment Attitudes Study, which surveyed more than 5,100 people across seven Asean markets in late 2019.

“Over the past few years, South-east Asia has become a hotbed of payments innovation,” said Visa regional country manager Mandy Lamb, who cited higher Internet connectivity, a large unbanked population, and governments’ cashless transformation drives.

“During this time, we have witnessed the rise of fintechs looking to displace traditional financial services with a range of targeted products including the proliferation of digital wallets.”

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Regional consumers said that they would most likely tap digital banks to carry out tasks such as paying bills and transferring money within their social circle.

Consumers in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines led the pack for interest in digital banking, while respondents in Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar were less keen.

But among the willing adopters, 84 per cent would consider services from well-known brands outside the financial services industry, and 75 per cent would bank with brand-new startups.

Non-traditional options were seen as more attractive on the back of expectations of better sign-up promotions, and the promise of more innovative offerings and better customer service.