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Technology has become central to our lives, improving productivity and disrupting various sectors. Finance is no exception. In Asia, banks have been more focused on corporate banking, despite consumer banking being one of the most profitable businesses. The new fintech players in Asia are currently exploiting the personal and small and medium enterprise customer segment opportunity. These entrants (particularly in China) have been faster than banks to offer convenient, reliable, fast and cost-efficient alternatives to traditional bank payments that will make waves in capital light areas.
China is unique in Asia and the world. It is the most advanced on the digital disruption front, given that mainstream banks do not focus on consumer lending in conjunction with strong and well-resourced technology players and supportive regulations. The Northeast Asian countries of Taiwan and Korea are marked by advanced technology cultures, where bank tie-ups with technology players for digital customer journeys and third-party payment developments are taking place. India, Indonesia and the Philippines represent the new frontier where fintech could have a significant impact given huge unbanked populations, low consumer credit penetration, and widespread mobile adoption.