India Takes the Lead in Fintech Sector Investments, Igniting a Global Frenzy


26 May 2023

India’s fintech sector has emerged as a global powerhouse, attracting massive investments and reshaping the landscape of alternative lending, digital banking, payments, and e-wallets.

In a groundbreaking revelation, the global fintech industry has amassed a staggering total of USD 53.3 billion throughout its history, revolutionizing the alternative lending, digital banking, payments and transfers, and e-wallet sectors. Astonishingly, these fintech companies have raked in a remarkable USD 17.8 billion in revenue, showcasing their immense potential for growth and profitability. The impressive rate of return, calculated by dividing the total revenue by the total funding, stands at approximately 33.4%, translating to an average of 33.4 cents earned per dollar attracted annually.

A deep dive into the geographic distribution of funds reveals that India has emerged as the frontrunner, attracting an enormous USD 25.6 billion (48%) in investments. Following closely behind is Singapore, which has garnered USD 14.7 billion (27.6%) in funding, solidifying its position as a major player in the fintech landscape. Notably, Indonesia has secured USD 7.5 billion (14.1%) in funds, while the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia have received USD 2.4 billion (3.4%), USD 1.8 billion (3.4%), and USD 966 million (1.8%) respectively. In contrast, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have witnessed comparatively lesser inflows of USD 240 million (0.5%), USD 24 million (0.05%), and USD 307,000 (0.001%).

Analysis of the latest available data from 2021 reveals India, Indonesia, and Singapore as the top-earning countries in the fintech industry. India’s fintech sector has generated an astounding USD 10 billion (57.2%) in revenue, followed by Indonesia with USD 2.4 billion (13.7%) and Singapore with USD 1.9 billion (10.6%). Vietnam has also made a noteworthy contribution with revenue amounting to USD 1.7 billion (9.4%), while the Philippines stands at USD 875 million (4.9%). Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Pakistan have contributed USD 287 million (1.6%), USD 283 million (1.6%), and USD 167 million (0.9%) respectively, with Sri Lanka reporting the lowest revenue of USD 24 million (0.1%).

Remarkably, India continues to witness the highest concentration of investment stages, with a remarkable 53.8% of all fintech companies operating within its borders. Singapore closely trails behind, hosting 14.3% of these innovative companies, while Indonesia follows suit with an 8% share. A closer look at investment activity reveals that the alternative lending sector commands the highest attention, housing 45.8% of all fintech companies. The payments and transfers sector closely follows, accommodating 38.8% of the companies, while digital banking and e-wallets hold 8.5% and 6.9% respectively.

As the global fintech revolution continues to gather momentum, these groundbreaking figures highlight the immense growth potential and profitability of the industry. With India leading the charge and Singapore making significant strides, the fintech sector is reshaping the financial landscape and paving the way for a digitally-driven future.

Stay tuned for more updates on this transformative industry as it unfolds. The full report is available by clicking on the link: 

SEA FinTech Has Only A 3.1% Penetration Of AI & ML


31 March 2023

The fastest implementation of AI&ML occurs in the Digital Insurance, Digital Accounting and Digital Banking sectors. Singapore is the most active country in the use of AI in FinTech, according to the research by Robocash Group.

In 2022, the share of FinTech companies in the SEA region officially using AI and ML technologies in their stack reached 3.09% (807 out of 26,105 companies), steadily increasing from 2.88% in 2020 and from 3.03% in 2021.

The Digital Insurance sector holds the highest penetration rate of AI&ML technologies. The number of companies using AI&ML in this sector is growing at an average of 35.6% per year. This is followed by the Digital Accounting (33.5%) and Digital Banking (31.5%) sectors.

Other FinTech industries have seen the following average increase in growth: Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain – 28.7%, Digital investments – 21.4%, E-Commerce – 19.4%, Alternative Lending – 19%, Business management – 18%, HR & Payroll – 17.8%, Cybersecurity – 17.5%, E-Wallets – 17%, Payments & Transfers – 15.4%, Financial Advisors – 14%.

Singapore currently has the highest rate of AI&ML penetration in FinTech, at an impressive 5.36%. The country has seen a high overall economic development (about 0.5% of world GDP). Also its level of digitalization is one of the highest in the region: in 2022, 97% of the population had internet access, 94.4% had smartphones, and 97% had financial accounts. Lastly, there is a high level of private investment in FinTech (1.4% of all time in the world) and in AI technology (0.7%).

Laos also showed a high AI&ML penetration rate in FinTech at 4.08%. The development of FinTech is still in its infancy in Laos, with only 49 companies out of 26,105 in the region. Therefore, even a small penetration of AI & ML in the FinTech sector can be considered significant in this country.

Robocash Group analysts comment: “Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning integration in the Southeast Asian FinTech domain went through its peak period between 2016 and 2019. The FinTech world has attained a “plateau”, though it may not last for long. Businesses are beginning to leverage the potential of AI&ML actively. This can result in an improved output. Nevertheless, AI and ML-based technology are not a one-size-fits-all solution that can guarantee success itself. So businesses must tailor them to their own operations and objectives to reach the greatest possible benefits.”

Penetration of FinTech Apps In SEA To Reach 84% In 2023


21 March 2023

Fintech apps have increased their rate of penetration in Southeast Asia by 3.3 times over the last five years.

By the end of 2022, the total number of unique FinTech users in Southeast Asia reached 420.5 million people. This is a 3.5% (+14.4 million) increase compared to the year prior.

The penetration of fintech services in the region had experienced a significant boost. At the end of 2022, total penetration reached 81.8%, with the e-commerce sector holding the most weight at 56.6%.

By the end of 2023, the penetration rate of fintech users is expected to increase from 81.8% to 83.7%. That said, some changes are anticipated in their overall distribution in the SEA. The share of e-Commerce users may increase from 56.6% in December 2022 to 58.3% in December 2023. Meanwhile, the share of Digital Investments will decrease from 1.7% to 0.4%. Notably, strong growth awaits the Payments & Transfers sector – from 2.97% to 5.49%.

Robocash Group analysts comment: “It is worth noting that this is a market assessment under normal circumstances. In addition, the state and regulatory measures present an important factor affecting the fintech market in the SEA. However, the SEA’s fintech market remains one of the most dynamically developing in the world. The region continues to attract the attention of global players and investors, and this trend will continue in the coming years.”

SEA & SA 83% Drop In Fintech Startups; Investors Opt For Risk-averse Strategies


23 February 2023

In 2022, the countries of South & Southeast Asia saw a YoY decline of 83% in new fintechs.

 In 2022, the countries of South & Southeast Asia saw a YoY decline of 83% in new fintechs, with only 349 startups emerging in the region. However, the volume of investments has not decreased so dramatically, with investors choosing less risky strategies, as revealed by the analytical centre of Robocash Group. The newly formed fintechs were able to raise about USD 153 M via various financing rounds. This is 1.4% of the total attracted investments in fintech in this region.

The Payments & Transfers sector accounted for the largest number of new companies in SEA & SA – 72 (20.6% of the total), mostly concentrated in India. Meanwhile, Blockchain & Crypto and Exchange-traded assets featured 47 companies each (13.5%), most of which were based in Singapore. Finally, there were 38 new alternative lending companies (10.9%).

However, the total amount raised by all fintech companies in the region decreased to USD 12.7 Bn (-38.6% compared to 2021). Robocash Group analysts cite the lack of public information, as investment aggregators are still adding new company profiles. Still, the missing data is unlikely to make a significant difference in the total showing for 2022, especially compared to the previous year.

“The decline in the number of new fintechs greatly exceeds the reduction in the volume of investment attraction. Investors are opting for less risky strategies, wary of the incoming worldwide recession. The market is “cleansing”, leaving room for only the most sustainable fintech companies”, comment the analysts at Robocash Group.

Assuming the current decade-long trend holds, the number of new companies may grow by 21.6% in 2023 from the current 349 to 425. At the same time, the attraction of funds for all fintech companies may reach USD 13.2 Bn.

*All information was collected and aggregated from the following services: CBInsights, Tracxn, Crunchbase, Dealroom. The following countries were analysed in the study: Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, East Timor, Cambodia, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan.

Arta TechFin And OSL’s Partnership To Create An End-to-end Virtual Asset Financial Service Ecosystem


16 February 2023

ARTA and OSL, both headquartered in HK, are jointly developing ecosystems to bring global VA access to institutional and retail clients.

Arta TechFin, a hybrid fintech platform in both traditional assets and virtual assets (“VA”), and OSL, the digital asset business division of BC  Technology Group, today entered into a strategic partnership (“partnership”) to create an end-to-end VA financial service ecosystem. 

Subject to obtaining required regulatory approvals, the partnership intends to offer a full spectrum of  regulated VA solutions, including origination of asset-backed security tokens, secondary trading of  physically-settled and cash-settled VA spot and VA derivatives, and custody of OTC and exchange traded VA. Riding on the tailwind of the Hong Kong Government’s progressive VA policies, our joint  effort will continue to support Hong Kong’s development as the global VA financial center. 

For primary market origination, ARTA shall use its best effort to appoint OSL as the placing agent for  its security token offering in Hong Kong. ARTA’s corporate finance team shall take the lead in  tokenization technology service, deal sourcing and structuring, and fund raising. This activity is subject  to regulatory approval. 

For secondary trading, OSL shall be appointed as ARTA’s exclusive trading partner to conduct  physically-settled VA trading activities for a period of 12 months. Where OSL engages in cash-settled  VA derivatives trading, ARTA shall also provide OSL with cash-settled VA derivatives trading services  including but not limited to Chicago Mercantile Exchange listed VA futures and options and Hong Kong  Exchange listed VA future exchange traded derivatives. 

OSL, through an omnibus account model, will support ARTA’s end-clients with institutional-grade performance VA trading and safe-keeping facilities.  

Global Reach, Local Touch

ARTA and OSL, both headquartered in HK, are jointly developing ecosystems to bring global VA access to institutional and retail clients. Investors can benefit from the full protection of the Hong Kong  regulatory regime, including client assets segregation, financial transparency, and stability. Regulated  traditional financial and VA services are seamlessly integrated to create the next generation  ecosystem for better liquidity, product variety, and security. 

“This game-changing partnership gives birth to an institutional-class total VA solution that serves  global institutional and individual clients. Hong Kong’s progressive VA policies lay a strong foundation  for us to take advantage of this unique opportunity. We are committed to supporting the development  of a vibrant VA ecosystem in Hong Kong,” said Eddie Lau, ARTA’s Chief Executive Officer

“We are thrilled to enter into this strategic partnership with ARTA. We look forward to servicing the  digital asset trading and fundraising needs of ARTA and its clients. This partnership will allow us to 

leverage our expertise in the digital asset space to drive growth in the fintech industry,” said Hugh Madden, Chief Executive Officer of BC Group and OSL. 

The State of Fintech In Indonesia

2 February 2023

OJK has been actively developing policies to support the development of fintech in Indonesia and this means that businesses can expect fintech companies in the country to grow exponentially within the next few years.

The fintech sector in Indonesia has grown significantly during the last two years. The Covid Pandemic has sparked a surge in business growth across all fintech categories, including payments, lending, and investments. By 2025, based on current trends, digital payments are expected to reach US$351 billion, digital loan books to reach US$35 billion, and fintech investment AUM to reach US$28 billion. This has sparked greater investor interest than ever in the industry, and three of Indonesia’s four unicorns, Xendit, Akulaku, and Ajaib, are in the fintech sector.

The opportunity in fintech is still tremendous although adoption rates still only account for a small portion of the overall addressable market. 103 fintech companies in Indonesia on the Financial Services Authority’s official list totaled US$20,4 billion with only 26 million borrowers nationwide being insured by this. Additionally, the country has 63 million MSMEs, which account for more than 60% of its GDP, but estimates show that only 19% of these companies have access to financial products, leaving an estimated US$80BN credit gap.

Last but not least, despite the fact that there has been an increase in retail investors over the last three years, there are still only 7.5 million retail stock investors worldwide, or 4% of the world’s adult population. There is obviously a lot of space for expansion in terms of firms utilizing fintech solutions in these key sectors.

Fintech Sectors In Indonesia

Opportunities for investment in the various fintech areas go beyond merely funding fresh competitors who use comparable tactics. Through a variety of tactics, new items can be developed and presented as the market changes and consumers desire solutions that are unique. For instance, new interface layers that aggregate payment methods and enable single checkout, like Juspay of India, may become extremely popular as social commerce via chat takes traction.

There are chances to establish a business banking interface to help automate manual payment processes like invoice payment in addition to addressing the front-end customer-facing payment experience. Previously, reaching out to MSMEs mainly involved working with eCommerce marketplaces to get transaction data or working with SMEs that had already been banked to offer underwriting information. Companies like Bukuwarung, Majoo, and Ula have been able to gather data from which they may underwrite loans because of the increasing rise of MSMEs using technology for payment processing, monitoring their businesses, and buying supplies.

Outlook Of Indonesia’s Fintech Sector

Bank Indonesia and the Financial Services Authority oversee the fintech industry in Indonesia (OJK). Indonesia is preparing to encourage flexible, balanced, and effective regulation of financial innovation in order to stimulate innovation and healthy competition. For new technology and business models, regulatory modifications, including simplifications, are being considered.

The new fintech rules that Bank Indonesia released in December 2017 demonstrate its readiness to adopt fintech. These rules will enable millions of clients to gain access to funding based on an analysis of their transaction history by approving a number of technical platforms for financial transactions.

All types of electronic payments will be connected more affordably and effectively after the National Payment Gateway is put into place. This ought to aid in quickening the spread of fintech in Indonesia. OJK’s intention to create a regulatory sandbox so banks and fintech businesses can experiment with different strategies is another encouraging step. Sandboxes provide fintech businesses a limited amount of permission to test out new models and products on a small sample size of real people in a controlled setting.

The sandbox strategy provides for some flexibility, which is essential given how drastically new digital platforms are transforming industries. Finding the ideal balance will be difficult to avoid unintentionally creating quasi-monopolies by favoring sandbox players over non-sandbox businesses. A robust broadband connection is necessary for cloud-based systems to achieve significant efficiency savings, hence a good telecommunications infrastructure is essential. Installing the Palapa Ring Project’s national fiber network might be a significant step in closing the digital gap and fostering financial inclusion.

Finally, to engage potential clients and capitalize on one another’s advantages, fintech companies should concentrate on forming alliances with telecoms and other regional players. An effective strategy is for banks to invest in cutting-edge fintech businesses to support their rapid growth. Financial inclusion refers to the availability of resources for obtaining loans in order to expand a business, purchase a home, save for a child’s education, or make plans for your health and retirement. Fintech innovation has the potential to alter how individuals do business in Indonesia with the right rules in place.

Fintech potential is virtually limitless because financial transactions underpin essentially every transaction involving the exchange of goods or services between companies and customers. Even though only an estimated 33% of the population has access to a bank account, five of the top ten largest corporations by market capitalization on IDX are traditional banking institutions. In the next few years, this system is set to undergo a change as fintech projects ultimately give the unbanked and underbanked access to financial inclusion. Indonesia’s fintech sector has definitely entered its golden era.

PayerMax Granted Full Major Payments Institution License To Offer Payment Services By Monetary Authority of Singapore 


5 January 2022

PayerMax will be able to provide a full suite of payment services in Singapore including cross-border and  domestic money transfers, and merchant acquisition services. 

PayerMax, an omni-method global payments solution announced today  that its group entity Int Payment Technology Pte. Ltd has been granted the Major Payments Institution  (“MPI”) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Payment Services Act 2019.  Focused on powering borderless growth of businesses, PayerMax supports more than 350 local payment  methods across Southeast Asia, South Asia, MENA and LATAM, and recently made its Asia debut at the  Singapore Fintech Festival last November.  

PayerMax will be able to provide a full suite of payment services in Singapore including cross-border and  domestic money transfers, and merchant acquisition services. 

With a large, banked population, access to smartphones, and wireless broadband rates in Southeast  Asia, Singapore demonstrates technological readiness for mobile payments. 

Lee Yi Liang, Regional Head of Compliance and PayerMax Singapore’s local Director said, “Singapore’s  MPI licence shall soon be the pièce de résistance for PayerMax’s regional payments hub, as it conjoins  Singapore’s vision to build an e-payments society that is innovative, inclusive, and inspiring. It is  heartening for us to receive the government’s regulatory approval, and we look forward to powering  homegrown businesses to seize opportunities to multiply growth within as well as beyond borders  fuelling the Singaporean economy. PayerMax recognizes that Singapore offers an exceptional regulatory  playbook for financial services, which is why the granting of the Payments Institution License is a clear  testament to the robustness of our compliance framework and risk management practices.” 

The digital payments landscape in Southeast Asia is expected to reach US$1.5 trillion by 2030,  highlighting the saliency of cashless, contactless, and cross-border payments. 

Elaborating on their plans for the region he says, “Singapore has always been our strategic foothold, as  we dedicate more resources and manpower to enable businesses to flourish across the diverse market  that is Southeast Asia. Working hand-in-hand with regulatory ecosystems, we will leverage private and  public sector partnerships to drive and power the payment infrastructure of e-commerce, gaming and  

entertainment. Our core tenet to success is ‘collaboration’ and that will ultimately shape the future of  digital payments in the region.” 

Established in 2020, PayerMax is the emerging markets’ leading regulated digital payment provider  servicing online merchants that have ambition beyond borders. PayerMax empowers global merchants  to achieve growth around the world, by providing a full-stack solution where localised payment methods  are accepted at scale, within a highly secure, robust, and compliant environment. PayerMax is  headquartered in Singapore with head offices and presence in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Brazil and China (Shanghai, Hong  Kong). 

World’s First Banking-as-a-Service Open Source License


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 24 November 2022

Open Finance technology leader Brankas has developed a first-of-its-kind open source license for the next generation of Banking-as-a-Service and Open Finance software.

Open Finance technology leader Brankas has developed “Brankas Open”, a first-of-its-kind open source license for the next generation of Banking-as-a-Service and Open Finance software.

The “Brankas Open” license is meant to encourage digital banking and fintech innovation and lower the cost barriers for startups, neobanks, and even traditional institutions to quickly prototype and launch new solutions, while retaining their own source code. Customers will benefit from more choice and better user experience, as companies have open access to use, modify, redistribute, and collaborate on the publicly available Brankas Open code.

The inspiration for Brankas Open came when Brankas received a grant from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in November 2021 to develop Brankas APIX Open Core, a proof of concept open source core banking system.

Recognizing the need for a modernized Open Source framework to address new Open Finance technology, Brankas looked to existing open-source licensing frameworks in order to develop Brankas Open. Brankas felt that this framework was necessary to protect community contributions, ensure open access, and comply with financial institutions’ data protection and security requirements.

“Brankas’ Open license allows our teams to build and contribute in a way that is fair, equitable, and open to independent developers, FIs, and to our partners. With this license, Brankas is able to continue to invest in the greater open source community, and to share our code freely with the world,” stated Brankas co-founder and CTO, Kenneth Shaw.

Brankas has been advised by Ren Jun Lim, Alex Toh and Darren Leong from Baker McKenzie’s Singapore-based Intellectual Property and Technology (IPTech) practice group.

NETS Launches NETS Prepaid Card: Its First ‘Smart’ Stored-value Card For Retail And Transit


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 22 November 2022

Using NETS App, users can top up on-the-go, track and manage their household expenses with peace of mind as stored value on a NETS prepaid card can be retrieved even if the card is lost.

Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS), Singapore’s leading payment services group, today announced the launch of the NETS Prepaid Card, its first ‘smart’ stored-value card for retail and transit.  Consumers can use the card at over 120,000 acceptance points, making NETS Prepaid Card the stored value card with the largest number of acceptance points locally.

The wide acceptance together with smart features enabled by NETS App, makes the NETS Prepaid Card an ideal choice for families looking to better track and manage their household expenses, and the perfect gift card that can be tailored to consumers’ preferred value and design.  Commuters can also link their NETS Prepaid Card to TransitLink SimplyGo app, an initiative to introduce contactless payments on trains and buses through the partnership with various payment schemes, to see their trip details.

Smart and secure contactless payment, with budget tracking capabilities for the family

Up to 10 cards can be linked to one NETS account through the NETS App, to access features such as topping up on-the-go, locking and requesting refund for remaining stored value for misplaced cards, setting daily spending limits, and monitoring transactions made on each card.

Users can easily top up their NETS Prepaid card via the NETS App through various means, which include NETS bank cards. The user’s preferred payment card can also be stored on-file to speed up the process. Once a NETS Prepaid Card has been linked to a NETS account, users can review the transaction history via NETS App and also configure auto top-up whenever the card balance dips below a certain amount.

Daily spending limits of up to S$1000 can be set for each card, which takes effect immediately and can be changed on the fly, making it an ideal stored value card to help family members and domestic helpers to pay digitally while ensuring that they stay within budget.

To help minimise possible fraud or abuse of the NETS Prepaid Card if it is misplaced, users can lock the card with the simple tap of a button on the NETS App. Locking and unlocking the card takes effect immediately and there is also an option to permanently terminate the NETS Prepaid Card to refund the stored value.  

Lawrence Chan, Group CEO of NETS said, “The NETS Prepaid Card is part of our continued effort to connect communities and empower lives. Families will be empowered to take control of daily expenses as they can provide their dependents and domestic helper with contactless payment options that can be easily tracked. Additionally, this card can be quickly disabled if it is lost. This card is most valuable as it can be used at all NETS acceptance points and mass transit.”

The perfect card for retail and as a gift for friends and family

The NETS Prepaid Card is also an excellent gifting card as consumers can spend at any NETS accepting merchants for shopping or for public transport. Users are also not limited to fixed denominations in their gift cards and can top up auspicious numbers like $88, up to a cap of $100 per top-up.

Whether it be a nice cup of coffee at a café, some additional groceries at the supermarket, or a shopping spree at a nearby mall, the ubiquitous acceptance means that recipients of the NETS Prepaid gift card can spend it on their preferred options. From S$5, users can also customise the card face of their NETS Prepaid Cards at

Hassle-free purchase, smooth public transport travel

Additionally, the NETS Prepaid Card can be used for public transport, allowing commuters to top up the card on-the-go instead of spending time queuing at physical top-up machines. The NETS Prepaid Card can also be topped up and managed via the NETS App, available on both Google Play and Apple App Store. Through the NETS App, users can also set up automatic top-ups for the card to ensure that there are always sufficient funds for their daily commute.

There is no minimum age or income requirement, no annual subscription fees and no credit checks for the purchase of the NETS Prepaid Card. Consumers can purchase the NETS Prepaid Card at 7-Eleven convenience stores, Buzz, Japan Home, Mustafa, Sir Handphone, TransitLink Ticket Offices at MRT stations and bus interchanges, NETS Customer Service Centre as well as Lazada and Shopee. The card will also be sold at Sunshine Star and J.B.I Trading from December onwards.

Hong Leong Bank Cards Amongst One of the First in Malaysia that Can Now be Added to Google Wallet


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 15 November 2022

With Google Wallet, close to 65% of HLB customers who are Android users will enjoy simple, secure and seamless contactless payment experience.

Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Islamic Bank cardholders can enjoy a simple, secure and seamless contactless payment experience with Google Wallet starting today.

Google Wallet is a mobile app that offers a simple way to make contactless payments with Android phones or Wear OS devices. The move to enable HLB credit and debit cards and HLISB debit cards (collectively known as HLB Cards) customers to add their payment cards to the Android platform is part of the Bank’s efforts to implement another convenient way to enable mobile payments.

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said, “Aligning with our Bank’s “Digital at the Core” ethos, we are very excited to be one of the first banks in the market to support Google Wallet for our cards. With the rapid adoption of DuitNow QR codes, mobile banking apps and mobile wallets, mobile payments have seamlessly integrated into the digital lifestyles of Malaysians and are one of the preferred transaction methods today. Working together with Google is part of our continuous efforts to offer simple and frictionless payment services to our customers.”

With Google Wallet, HLB cardholders are able to make contactless payments leveraging on near-field-communication (“NFC”) via supported Android devices by adding their HLB Cards to the Google Wallet app. Cardholders can then tap to pay wherever contactless payments are accepted.

According to Andrew Jong, Managing Director of HLB Personal Financial Services, “As Malaysians increasingly embrace a digital, mobile-led lifestyle, we remain agile in meeting the ever-changing customer needs. Smartphone penetration in Malaysia is close to 95% and many daily activities are already facilitated digitally. With Google Wallet as a new feature, close to 65% of our customers who are on the Android platform will enjoy an easy, safe and secure usage and payment experience.”

Similar to contactless transactions performed using the physical card, payments through Google Wallet also share the same daily maximum amount for contactless transactions. Transactions amounting up to RM250 do not require PIN verification.

Southeast Asian Countries Are close to being on par with Singapore on FinTech regulation


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 15 November 2022

A tightly-knit group of Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are following closely behind  Singapore. Singapore continues leadership in FinTech regulation in Southeast Asia, affirmed by the analysts of Robocash Group.

A comparative picture of national FinTech regulation in the countries of Southeast Asia is based on the sum of 13 criteria based on the public information – availability in the country of  special FinTech laws & acts, sandboxes, government initiatives, etc. (full list of criteria is described below).  Singapore remains the undisputed leader in Southeast Asia’s FinTech regulation. The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are making swift progress. Vietnam falls behind but is forecasted to strengthen the FinTech regulation in the near future. 

In general, the regulatory landscape of Southeast Asia is already approaching a singularly high saturation and will become evenly distributed further next year.

Singapore (score 60). Being a regional FinTech hub, Singapore leads in the field of FinTech regulation, serving as a kind of benchmark. National regulation is distinguished by a productive history of the sandbox established back in 2016, a developed regulatory landscape in relation to individual FinTech areas. Singapore features a whole list of efficiently working frameworks and core projects, overall high activity within several national projects and strategies, and an active local FinTech association.

Philippines (score 56). The Philippines is confidently pushing for the leadership position, surpassing Singapore in certain areas (the e-money regulation and other FinTech areas). Upon the development of FinTech sandboxes and open banking, the country may yet become a new regional leader. In fact, the Philippines is already on its way to meet this prerequisite: both directions are in the process of active development.

Malaysia (score 55). Malaysia demonstrates a similarly high development level of FinTech regulation. The country’s notable features are the setting of FinTech as one of the national priorities, as well as the overall proactivity when it comes to everything FinTech.

Thailand (score 54). Thailand is just marginally short of making the Top-3. The country has a very rich history of FinTech development – it was here that the first crypto-currency regulation regime in the mainland of Southeast Asia was introduced; the transition to e-money licensing was carried out back in 2004-2008, etc. There are three main regulators (BoT Central Bank, SEC regulatory agency, insurance regulator OIC), and as many as 5 FinTech sandboxes.

Indonesia (score 52). Indonesia has come a long way in terms of FinTech regulation. This is facilitated by the presence of two base regulatory bodies – the Central Bank of the Bank of Indonesia and the OJK regulatory department, which, for one, entails the parallel operation of two FinTech sandboxes. With a comparable level of development across most criteria, online banking regulation and customer identity initiatives remain potential hotspots for growth.

Vietnam (score 35). Currently, the regulatory field in the country can not be identified as developed. However, there is rapid progress (for example, beginning of e-money regulation in 2021, efforts to organise a national FinTech sandbox, etc.), which leaves no doubt that the country will noticeably strengthen in this regard in the near future.

Cambodia (score 34). The local achievements rightfully include the developed regulation in the field of Payments & Transfers, a whole system of FinTech associations, and the bold experience of implementing the national digital currency Project Bakong. However, local regulation obviously still has a long way to go.

Laos, Myanmar (score 17, each). These countries are only beginning their journey towards full-fledged FinTech regulation. Although, some national initiatives are likely still hidden from the global community.

The ranking of countries is based on the translation of the 13 public-information-based criteria:
1. Sandbox — FinTech sandboxes. Notably, if there is just one significant project operating in the country, it equates to the value of “3”, while if there are several – to “4”;
2. Special Fintech Laws & Acts — the presence of a developed legislative FinTech landscape in the country (cumulative assessment);
The Regulatory group of 6 criteria. A score of “4″ means that the industry is clearly regulated at the official level with the issuance of special licences.
3. The level of official regulation of Online Banking;
4. E-money (electronic and mobile money and wallets);
5. Payments & Transfers (digital payments and transfers);
6. Alternative Lending (alternative lending, incl. P2P lending, crowdfunding, online micro-lending, etc.);
7. Blockchain/Cryptocurrency;
8. Others (other FinTech areas: brokerage, online insurance, digital currency exchange, etc.).
9. Frameworks — the presence of national regulatory and technologically unified spaces in the areas of open banking, data protection, cybersecurity and others;
10. Identification, NYC — the development of national systems of personal authentication and identification;
11. Associations — presence in the country of one (“3”) or more (“4”) active FinTech associations, including self-regulatory ones;
12. Strategies — availability of long-term state programs for the development of FinTech;
13. Initiatives — existence of other significant government FinTech initiatives.

Report Shows Organizations Rethinking Conventional Business Processes And Practices 


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 11 November 2022

Report reveals the top focuses for companies in the next year are strengthening security, digitizing payments, and improving usage of analytics.

Endava, a global provider of digital transformation, agile development and intelligent automation services, today released their 2022 Global Payments Study. The report covers the norms of today’s business-to-business (B2B) payments on a worldwide scale, the challenges of operating a manual process, the benefits of digitization, and what payments could look like in the future.

“Over the past two years, companies began to challenge their reliance on the legacy systems they were supposedly tied to and wondered how they could improve their daily processes,” said Scott Harkey, Executive Vice President, Financial Services & Payments, Endava. “Our data reveals a payments landscape where organizations are no longer satisfied with the status quo and are using modernization initiatives to increase efficiency.”

Key insights from the report include: 

  • Checks and cash are no longer the dominant methods they once were, equaling roughly a fifth of global payment volume combined.
  • Paper-based methods comprised less than a third of payments volume for all the regions in the study.
  • North America trails APAC, MEA, LatAm, and Europe in payments modernity. North America scores lower due to relatively high check volume (16%).
  • Organizations often rely on multiple tools for making payments. Bank-provided bill pay portals are the most widely adopted, but many also use ePayments software.
  • The top focuses for companies in the next year are strengthening security, digitizing payments, and improving usage of analytics.

The Future of Payments

To help anticipate the future of B2B payments, Endava asked survey respondents about their organization’s top initiatives and how they plan to alter current payment method volume in the future. The highest priority initiative was strengthening security which is congruent with the high number of organizations citing fraud as a top challenge in domestic and international payments. 

Digitizing payments was the second highest priority initiative for respondent organizations. To accomplish this, organizations plan on aggressively increasing usage of methods like digital wallets, real-time payments (RTP), cards, virtual cards, and Automated Clearing House (ACH) and decreasing dated, paper-based ones like checks and cash. Of those currently utilizing them, a sizable percentage of organizations also plan on increasing cryptocurrency usage in the future. However, many organizations identified crypto (as a means of paying vendors) as not applicable to their business.

Insights by Industry

Looking at the study by industry, Endava data shows that retailers were more likely to have issues with payment errors, data management, late payments, and compliance. These issues often come from inconsistencies in the way payments are handled. Compared to the average, companies in the mobility vertical suffer from customer inquiry management, disparate technology, fraud, and payment errors. 

Insurers and non-bank finance organizations have more quantifiable challenges than companies in other industries. These include days payable outstanding, lack of visibility into payments, duplicate invoices, and reliance on paper-based processes. Many of these problems are more directly related to invoicing.

Geographic Trends

North America: 

  • Endava experts assert that both RTP and digital wallets are ripe for growth in North America. 
  • On the consumer side of things, Americans have mostly moved away from cash and check for their C2B and P2P payments, but this modernization has not yet carried over to businesses. 
  • Younger generations, who are far more likely to expect a digital payments experience, may cause a shift in these antiquated habits as they assume roles as small business owners and finance professionals.


  • Endava research shows next-day bank-to-bank transfers comprise a larger volume of payments in the EU over any other region. 
  • Cash and checks are at a lower volume in the EU compared toother regions. 
  • These payment methods are a rarity in Europe because the digital alternatives for transferring money are easy to use and ubiquitous. 

Middle East and Africa:

  • Parts of the MEA region have some of the largest RTP payment volumes out of all the locales included in the study. 
  • Saudi Arabia has had rapid adoption in the use of real-time payments despite only introducing the service in 2019. 
  • The percentage of cash transactions among MEA respondent organizations is high, as is the usage of alternative methods, which can include cash-on-delivery, a popular payment option in both countries.

Data Summary

The data for this study comes from a 2022 survey of over 1,000 organizations of all sizes and industry verticals (except for banking institutions). Respondents were at the senior management level and above and possessed intimate knowledge and decision-making capacity on their organization’s finance and payments strategy and processes.

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