The COVID pandemic has forced Asia’s financial institutions to completely re-think how they deliver products and services. For traditional financial institutions, this meant providing more customized value propositions as the industry sought ‘to sell to an audience of one.’ It seemed to work, as many of Asia’s large banks posted record profits in 2020 and 2021. With an increasingly fickle customer base that is looking for an anytime, anywhere, hyper- personalized service, the banks have their work cut out for them. Fintechs were not to be left behind and also took advantage of the digitization wave to capture more market share in everything from robo-advisory to payments. Increased VC funding minted some new home-grown unicorns as Grab finally listed.
Yet certain segments of the fintech industry faced their own challenges. The super-hot BNPL segment started to cool as providers globally saw their market capitalizations plunge; Australia’s BNPL darling Afterpay’s stock, is down ~60% from its peak. Further, some crypto-reticence appeared as the Monetary Authority of Singapore started making decisions on the 150+ digital payment token licenses that had been submitted; so far only a handful have received approval. The further banning of crypto- advertising in the city-state seem to indicate that it may not be a crypto-haven after all. That is not to say that everything went smoothly for the region’s banks either. There were a number of notable outages in the region and increasingly sophisticated fraud, especially in Singapore, which cost consumers millions of dollars.
This then begs the question of what 2022 means for the fintech industry. The era of cheap money seems to be coming to a close as the US government realizes that inflation actually is a thing and helicopter money has its limits. As a result, there will be a significant impact on fintech valuations and business models in fintech globally, but especially in Asia which has attracted an incredible amount of VC funding at very high valuations in 2021.
In addition, despite all of the digitization, one has to wonder how much will stick. Many, including ourselves, have said we are in a ‘new normal,’ but are we? Is it not maybe just a ‘temporary normal?’ Already in 2022, work-from-home stalwarts like Peleton and Zoom are drastically under performing the broader market as people return to the office and their gyms. Could it be that in 2022, as we come out of the worst of the pandemic, things just go back, at least somewhat, to what they were? A visit to Singapore’s packed CBD would seem to indicate that for many, the pre-pandemic life is nearly back.
It is with ‘hopeful optimism’ that we bring you our eleventh annual Top-10 Asia Pacific Fintech industry trends report looking at ten key developments that we feel will impact the industry going forward.
In this webinar leading up to Kapronasia's 11th annual fintech trends report, we look at 10 of the top trends that we see defining the Asia Pacific financial industry in 2022.
Webinar: 2022 Top 10 APAC Fintech Trends
Date: January 20th, 2022
Time: 11AM SGT
Thank you to everyone that registered and watched our 2022 Top 10 FinTech Trends webinar on January 20th. It was a great interactive discussion covering BNPL, Green Finance, Virtual Banking, Cross Border Payments, De-Fi and much more…