How to Target the Unbanked in Southeast Asia: Decoding the Puzzle
There’s no doubt that there’s
great potential in Southeast Asia, but there are some worrying statistics
regarding the unbanked.
According to Umay + the credit card penetration is very low in Thailand, and that same situation can be seen in other countries of the region like the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. And even though their cash card doesn’t have demanding requirements, it’s still a long way to go in order to integrate the unbanked.
Therefore, the problem here is targeting them, and fortunately there are many fintech companies which are doing a great job in delivering a solution. Let’s learn more about how to target this enormous segment of population in this region with such a big potential.
A Fast Growing e-Commerce Market:
The thing about Southeast Asia is that it’s a fast growing e-Commerce market despite having just a small percentage of cardholders… but how so?
The thing is that in order to make it easier for people in these countries to pay, companies have come up with local payment solutions and people tend to trust more in them than big name credit cards.
In the case of Thailand this same growth is making the number of card holders grow as well, but there’s still a long way to go.
One of the solutions that are connecting the unbanked with the world of e-commerce and online shopping are local payment solutions… but what other options are out there?
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Might Be the Solution:
There are many proposals that try to solve this problem of the unbanked. For instance we have Coins.ph, which aims to help people in the Philippines pay their bills, send remittances and more by using blockchain technology. If this project proves to work, then it could be a total game changer in the country and could be replicated in other countries in the region.
Financial inclusion is key for big and sustained growth, and projects like Coins.ph are working to solve it, because the value of overseas Filipino works goes over $26 billion. A pretty big sum.
That’s why financial inclusion is so important, and blockchain technology along with cryptocurrencies might be the solution we all are looking for.
And when it comes to loans there’s a proposal called HERO, which plans to provide collateralized and uncollateralized loans to the unbanked and underbanked consumers in Southeast Asia. This would be a gigantic step towards the right direction, because it would provide an easy and practical financing option for this big segment of population.
As you can see there are many projects which are trying to solve the different perspectives of this problem, and many of them come from the new and fast-growing dimension of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
As it seems the best way to target the unbanked in this important region of the world is by providing local and domestic payment solutions and by using the new and powerful blockchain technology.