Responsible Finance Forum

Digital banking in emerging Asia – progress and prospects

Sumedh Deorukhkar and Le Xia
13 October 2015
Source:  BBVA Research

Personal finance trends across emerging Asia have seen a visible shift towards digital banking over the past five years. The region’s favourable demographics, high mobile adoption rate and deepening internet penetration have opened opportunities for banks to leverage on technology for bridging a widening financial inclusion gap. Convenience banking has assumed priority, with banks offering a gamut of financial services through web portals and mobile apps while redesigning their backend technology architecture. However, still at an incipient stage, EM Asia’s digital banking transformation process has led to a new set of challenges for policymakers in terms of redefining the regulatory framework; and traditional banks are striving to convert customers to the digital platform in the wake of stiff competition from new age ecommerce companies. Against this backdrop, this watch examines the current state of digital banking transformation across emerging Asian economies, the challenges it presents for various stakeholders to overcome and its future prospects, especially in light of the region’s efforts to deepen financial inclusion.