Kuala Lumpur leaps to 15th place of Top 20 Asia Fintech Hubs
20 Dec 2021
Kuala Lumpur leapt 11 places to number 15 of the Top 20 Asia Fintech Hubs, according to Asia Pacific Fintech Rankings: Bridging Divides report.
The report by global research and analytics firm Findexable and powered by Mambu, a global software as a service (Saas) banking platform, has ranked Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney in Australia as the top three fintech hubs.
It said Asian countries were among the first to launch specialist digital banking licenses to encourage neobanks as a part of broader economic inclusion strategies.
“Malaysia and Singapore also have regulatory sandboxes that allow digital banks to extend some services to pilot customers without passing daily regulatory tests,” it said.
Findexable chief executive officer and co-founder Simon Hardie said the rankings of Asia Pacific fintech hubs were testament to the region’s diversity, ingenuity and commitment to innovation.
“With 45 hubs across the region, with one third more than in 2020, fintech firms across Asia Pacific are proving fintech is the engine of the digital economy.
“More importantly, as this report shows, fintechs are showing that building successful businesses should go hand in hand with contributing to wider financial inclusion and development goals,” he said in a statement today.
Mambu managing director Myles Bertrand said the Saas cloud banking platform has seen an astounding acceleration in the rate of fintech innovation across the region over the past year and the adoption of new financial technologies is now being driven primarily by consumer demand as a direct result of the pandemic.
“Consumers across Asia Pacific have experienced how digital banking technologies can make their lives easier with a huge range of faster, more convenient and much less expensive ways to manage their money,” he said.
He said Asia has been home to nearly half of the Top 20 global fintech hubs identified in the report but the differing regulations from country to country could be a real hindrance to multinational growth in the region.
“Each country’s central bank or government has its own agenda, so it’s incredibly important for fintechs to work collaboratively with the regulators in each country to understand their concerns and to help support the creation of mutually beneficial ecosystems that support innovation,” he added.
The report highlights the vital role fintech innovation has in closing the gaps between the “banked”, “underserved” and “unbanked”, particularly in countries that may have low levels of formal financial inclusion but high levels of smartphone ownership and internet penetration.