The digital financial technology (fintech) industry in Southeast Asia is rapidly growing, with one of its main focuses being to provide financial access to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SMEs play a vital role in the rapidly growing economic development of Southeast Asia. They provide jobs, drive innovation, and contribute to the growth of the local communities. However, many SMEs still face challenges when it comes to accessing financial tools and services despite their importance to the economy of Southeast Asia.
SME Funding Gap
One of the biggest challenges facing SMEs in Southeast Asia is the lack of access to traditional financial services such as loans and credit. There is still a $300 billion funding gap that exists in Southeast Asia and only 25% of SMEs in Southeast Asia have access to formal loans. Forcing SMEs to use their own capital, family loans or rely on informal cash loans presents a different problem in itself. This lack of access to loans makes it difficult for SMEs to build, run and grow their business.
Fintech Startups in Southeast Asia
With the rise of digital financial services through fintech startups, SMEs are now able to access a wide range of financial services than ever before. From digital banking solutions to business loans, small-medium enterprises are now able to access financial services. The key driver of this growth is the increasing accessibility of mobile financial services served by fintech startups. With increasing numbers of people in Southeast Asia using smartphones and tablets, accessing payments, savings, and loans from their gadgets is becoming the most popular way for SMEs to access financial services. This is particularly evident in countries where traditional banking infrastructure is less developed such as Indonesia.
Accelerating Financial Access for SMEs
Fintechs in Southeast Asia is able to leverage technology to create new and innovative solutions tailored specifically to the needs of SMEs. Some of these services include microfinance, which allows small businesses to access small loans, and digital financial inclusion, which helps to bring more people into the formal financial system.
The digital financial technology industry plays a vital role in accelerating financial access for SMEs. With the increasing availability and accessibility of digital technology, SMEs are now able to access a wider range of financial services than ever before. Fintech startups like Fazz are able to drive economic growth and improve the lives of people in Southeast Asia by providing payments, savings, and loan offerings for SMEs. As we continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative solutions that will help businesses beyond SMEs to access the financial services they need to build, run, and grow.