Did you know that more than 240 million adults in Southeast Asia have no bank records? As a result, 50% or more of the ASEAN population cannot get approval for bank loans. That is not only sad but devastating to the economy of a region.
Financial exclusion, especially in rural areas, is significantly low. Moreover, only about 50% of the entire region’s adult population has an account of sorts with a financial institution.
So how do they survive? You might ask. Keeping money under mattresses is as real amongst the majority of the population as saving in piggy-bank is for kids. Do that, and you will have frequent robbers at your place no doubt. And if you are ever in need of a loan, then illegal money launderers are within reach but often with high interest rates. So the only real solution for the ASEAN population is peer-to-peer lending.
The ASEAN Market analysis
Microfinance has slowly sipped from China and into the ASEAN region. We are seeing mushrooming of startups in the area for several reasons. You will do well to remember that even though 50% of adults have bank accounts, only 29% of them receive salaries directly into their accounts.
Some of the facts tied to the ASEAN market include:
- High mobile penetration
- Access to investor funds both local and international
- Most SMEs and individuals lack access to traditional financial services
- Most individuals who use mattress-banks are prone to robbery
- A large population of the young generation is tech-savvy
Most of the governments in the region do have solid support for microfinance which is why in addition to the facts above, ASEAN is a great destination for P2P lenders.
P2P lending in ASEAN
In 2005, Zopa pioneered peer-to-peer lending in the UK and its success story has been a sort of motivation to startups throughout the world but more so in the ASEAN region. At the end of 2015, China alone had more than 2600 p2p lending platforms.
Is peer-to-peer lending regulated in ASEAN? Fintech innovations in the region are coming up at a rate that government regulations can only play catch up. There is, however, some framework and set of rules; although most are only applicable within a few jurisdictions.
P2P lending in this area is an eventuality rather than a probability because all the structural drivers for peer-to-peer lending are already in place. In addition, major players and facilitators of p2p lending such as AssetStream are already in place.
Say you want to take part in P2P lending in AssetStream. What you will experience as an investor is that, there will be no middlemen. Moreso;
- You interact directly with your target group.
- If you are a lender (AssetStream refers to them as investors), you will enjoy greater returns compared to the fixed deposit in banks.
- And if you are a borrower, you will take advantage of low-cost borrowing.
- The integration of blockchain provides an added layer of trust
What are the benefits of p2p lending to the ASEAN region
AssetStream aims to provide a solution to the unbanked ASEAN market by creating the infrastructural p2p platform where lenders meet with borrowers in real time. The benefits of this is:
- The large number of SMEs will have the required source of funds to grow
- Income generation for lenders
- Job creation through expansion of SMEs and individuals who partner with AssetStream
- More revenue for the ASEAN countries given that SMEs contribute 40% of the region’s gross domestic product.
ASEAN Market is ready for P2P lending, join now!
The infrastructure is in place, and the startups are already providing the platforms for p2p lending. AssetStream has partnered with PICO and CreditOK but there is still an opportunity for you to benefit from this project in more ways than one. Make your move now!
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