Major markets and playersFintech investments declined worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Asia-Pacific region was no exception. Although early-stage startups find it harder to attract investment, the digital payments segment proved to be resilient. In 2021, fintech industry has well recovered, securing major investment deals in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Asia-Pacific region is the largest digital payments market, with India and China proximity mobile payment users alone taking up two-thirds of the global users. Alipay is the most used digital payment app in China, operated by Ant Group, and secured a 14 billion U.S. dollar deal in 2018. While digital payment is the norm in China, Southeast Asia is quickly following with newer startups like Indonesian digital payment startup Gojek and Singapore-based internet platform Sea. Although Southeast Asia holds large underbanked populations, the main caveat was low consumer spending that resulted in lower transaction value. However, with Southeast Asia's consumer spending forecasted to grow rapidly, the fintech industry is looking to expand.