Date of publication
17/12/2021 - The Asian region is home to the highest number of online internet users, who are the demographic most keen to adapt new technologies and most comfortable with using cashless payments, crypto-assets, and digital financial services. At the same time, parts of the Asian region remain unbanked or underbanked. The rapidly growing digital innovation in finance has allowed citizens of all countries to enjoy greater accessibility to financial products and services, unlocked, for example, through smartphone applications. This underlines the significant potential that the digitalisation of financial services could have with respect to financial development and financial inclusion in such parts of Asia, and beyond.
This report examines FinTech applications and use cases in the Asian region and provides an overview of the most recent and prominent digital innovations in finance. It reviews policy tools used by jurisdictions in the region, and suggests policy responses intended to support financial innovation while ensuring that the use of such mechanisms is consistent with promoting financial stability, market integrity and competition, while protecting financial consumers.
The report can help policy makers to assess the implications of these new technologies and to identify the benefits and risks related to their use in finance in the Asian region and beyond. The exponential growth of digitally-enabled financial services and products, and the global nature of many of these applications, call for international collaboration and dialogue to promote coordinated action and policy responses to prevent regulatory arbitrage and address emerging risks.
A preliminary version of this report served as background to the discussions at the 2021 OECD Symposium on Digitalisation and Finance in Asia.