APAC financial inclusion surges forward through the power of the cloud

Policy-makers in Asia Pacific are actively developing regulatory frameworks for cloud technology, acknowledging its role in financial inclusion, a report by OMFIF and AWS finds.

Cloud computing can support more accessible, cost-effective and flexible delivery of digital financial services. The Covid-19 pandemic has created new opportunities for fintechs to provide safe and affordable financial services. Cloud can be a catalyst for developing countries to leapfrog and be the IT backbone for inclusive financial services.

Key findings:

  • A survey of Asian central banks and financial regulators found that 73% of respondents have financial inclusion as an explicit target or objective for their institution.
  • Over 90% of respondents consider innovations in digital payments as a key area where fintech has helped improve financial inclusion.
  • Three-quarters of respondents cite the need for reliable mobile infrastructure and network connectivity to process data and ensure provision of digital financial services.
  • According to 80% of respondents, cost savings in IT investment and the resultant increase in market competition are primary benefits of cloud services to financial inclusion.
  • Respondents emphasise the cardinal role of digital identity and know-your-customer mechanisms in scaling up a secure digital financial system. Nearly 70% of respondents selected this as an essential feature to increase financial inclusion and migrate customers to digital financial inclusion.

Providing the underbanked with financial services is intertwined with policies related to digital infrastructure reliability and conducive fintech ecosystems. The report finds that advances in the cloud could provide the impetus which has so far been lacking.

Cloud computing can help facilitate the digital shift of incumbent financial institutions and the market entry of new challenger fintechs alike by providing the high-volume, high-intensity computing power that supports digital financial services. It also enables scalability at a lower cost, aligning the provision of affordable products and services to significant populations of underbanked individuals and SME businesses.

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