It is common knowledge that the APAC region has one of the world's most dynamic and fastest-growing FinTech sectors. A critical element of the FinTech sector is cashless payments and the use of alternative technology. There have been numerous reports highlighting the APAC region as essential to FinTech, backed up by emerging trends. But how does this work out in practice?


Cashless payments


A report by PwC has cast a fascinating light on this area of the banking industry, which has seen a massive change in recent years, with more to follow. These figures from the PwC report highlight the potential of cashless payment systems in the APAC region.


Number of cashless transactions in 2020


Asia-Pacific, 494 billion

Africa, 59 billion

Europe, 229 billion

Latin America, 73 billion

US/Canada, 180 billion


Forecast number of cashless transactions in 2025:-


Asia-Pacific, 1.03 trillion

Africa, 105 billion

Europe, 375 billion

Latin America, 111 billion

US/Canada, 258 billion


Forecast number of cashless transactions in 2030:-


Asia-Pacific, 1.8 trillion

Africa, 172 billion

Europe, 522 billion

Latin America, 165 billion

US/Canada, 349 billion


To put this into perspective, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for more than 50% of global cashless payments by 2025. Moreover, growth in the Far East is expected to hit 82% between 2020 and 2025 and a further 61% between 2025 and 2030. Against this background, it is easy to see why the APAC FinTech sector continues progressing at great pace.


Trends supporting growth


Several trends are emerging that support expectations of enormous growth in cashless payments across the APAC region. These include:-


Cross-border settlement


Already we have seen several Far Eastern countries working together to reinvent cross-border payment systems. Driven by consumer demand, these new systems utilise the latest technology creating a relatively low-cost base. Against this backdrop, it is difficult to see how traditional banks can compete.


Regulatory assistance


Recently, we have seen increased discussions regarding central-bank digital currencies, with the UK and the US seemingly supportive of such moves. Consequently, we can expect a degree of regulatory assistance in the short to medium term with the long-term aim of creating digital currencies worldwide. However, they will differ from cryptocurrencies in that the aspect of anonymity will probably be a trade-off against regulation and far-reaching acceptance.


Buy now, pay later


Those who acquire goods and services online will be well aware of the buy now pay later revolution, which continues despite ongoing threats of regulation. This concept has gathered widespread support across the retail sector, with 50% of consumers in the Far East comfortable with buy now pay later services.


Neobanks on the rise


While the number of Neobanks (online banking companies) continues to grow globally, there has been particular interest in the Far East. At the start of 2022, 68 Neobanks were operating across the Asia-Pacific region, with India leading the way with 14. There will be significantly more today, and they will be integral to the long-term growth in cashless payments.




It is fascinating to see the figures regarding the growth in FinTech across the Far East, especially cashless payments, which are head and shoulders above any other area of the world. This has created a hotbed for FinTech investment, and while the last 12 months may have been challenging, this is just the start of the revolution. As an investor, it is always helpful to put some meat on the bone concerning figures to back up what is seen as a consensus.

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