McDermott Comment | Fintechs and Traditional Lenders Do Battle Across South-East Asia


Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan and Arvin Abraham, Singapore and London-based attorneys at law firm McDermott Will & Emery, commented:

“While regulated banks are continuing to face challenges from fintech disruptors, several of them have been adept at digitizing their offerings and also may be perceived as being more transparently regulated. However, they also face a struggle with layers of legacy technology and internal process requirements that make rapid innovation a challenge and will need to move quickly to cover underbanked parts of their target customer base which may otherwise transition towards fintech providers.”

Alfred Chia, McDermott’s Singapore-based lawyer, added:

“Areas where we see the fintechs taking more market share include share and crypto trading platforms, cross-border payments and FX, where their lower cost offerings and fast transaction speed appeal to both the consumer and business market segments. Having highly automated (and fast) client on-boarding and KYC screening processes also may help them in gaining market share both from a user-experience standpoint and because their processes may require less of the traditional account opening information that the underbanked are less likely to have. There are constraints on growth though, chief of which is regulatory compliance in entering into new markets and jurisdictions.”