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The Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP), a non-profit established by Temasek Trust, in partnership with Helicap and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), has developed “Financial Inclusion in Post-COVID Southeast Asia: Accelerating Impact Beyond Access”, the first-ever impact-focused financial inclusion report in the region.
This study aims to build on existing research to understand the impact of different types of Financial Services Providers (FSPs), including traditional non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) and FinTechs, who are working to expand access to financial services, specifically credit, in Southeast Asia.
1. Credit access has improved the quality of life for nearly 9 in 10 (89%) FSP customers in Southeast Asia. About 8 in 10 benefited from income increases (78%) and improved ability to face major expenses (76%).
2. There is a large, untapped market in Southeast Asia and great potential to catalyse investments to deliver financial inclusion to the region’s unserved and underserved.
3. FSPs are innovating to address barriers to credit access. This includes expanding availability and reach through new digital channels and partnerships, improving product-market fit by tailoring products to customers’ specific needs, implementing embedded financing methods, and addressing gaps in financial literacy among customers.
4. FSP innovations are being achieved alongside a focus on commercial returns and long-term financial viability.
5. There remains opportunity for further impact. Key recommendations include ensuring digital equity, providing holistic services beyond credit, and developing segment-specific approaches to build customer capacity.