Consumers in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia say they are among the most ready in the world to embrace a cash-free, Fintech future, whereas in Japan and other markets surveyed, consumers are taking more of a wait-and-see approach, even while recognizing the appeal of select solutions.
Those are some of the conclusions reached in a survey by LINE Corporation released today, exploring attitudes towards and trust in financial technology (Fintech) through a survey of 5,000 smartphone users in seven key markets. The survey looked at consumers in the company’s four major markets of Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia, plus Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, these markets revealed a major opportunity for the wider adoption of Fintech if the challenges of consumers’ low awareness and access to products can be overcome.
A world primed for Fintech
Of those products and services that respondents would be most willing to use a mobile or app- based service to access, savings accounts (65%), money/wire transfers (57%), current accounts (48%) and insurance (48%) were the most popular options given. Life insurance (65%), travel insurance (58%) and home insurance (50%) were selected the top types of insurance respondents wanted to access in this way.
Regions vary widely in readiness for Fintech
While respondents in each market had different interests and concerns, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia all stood out as being particularly interested in a digital financial future. When asked about the prospect of their market becoming “cash-free”, all three answered well above the survey average of 37%: In Thailand, 57% of respondents said they were “excited” about going cash-free, followed by Indonesia at 56% and Taiwan at 52%. Korea also answered positively, at 45%.
Those markets also responded more positively to purchasing financial products through a mobile- based service. While overall 65% of survey respondents would open a savings account over a mobile app, Thailand led with 83%, then Indonesia at 77% and Taiwan at 69% (Korea also did well, at 75%).
Japan in particular remains behind most developed nations when it comes to cashless payments, but as the government tries to move the country away from its dependence on cash, this is an area with much potential for growth.
The UK, US and Japan were also behind the survey averages for being willing to use mobile to buy Fintech services. Japan had the lowest percentage of respondents say they would be willing to open a savings account, at 49%, then the US at 53% and the UK at 57% (survey average 65%). For making investments over mobile, however, the UK was last at 28%, followed by the US and Japan at 37%, closer to the survey average of 45%.
Japan unhappy with present options, but awareness low on new ones
Compared to Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan, Japan finished last by far among the surveyed markets in terms of trusting and understanding Fintech. Just 38% of respondents saying they trusted Fintech, versus a survey average of 63%. Only 22% reported being knowledgeable of Fintech, versus an average of 44%.