Driving improvements in the digital space, 5G has accelerated financial inclusion in emerging markets in Asia. Analysts of the financial holding Robocash Group forecast that with its help, about 3 million of the unbanked and underbanked will get access to financial services in both Vietnam and the Philippines by 2025. Indonesia will have 9-11 million, and India – 60 million.

Smartphone penetration rising in APAC annually by 10.8% on average is one of the main drivers for the commercial adoption of 5G. The extensive adoption of mobile phones and Internet penetration stimulates the progress of Asia in this field. Statista reports that, with an increase in the number of smartphone users in Indonesia to 89.9 million by 2022, the penetration rate will grow from 26% in 2018 to 33% in 2023. In Vietnam, the share of smartphone users will rise from 34% in 2018 to 40% by 2021. The Philippines are predicted to show the same rate (40%), up from 32% in 2018. India may expect to have 36% of smartphone users in the country by 2022, i.e. 10% more than in 2018.

With insufficient access to banks among the population, advanced mobile solutions and digital background have facilitated the development of alternative lending across the region. Thus, according to the report by Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, South-East Asia had the highest overall volume of $2.19 billion within the online alternative finance market in APAC (excluding China) in 2018.

At the same time, with the active use of 5G in the development of the Internet of things, the unbanked and underbanked are expected to see even more opportunities. The new layer of information on them can become a significant addition to the existing alternative data sources and machine learning methods. As a result, the efficiency of scoring of such customers will improve too. Company analysts think that the expansion of 5G itself can add 5% on average to an annual increase in disbursements in macro-regional alternative lending.

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