FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, China

Chinese fintech companies are tapping on Asia's unbanked

Indonesia and other Southeast Asian markets are the target markets.

As China’s mobile payments giants Alipay and WeChat Pay scramble to conquer the Hong Kong market, the country’s lesser known fintech companies are also turning their formidable digital expertise to capture the opportunities in Southeast Asian markets, according to a report from South China Morning Post. 

Also read: Asia beats Europe in developing new payments technologies

For instance online consumer finance platform WeShare is applying for a P2P license from Bank Rakyat Indonesia as it brings its digital arsenal into 'laggard' Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia where 51% of the population remains without a bank account

“This is where Chinese fintech companies can export their capabilities in Southeast Asian markets, such as using artificial intelligence in areas such as anti-fraud and credit investigation,” Zhang was cited in South China Morning Post. 

Using WeShare's technology, Indonesian lenders can improve and streamline their debt collection operations.

China's e-commerce giants, Alipay and WeChat Pay, enjoy high patronage in their home turf after handling a whopping $5.9t in Mainland spending in Q4, according to Bloomberg data. Both companies are seeking to conquer the regional banking scene with Ant Financial already moving to tap into the underbanked population of Thailand and the Philippines. 

"JPMorgan every year, as we speak, processes through our QuickPay 94 million payments," said Jing Ulrich, vice chairman Asia Pacific at JPMorgan in an earlier interview with CNBC. "But Tencent, the Chinese company, over Chinese New Year, in five days processed 46 billion payments. Basically that means 800 million payments per hour."

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