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China, India lead in fintech adoption: E&Y report

China is spearheading fintech adoption, followed by India and the United Kingdom, consulting firm EY has said in a new report.

Titled “EY FinTech Adoption Index 2017”, the report is based on a comprehensive research of 20 markets and more than 22,000 online interviews. The study has found that FinTech firms have reached a tipping point, and are poised for mainstream adoption across the 20 markets included in the report. The key highlights of the report are:

  • 33% is the average FinTech adoption globally, compared with 16% in EY’s 2015 study.
  • 46% is the average FinTech adoption across emerging markets: Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
  • 50% of consumers use FinTech money transfer and payments services, and 65% anticipate doing so in the future.
  • 64% of FinTech users prefer using digital channels to manage all aspects of their life, compared with 38% non-users.
  • 13% of consumers are regular users of five or more FinTech services (FinTech "super users").

The authors said that the highest adoption rates in China and India at 69% and 52% respectively is due to the fact that FinTech firms excel at tapping into the tech-literate, but financially underserved population, of which there are particularly high ratios in emerging countries. The rate of fintech adoption in Hong Kong, South Korea, Switzerland, France, Japan, Canada, Singapore, Ireland, and Netherlands is below the global average.

“FinTech adoption is expected to increase in all 20 markets, with a segment of current non-FinTech users shifting to FinTech services in growing numbers. On the basis of anticipated future use, FinTech adoption could increase to an average of 52% globally, with the highest intended use among consumers in South Africa, Mexico and Singapore," the report said.

The report also states that the awareness on fintech is also growing – 84% of customers are aware of FinTech services in 2017 compared with 62% in 2015. It has categorized the services under five headings – Money transfers and payments, Financial planning, Savings and investments, Borrowing, and Insurance. It said that “money transfer and payments” are driving fintech adoption.

“Money transfer and payments services remain the most widely used at 50%, with anticipated future use by 65% of consumers”, it added.

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