Digital Landscapes Emerging in Southeast Asia
An increase of volume and value in digital-driven transactions and interactions is emerging throughout Southeast Asia and especially in the Philippines. Expedited by societal circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic, this economic development calls for platforms, services, and digital systems to automate, expand and facilitate access to financial services. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) account for 99.5% of registered businesses in the Philippines, their revenue is therefore critical to the economy’s growth. With a population that is largely unbanked or underserved by traditional financial institutions the Philippines strive to become a more financially inclusive country so that more SMEs get access to the financial services they require. At this stage of digital development, the primary Philippine regulators are therefore adopting a balanced regulatory approach focused on risk-based and proportionate regulation and consumer protection. But historically nations have utilized different regulatory strategies at various stages of their digital development which indicates that some regulatory changes could be implemented later on. As many companies have had to learn by bitter experience in recent years: When investing in systems and solutions that cater to the digital customer processes of today it is wise to ensure these are adaptable to tomorrow’s legislative changes with a minimum of further investments.