Some key info for crypto currency companies about South East Asia market.

By Snow Under Sun | SnowUnderSun | 19 Oct 2019

ASEAN ( Association of South East Asian Nations ) is EU style union. 

here is some details and metrics ASEAN market profile and detailed overview about ASEAN fintechs. 

This data can be useful for cryptocurrency start-up who wants to penetrate ASEAN market with partnership. 



GDP : 2.6 Trillion USD

Population : 650 Million

Urbanization : %47

Median Age : 29 ( young population )

Internet Users : 350 million people

Smartphone Users : 392 million people

Social Media penetration : %55

(source : IMF & World Bank data )


ASEAN FINTECH STARTUPS METRICS ( crypto based and non-crypto )


1 - Country based figures 


No of fintechs : 490

Investment in 2017 : 142 m USD

Key Subsector  : Payments

Regulatory Sandbox : Yes



No of fintechs : 120

Investment in 2017 : 78 m USD

Key Subsector  : Payments and Remittance

Regulatory Sandbox : No



No of fintechs : 262

Investment in 2017 : 26 m USD

Key Subsector  : Mobile Pay and Alternative Lending

Regulatory Sandbox : Yes



No of fintechs : 196

Investment in 2017 : 75 m USD

Key Subsector  : Payments and Consumer Finance

Regulatory Sandbox : Yes



No of fintechs : 77

Investment in 2017 : 3 m USD

Key Subsector  : Payments

Regulatory Sandbox : No



No of fintechs : 128

Investment in 2017 : 12 m USD

Key Subsector  : Payments

Regulatory Sandbox : Yes

( source : tracxn )


2 - Revenue models and funding

Percentage of transaction : %52

Flat fee per transaction : %43

others : %5


Self funded : %45

ICO & angel investors & loans : %55


3 - Type of Fintech ( some are multitype )

Payments : %33

Lending or financing : %25

Remittance : %21

Data Analytics : %18

Blockchain - DLT : %16

Robo-advisory : %13

InsurTech : %12

CryptoCurrency : %7

Digital Identity : %5


4 - User-End Customers ( Multiple targets )

Banks / non-bank finance corps : %51

Retail Customers : %47

Start-ups : %45

Corporations : %39

Goverments : %20


5 - Average revenue of ASEAN fintechs

less than 1K USD : %19

1K to 10K : %23

10K to 50K : %25

50K to 100K : %12


Recent active ASEAN connectivity for payments & remittance.


Cross-border Innovative Payments & Financial Services


Indonesia and Thailand
Bank Indonesia & Bank of Thailand MOU signing on Payment systems and Financial Innovation.


Cambodia and Thailand
Interoperable QR Payment (Siam Commercial Bank)


Indonesia and Thailand / Intra-ASEAN
Indonesia and Thailand / Intra-ASEAN L/C Service on Enterprise Blockchain (Bangkok Bank)


Lao PDR and Thailand

Bank of Lao PDR & Bank of Thailand MOU signing on Payment systems and Financial Innovation

Joint Initiative for Cross-border QR Payment (Thanachart Bank and BCEL)

Real-time International Fund Transfer for Business using Blockchain Technology (Krungsri)


Myanmar and Thailand

Remittance powered by Everex crypto (Krungthai Bank and Shwe Bank)


Singapore and Thailand
Remittance transfer via API (DBS and KASIKORNBANK)

Cashless Experience through Cross-border QR Payment (AIS mPay, Singtel Group, KASIKORNBANK)

BeWallet Interoperable QR Payment (Bangkok Bank and UOB)


Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand
SpeedSend: Cross-border Money Transfer (CIMB Group)



The below details of the showcases from financial institutions and nonbank service providers are as follows:

Cambodia and Thailand :

1) Interoperable QR Payment Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) of Thailand has announced the development and testing of interoperable QR payment service based on EMV standard with its subsidiary in Cambodia. The service will help facilitate cross-border retail payments between individuals and merchants in the two countries. With the service, Thai tourists will be able to use their Thai mobile banking applications to scan the QR code and make payments to Cambodian merchants. With interoperable infrastructure, Cambodia and Thailand will continue to work together to expand the payment network so that cross-border QR payment can be executed from majority of banks in both countries.

Indonesia and Thailand / Intra-ASEAN :

2) L/C Service on Enterprise Blockchain Bangkok Bank (BBL) has partnered with GC Marketing Solutions Company Limited (GCM), a chemical flagship and subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical Company Limited (GC), to test trade finance transactions between Thailand and Indonesia using the Voltron Application on R3 CORDA Platform. For the test, PT. Bukitmega Masabadi, a trade partner of GCM, Indonesia, would send an electronic Letter of Credit (L/C) via Bangkok Bank’s Indonesia branch to Bangkok Bank Thailand. Adoption of L/C transactions on Enterprise Blockchain are quicker and easier than traditional means, cutting processing time and paperwork by more than half. The service will be expanded to link with other countries in ASEAN in the future.

Lao PDR and Thailand :

3) Interoperable QR Payment Thanachart Bank Public Company Limited (TBANK) and Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL) jointly developed a cross-border QR payment service between Thailand and Lao PDR. The service allows BCEL clients to make payments in Thailand in realtime by simply scanning the Thai standard QR Code of Thai merchants with their BCEL mobile banking application. In addition, TBANK’s or any other Thai banks’ clients travelling to Lao PDR can make payments at BCEL’s merchants instantly via Thai mobile banking applications linked to their home bank accounts. The service will be commercialized in the coming months. Going forward, TBANK aims to extend the cooperation with other banks in CLMV to expand its payment network.

4) Blockchain Interledger Real-time International Fund Transfer for Business Krungsri has been at the forefront of the development of blockchain-based innovation in Thai financial industry. Krungsri Blockchain Interledger is a real-time international funds transfer service for the business sector, having the capacity to send money from Lao PDR to Thailand and from Thailand to Singapore in a matter of seconds. It serves as a new payment solution to help improve competitive advantage in terms of logistics management, reducing financial cost and mitigating foreign exchange volatility risk. Krungsri Blockchain Interledger is currently being tested in the BOT’s regulatory sandbox. Myanmar and Thailand 5) Blockchain Remittance Service Krungthai Bank (KTB) of Thailand and Shwe Bank of Myanmar, in collaboration with Everex, have developed a secure, convenient and instant remittance service, using Blockchain platform, called the “Krungthai Bank and Shwe Bank Remittance powered by Everex.” The service allows customers to transfer money anywhere in Thailand and anytime with competitive foreign exchange rates, via KTB mobile banking application. Recipients in Myanmar have options to receive money by home delivery, cash pick up at Shwe Bank branches, or direct deposit to Shwe Bank accounts. The service will be officially piloted in June 2019.

Singapore and Thailand :

6) Remittance Service via API DBS and KASIKORNBANK (KBank) have jointly developed an API-based funds transfer service, the “Remittance via API: Cross-Border Payment Connectivity Platform,” that accepts remittances from Singapore to Thailand. This service is unique as it allows the sender to check whether the recipient’s account is active before making funds transfer. The system can transfer up to 1.5 million Baht in a single transaction.

7) Interoperable QR Payment AIS mPay has introduced GLOBAL Pay, a mobile wallet application that enables Thai customers with an e-wallet and, in the near future, with Thai bank accounts to make QR Code payments when they travel overseas through VIA, Asia’s first cross-border mobile payment alliance by the Singtel Group. Through VIA, customers can transact conveniently, securely and at competitive foreign exchange rates with their local mobile wallets.

8) Interoperable QR Payment Bangkok Bank (BBL) has collaborated with Thai Payment Network and UnionPay to offer QR payment service based on EMV standard. The service will enable customers to make cross-border payments through UnionPay network by using BBL BeWallet application with Be1st debit card. The service will first be available at merchants of United Overseas Bank in Singapore. Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand

9) Cross-border Money Transfer Service CIMB Group has introduced SpeedSend, the Group’s money transfer service using API technology. SpeedSend is an international remittance service offered at affordable fees and attractive rates. The service also connects the ten ASEAN countries together. This has been achieved through the adoption of API technology and establishment of partnerships and strategic alliances with financial institutions and other money transfer operators. Currently, the majority of transactions originated at CIMB Thai are money transfers to Philippines.


Payments sector is really huge market and great potential for crypto fintech startups. Non-cash transactions include remittance is significant.


1- Key Points

Global non-cash transactions volume grow %9 to %10 every year. Expected to be 2.4 trillion USD in 2020.

Accelerated in Emerging Asia ( %25.2 ) and CEMEA ( %17.1 )

Mature area markets growth rate is around %4 to %7 

Global e-wallet transactions volume was in 42 billion USD in 2016

Top20 Big Techs such as Amazon, E-bay, Alibaba, Google, Apple, etc get %71 of entire e-wallet transactions in 2016.

There is no " one-fits-all " strategy to enter or grow in the e-payments. Needs tailor-made solutions on targeted customers habits, on weak points in country profiles of payments, on culture-effected digital adoption differencies.

Cards and fiat based e-wallets are still dominant in the market but crypto-based ones increased at helluva rate. In BNP Paribas research, crypto based payments & remittance transactions will have %11 market penetration in 2025. Sub-saharan Africa, South East Asia and mid-south America will get lion's share on it.



2 - Key Regulations and Indusry Initiatives ( KRII )

Regulatory sandboxes and initiatives by industry will have major impact in sector between 2019 to 2021.  Take a look at below infographic. Also expected some steps from FATF & FinCen.




here is also another chart for in different point of view.


3- Weak Points in Crypto based / DLT payments & remittance. (CapGemini research 2018 )

Lack of interoperability of standarts : %85

Lack of vision due the key positions occupied by IT : %83

Lack of clarity in regulations : %83

Scalability : %77

Security : %66

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Snow Under Sun
Snow Under Sun

A westerner in Thailand. Previously,13 years Sales Executive in a Forbes 500 company and 6 years HR executive in a multinational company. Crypto trader since 2015.


A westerner in Thailand. Crypto trader since 2015. Previously Sales Executive in a forbes 500 company.

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