Unlock your phone and pick the top five apps you use daily.
There is a high chance that more than one would offer financial services within their platform. It could be the e-commerce app you transacted on after their latest monthly sale or the digital wallet you use to pay your monthly bills with.
According to the 2020 e-Conomy SEA Report, the regional internet economy is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24 per cent to reach US$300 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) by 2025.
Digital financial services are expected to mirror this growth to support the increase in GMV.
Soon, you will see more apps offering in-app payments or direct bank transfers. Your e-commerce platform could even have the ability to offer short-term loans for your purchases.
Your digital footprint
With the rise of digital financial services, your online footprint would be as (if not more) important than your offline one. However, managing the former is easier said than done.
With a multitude of companies offering financial services, you could easily lose track of your online finances. Did you remember how much you paid for last month’s mobile plan?
Therefore, our current digital footprint is highly fragmented.
While we have our data scattered across a variety of platforms, there is no link between them due to the lack of suitable infrastructure to facilitate it.
This results in individuals and companies not having the necessary access to our financial data such that we, as consumers, can benefit from it.
Due to the lack of clarity over our digital footprint, companies are unable to accurately profile the financial position of individuals and offer appropriate financial solutions.
For example, as a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform does not have access to the payrolls of its applicants, it is unable to ascertain they have a recurring income.
It would, on that basis, deduce they have a reduced ability to repay and therefore generate a poor credit score that would deny them the loan.
While this may seem unfair, it is the reality. However, this is through no fault of the financial companies.
It is a consequence of an industry that is siloed in nature and not receptive towards the exchange of financial data.
Changes are coming
Thankfully, the financial services industry is changing its attitude towards data exchange.
Led by the efforts of regulators to embrace the benefits of Open Finance (the secured and consented exchange of financial data between platforms that bring about benefits for the end-user), financial institutions are unlocking their vaults of data.
The Indonesian financial services authority (OJK) has encouraged the push towards an Open Finance ecosystem with the release of its 2025 Indonesia Payment System Blueprint.
To enable consumers to benefit from their financial data, OJK is implementing an Open API framework to connect fintech companies with incumbent financial institutions such as banks.
With plans in place to develop the necessary infrastructure to support Open Finance, fragmented sources of financial data can finally be linked. This move is set to bring a host of benefits for consumers like you and me.
First off, we can better manage our digital finances.
With a centralised dashboard where we can track anything from our monthly phone and utility bills to the latest e-commerce purchase, we can stay in charge of our finances and make data-driven decisions regarding it, enabling us to improve our financial wellbeing.
Besides, we will be able to gain access to financial services which are customised to our needs.
With a better understanding of your digital footprint, companies can tailor their offerings to your financial needs and offer more suitable products and services.
For instance, with access to your payroll and credit history, a more holistic and accurate credit score can be generated and lending platforms can offer better terms than before.
Going beyond improved management of one’s digital finances and access to better financial services, consumers can also look forward to a more frictionless and stress-free experience.
Manual forms and submission of documents will be a thing of the past. With Open Finance, companies can pre-fill forms with information from other platforms and accelerate the onboarding process.
The future of financial services
The arrival of Open Finance into Southeast Asia is a move that will ultimately benefit consumers the most.
With more personalised products and seamless experiences, the future of financial services will put the needs of customers at the core of everything.
Finantier is the enabler for this to happen. We build the infrastructure that, with your consent, securely connects financial companies to your financial data.
We put the power of data back into the hands of users and ensure they benefit from what is uniquely theirs.
You would not notice us on your financial platforms. Instead, we are working hard in the background connecting your financial data.
Ask your financial platform if they are using us, so you can own and benefit from your data.