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ASEAN needs smart regulation to boost financial inclusion

Unclear rules are hindering fintech companies from reaching millions

Indonesian cashless payments platform LinkAja is a rare example of successful alliances.   © NurPhoto/Getty Images

In Southeast Asia, there are approximately 470 million people without bank accounts, or 73% of the region, according to consultancy KPMG. While we are seeing gradual progress made in bringing this number down, governments can do more to unlock access to basic financial services for them.

Financial inclusion, where individuals and businesses get access to financial products and services, is a key enabler of reducing poverty and boosting prosperity, especially in the emerging economies of Southeast Asia like the Philippines and Indonesia.

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