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E-wallet fintechs prosper in the Philippines by targeting the unbanked

Covid-19 restrictions forced many people to adopt digital solutions, just as companies started offering cheaper financial products

SINGAPORE'S well-capitalised digital banks have made a splash lately with targeted offerings to wrest market share from the incumbents. The real change, however, is taking place with much less aplomb across South-east Asia - where niche fintechs are finding a newly receptive audience for their digital products.

In the Philippines, bank account ownership has almost doubled over the last two years - rising to 56 per cent in 2021 from 29 per cent in 2019 - going by the findings of the biennial Financial Inclusion Survey for 2021 by the Philippine central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Account openings were driven, in part, by movement restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced...

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