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Digital loans gaining acceptance

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, people requested $51-100 most often (26 percent). Meanwhile, Filipinos and Indonesians needed less than $50: 40 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

Komfie Manalo



FINTECH is putting digital loans within the reach of even non-techies. / W. Commons

The fintech-holding Robocash Group has revealed insights regarding borrowing patterns of customers during the last Chinese New Year festivities in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The findings showed that even though it is still not common to borrow money to celebrate the season, the situation is changing. Thus, if only 21 percent of respondents in the Philippines borrowed funds with such purpose in the past, then already 41 percent were going to do so this year.

Highly appreciated across the countries, the Chinese (Lunar) New Year is one of the most significant events in a year. At the same time, most people prefer to celebrate it staying within their budget, without attracting additional money for that purpose.

In particular, about two-thirds (65 percent) out of 600 respondents interested in alternative lending in these three countries said that they had never borrowed money to celebrate the New Year in previous years. Still, there are some differences between the markets.

Indonesia and the Philippines have determined the results heavily.

According to the World Fact Book, 87 percent of the population in Indonesia is Muslim, while 93 percent of Filipinos are Christian. In this sense, religious holidays such as Idul Fitri for the first and Christmas for the second are more meaningful.

At the same time, there is a common belief that it is not good to borrow anything in advance of a new year. As a result, only 21 percent of respondents in these two countries could waive such beliefs in the past.

Vietnam, with its strong traditions of large-scale celebrations of the Tet Holiday, stands in contrast. In particular, only 36 percent of the respondents in Vietnam had never borrowed anything in the past because of it.

To celebrate the event, people requested $51-100 most often (26 percent). Meanwhile, Filipinos and Indonesians needed less than $50: 40 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

At the same time, the poll revealed that the situation has started to change. If only 35 percent of Asians borrowed in advance of the New Year in the past, then already 49 percent were going to do so this time.

All countries confirmed the tendency. Thus, 28 percent of the surveyed in Indonesia is going to borrow this year. In the Philippines 41 percent and Vietnam 78 percent. Interestingly, Filipinos asked for higher advances of $51-100 (30 percent), while respondents in Vietnam intended to borrow this year less than before, no more than $50 (27 percent).

All of these points can be associated with the increasing consumption and development of alternative lending in the region. Traditionally, people have addressed friends and relatives for extra funds.

They still provide the main help for one-third of respondents in these countries (33 percent). At the same time, a notable second place has gone to alternative options, with a particular focus on non-banking online lending.

Digital borrowings have become usual for 21 percent of all respondents in Asia. In the future, with an advance in technologies and an increase in incomes of people, the segment will only grow its significance across the whole region.

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