Mambu Asia Pacific – established in Singapore in 2016 – has well and truly earned a seat at the table after a year of transformative growth and region-wide success, culminating in taking home a coveted DigFin Innovation Award for ‘Best Core Banking Solution' and being announced a finalist at the Singapore Fintech Festival’s Global Fintech Awards.
With competition for these awards notoriously fierce, having our work acknowledged in this way is an incredibly rewarding experience for our entire APAC team. Above all else, it’s recognition that the work we’re doing in the region is making a difference and being noticed.
New leadership teams in emerging markets
2021 also saw Mambu Asia Pacific establish leadership teams in new markets, appointing GM Vietnam Minh Pham Quang, GM Thailand Kiattipong Hanthaiphondee, GM Malaysia Kevin Pu and GM Indonesia Husni Fuad over the course of the year, with new GM ANZ Paul Apolony taking the reins in Australia and New Zealand. These talented fintech leaders have all made impressive headway this year, often in markets with nascent fintech ecosystems and a long-held cultural dependence on cash.
Culturally relevant solutions
One of the key initiatives that helped elevate Mambu’s offering in the Asia Pacific region this year was the launch of our Shariah-compliant version of the platform, allowing Islamic banks – and conventional banks offering Islamic products – to comply with the tenets of Islamic faith when offering digital banking solutions. This product launch was instrumental in Mambu Asia Pacific securing a very high profile customer win, signing Malaysia’s Bank Islam, with whom we’ve worked closely all year as they work towards becoming a full service digital Islamic bank. In a region which is home to around two thirds of the world’s Muslims, ensuring our product is culturally relevant and compliant is essential for future growth.
Financial inclusion still a work in progress in Asia Pacific
Another key focus area for Mambu Asia Pacific is on the positive impact that digital banking can have on financial inclusion, with more than a billion people estimated to be excluded from, or lacking access to, the formal economy across the region. Southeast Asia experiences particularly low levels of financial inclusion, with nearly three quarters of the population either unbanked or underbanked. We see financial technology as having a pivotal role to play in enhancing financial inclusion in the region, with rapid technological change a key driver. Already we’re seeing astounding innovations, particularly in the payments space, that are opening up a whole new world of access to financial services for millions of people, with a great deal more on the horizon.
Digital adoption to continue rapid acceleration in Asia Pacific
The pace of fintech innovation across Asia Pacific over the last two years has been phenomenal, and we’re seeing banks and fintechs launching products and concepts we could only dream of just a few short years ago. While the pandemic certainly accelerated the adoption of digital banking technologies, the key driver today is really consumer demand. Consumers have had a taste of digital banking and now understand the benefits – like convenience, speed and lower cost - and they don’t want to go back to the ‘old’ ways of managing their money. With more and more countries coming on board with new regulations designed to provide a solid framework around digital banking, we’re incredibly excited about what the future holds, both for fintech innovation and for Mambu’s continued success in the Asia Pacific region.