The global financial sector is scaling at a rapid pace as it is undergoing a digital transformation, fueled by new technology, shifting customer behavior, and disruptive fintech competition. The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent desire for further digitization have boosted the need for better technology in the industry.
However, in the Southeast Asian region, home to an estimated 661 million people, only 52.64 percent of these people have bank accounts. This is mainly due to the lack of financial inclusion in the region. Financial inclusion refers to the ability of individuals and families to access and use basic financial services, such as savings accounts or credit, regardless of their income levels or location.
Cloud banking is the technology that can enhance financial inclusion in Southeast Asia and has the potential to help banks and financial services providers to provide better services to the underserved population of the region.
How can cloud banking enhance financial inclusion?
Cloud computing uses shared resources and virtualization to improve financial inclusion by providing the infrastructure that allows banks to offer their services at a lower cost, making them more accessible to individuals with low incomes.
Financial institutions benefit from their flexibility, scalability, and operational resilience. It enables them to provide underserved and unbanked areas with cost-effective digital financial services like money transfers, loans, and insurance. It also allows for cost-effective scaling, facilitating the supply of inexpensive products and services to large numbers of unbanked consumers and small companies.
By allowing more significant innovation, cloud computing may help to promote financial inclusion and drive economic and social progress. Companies like Amazon Web Services(AWS) also assist financial companies across the area with their infrastructure needs and provide advanced payment options. At the same time, others are using this to empower small and medium businesses, lowering bureaucratic hurdles and developing new growth models.
Policymakers around this region are enacting forward-thinking policies to boost digital finance innovation. Some nations’ regulators have put in place principles-based outsourcing frameworks to allow cloud service providers to provide novel infrastructure services.
Cloud advancements may give the drive that has so far been absent. Cloud computing can aid incumbent financial institutions’ digital transformations as well as new challenger fintech’s market debut by delivering high-volume, high-intensity computing capacity that enables digital financial services.
Cloud banking is a cutting-edge technology that can enhance financial inclusion in Southeast Asia by offering many advantages for both banks and customers. It allows banks to operate with less capital because they do not need expensive infrastructures like servers and buildings. It also provides more convenience for customers because they can do their transactions from anywhere at any time with an internet connection.
In the past, banks had to invest heavily in infrastructures such as data centers and servers. But with cloud banking, they can use shared resources and pay only for what they need. This makes it possible for banks to offer their services at a lower price point and reach more customers who may not be able to afford traditional banking services.
Although banks have been hesitant to migrate to the cloud due to worries about security and privacy, policymakers have been cautious about the cloud’s potential for aggregated risk. However, in recent years, these challenges have been rectified, and Cloud computing is increasingly considered just as secure as on-premise computing.