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The Thriving FinTech Scene in ASEAN’s Luxury Market

16 November 2023

Often touted as the region currently experiencing the highest economic growth by many experts, ASEAN has seen steady movement upward before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. With such growth comes increased buying power, especially in the hands of the increasingly affluent middle class.

Along with ASEAN countries undergoing significant amounts of digitalisation to their retail and trade infrastructures, many innovative FinTech models such as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), as well as online and contactless payment apps such as LINE Pay, Grab Financial and TrueMoney in ASEAN have reared their heads to push the boundaries of consumer purchasing alongside more traditional purposes, such as foreign salary remittance. One such market benefitting from these regional changes would be the luxury goods market in ASEAN, with demand for luxury goods in India and Southeast Asia predicted to be holding around 10 to 11% growth level, according to insights from our SPEEDA Expert Network Service. 

Consumer Trends in ASEAN 

Changing cultural trends and attitudes drive demands for different products in different ways. Due to the popularity of concepts amongst working millennials, such as social consciousness and the innate need to pursue unique experiences, the ability of luxury brands and their marketing to fulfil this niche has seen beneficial results in driving demand for luxury goods.

Behind this demand for luxury goods is the increased buying capabilities of the middle class in ASEAN. Due to the increasing affluence of the middle class in the fast-growing economies of ASEAN, many more consumers are now able to afford luxury goods at an increasing rate. Along with the digitalisation of finance in the form of cashless and BNPL schemes, accessing the luxury goods market has never been easier for ASEAN’s fast-growing middle class.

With ASEAN nations affording much more financial mobility for their citizens, the desire for ethically sourced and unique products that the luxury markets offer has proven attractive for these newcomers to the market, encouraging increases in consumption and trade around the region.

FinTech Influence on Consumer Finance in ASEAN

The growing ubiquity of FinTech models and their attractiveness to consumers is another point to consider when taking into account the fast-growing economy of the ASEAN region. FinTech and digitisation has allowed for less cumbersome and more seamless money transfers for purposes such as money remittance and overseas purchasing.

One FinTech model at the forefront of this movement is the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) model offered in many FinTech money transfer platforms like GrabPay. Furthermore, dedicated apps like Hoolah, Atome, and VNPay offer yet more opportunities to finance luxury goods for aspirant consumers of the middle class.

Unlike credit cards that typically charge late fees and high interest rates, BNPL models charge way lower, if not zero, late and interest fees. This makes it an affordable and attractive financing model for tech-savvy millennial consumers looking to acquire luxury goods, be it for personal collections or resale.

With smaller administrative fees and instantaneous approval at checkout, FinTech presents many appealing aspects that invite increased purchasing behaviours that serve to drive the luxury market amongst many others in ASEAN. 


A huge portion of the factors elevating ASEAN’s involvement in consumption and trade would be the thriving FinTech scene playing off the increased buying power of its growing middle class. Moreover, the digitalisation and rising digital literacy of millennial consumers also contribute to a rise in luxury purchases in the markets. 

With this increase in buying power and disposable income, consumers are all the more emboldened to purchase and consume at a higher rate, enabled and bolstered by the leniency and viability of FinTech models such as BNPL. 

For those looking to glean more insights or involve themselves in the thriving FinTech and luxury market in ASEAN, consider tapping into the valuable information sourced from reports by SPEEDA. As a leading business and industry data platform widely trusted in ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and beyond, SPEEDA provides the competitive edge and market intelligence you need to thrive in this dynamic landscape.

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