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Deloitte Launches <"The Next Wave" Emerging Digital Life in South and Southeast Asia > Report At Ant Group’s INCLUSION Fintech Conference

Report publishes the first ever Digital Life Index of South and Southeast Asia

Shanghai, 25 September - Deloitte launched <"The Next Wave" Emerging Digital Life in South and Southeast Asia > Report today at the INCLUSION Fintech Conference, organized by Ant Group and Alipay to foster a global dialogue on building a more inclusive, green, and sustainable world through digital technology.

Through an extensive survey conducted across age groups in eight countries in South and Southeast Asia, specifically Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the report showed that consumers aged between 21 and 40 years old are the leading force enabling the rapid adoption of a digital life in the region in the post Covid-19 world.

Speaking at one of the media forums on Day 2 of INCLUSION, Taylor Lam, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Leader at Deloitte China, said: “Young and vibrant economies in South and Southeast Asia are rapidly becoming the ‘next wave’ of future leaders in digital economy. The combination of a relatively large, young, unbanked and underbanked population, high mobile penetration and supportive local governments has helped the region leapfrog in its digital infrastructure and innovations, which has accelerated the adoption of digital payment and the expansion of daily digital life scenarios in the region.”

“Through our research, we have seen great potential for these digital economies to continue maturing and become more inclusive, more convenient and secure, and more sustainable, which will benefit their recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Key regional insights:

1. Digital payment as a key enabler is creating and connecting the digital life for consumers, making a fundamental shift in how people live, work and play.


Chart: Portrait of Digital Payment in South and Southeast Asia

  • Since the outbreak of Covid-19, about 78% of the research participants indicated that they have experienced some increases in the usage of digital services, in which 41% indicated a surge.
    • Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia are the top three countries seeing the highest increase in usage. 
  • Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia are the top three most active countries in using digital payment. 
  • Top three most common daily life scenarios where consumers choose to use digital payment are:
    • e-commerce/m-commerce (70%)
    • peer-to-peer transfer (69%) 
    • in-store purchase (62%) 
  • Majority of digital payment transactions are small in value, 67% of research participants indicated that the average value per transaction is less than USD30 per person. This indicates that digital payment has penetrated consumers' daily life and has become the mainstream to meet their everyday needs. 
  • Top three reasons why consumers opt to use e-wallet include: 
    • Convenience (77%)
    • Contactless (69%)
    • Value-added benefits and promotions (9%)

2. Consumers in South and Southeast Asia enjoy the breadth and depth of daily life scenarios supported by digital services.

Chart: Four Major Digital Payment Application Scenarios in South and Southeast Asia

Top five most popular mobile apps among consumers in the region are:

  • Entertainment
    • Social media (79%)
    • Music/video streaming (50%)
  • E-commerce/m-commerce (74%)
    • Convenience, Product variety and Low price are the top three reasons for consumers to choose to shop online
  • Daily life services (59%)
    • Ride-hailing, News and Books and Workplace Collaboration are the top three most often used mobile apps in the category
  • Financial services (45%)
    • Mobile banking and digital payment are the most used mobile apps in the category

3. Driven by the rising digital payment adoption and richness in daily digital life scenarios, South and Southeast Asia region is presenting an exciting digital future.

Chart: Digital Life Leaders in South and Southeast Asia

Regional Digital Life Index is developed based on the research and on a series of parameters including mobile penetration, internet maturity and penetration, digital payment maturity, e-commerce maturity, social media activeness and local government support.

  • Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are the “Digital Life Leaders”, leading the race across all parameters 
  • Thailand and the Philippines stood out as the "Digital Life follower" 
    • Thailand shows a high level of mobile penetration, social media activeness, digital payment and e-commerce maturity
    • The Philippines is leading in digital payment adoption, especially peer-to-peer transfers and gaming industry
  • India is classified as the "Digital Life Potential", leading in the space of cybersecurity
  • Bangladesh and Pakistan are considered "Digital Life Catcher "

This report is produced by Deloitte in partnership with the INCLUSION Fintech Conference. Assembled at the event are the leading enterprises, experts and scholars of the financial and technology communities, to discuss global cooperation and innovations in the fields of finance, economy, commerce and environment.

About Inclusion Fintech Conference

The INCLUSION Fintech Conference was officially announced in January 2020 to bring together the global financial and technology communities, to envision a world that is more inclusive, green, and sustainable through digital technology. The inaugural three-day conference in Shanghai, to be held September 24-26, 2020, will feature over 40 forums, with keynotes and panels covering major themes such as the global digital economy, digital finance, innovative technology, and sustainability.

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