Burn the rulebook: How to succeed in low-income banking
Asia’s low-income banking segment is hyped as a vast opportunity with billions in untapped revenue. But the deeper story isn’t about revenue. Shareholders want high profitability and efficiency, both of which are impossible using conventional products and operating models.
However, the prospects for the segment are shifting as low-cost, digital-first models increasingly allow banks to tap into strong earnings from the underserved segments of Asia’s emerging markets. These models leverage unconventional partners, micro-branches, agent networks, data analytics, mobile and emerging technologies—all customised to each market to maximise business efficiency and scalability. With the right execution, these unconventional approaches sidestep the largest historical obstacles to profitability in this sector—slashing the cost of operations, distribution and collections.
This opinion piece makes use of several real examples to illustrate how creativity and agility can help banks reach Asia’s underserved segment, particularly in India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It argues, contrary to traditional assumptions, that the segment has become potentially profitable, sparking client conversations and helping to demonstrate Accenture’s expertise in Asia’s financial services markets.