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Publication date: 20 Sep 2022

IDC: Challenger Banks to Reach US$524 Billion Loan Disbursement in Asia/Pacific* by 2026


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Online-Only Challenger Banks are Thriving in Asia/Pacific, Benefitting from Accommodative Policy and Positive Reception Towards Digital Payments

SINGAPORE, September 21, 2022 – In a recent IDC report titled, Asia/Pacific Challengers in 2022: The Road Ahead, IDC estimates that by 2026, established and upcoming challengers will be able to disburse US$ 524.4 billion of loans, or a 1.4% share of the Asia/Pacific household loan market.

As the pandemic shifted most of the world's financial services interaction to digital, online-only challenger banks had found success in customer acquisition, transaction activity, and revenue, yet the growth is only beginning.

"Despite the nuances across the market, one common theme we found across Asia/Pacific is that most countries are accommodative towards digital payments, and this is reflected in their national policies and massive growth in mobile payment methods like e-wallets," says Adam Kamarul, Market Analyst for Financial Insights, IDC Asia/Pacific.

The hurdle now, IDC finds, is to convert this growth into corresponding long-term, sustainable revenue. The outcomes are mixed in the region. Some challengers manage to turn a large depositors base into growing revenue, while others fail and cease operations within a few years of their launch. Differentiating factors include a strategy for revenue generation, managing expectations of individual and business customers, and methods of market localization.

Challenger banks should consider the following to thrive in the Asia/Pacific region:

  • Utilize localization, alternative data, and intelligent risk models to deliver personalization at scale
  • Iterate products, apps, and systems rapidly based on customer feedback
  • Diversify and reinvent revenue streams beyond traditional and fee-driven banking
  • Venture into new sectors via data-driven partnerships with non-bank industries to unlock new customer segments via innovative offerings

"The region offers a large addressable market for online-only financial services. By offering banking solutions to underserved SMEs or populations without access to a bank branch, challengers are already winning the market share," ends Kamarul.

The IDC report, Asia/Pacific Challengers in 2022: The Road Ahead (IDC #AP47795421), discusses the key development of challenger banks in Asia/Pacific and examines the cost structure and unique revenue channels that they pursue. It then explores key drivers to growth in the region through its vast addressable market, solid payments infrastructure, and reception towards super-apps. The report further highlights how challengers transform customers' experience and upend the traditional banking industry, short-term risks ahead for challengers, and key advice in navigating these risks.

For more information on this IDC Perspective document, please get in touch with Adam Kamarul at For media inquiries, please contact Miguel Carreon at or Michael de la Cruz at

*Asia/Pacific excluding Japan


About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,300 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDCAP and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights