With the end of celebrations of the Chinese New Year, the fintech holding Robocash Group reveals insights at some borrowing patterns of fintech customers during the festive season in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. The findings show that even though it is still not common to borrow money to celebrate the season, the situation is changing. Thus, if only 21% of respondents in the Philippines borrowed funds with such purpose in the past, then already 41% were going to do so this year.

Highly appreciated across the countries, the Chinese (Lunar) New Year is one of the most significant events in a year. At the same time, most people prefer to celebrate it staying within their budget, without attracting additional money for that purpose. In particular, about two-thirds (65%) out of 600 respondents interested in alternative lending in these three countries said that they had never borrowed money to celebrate the New Year in previous years. Still, there is some difference between the markets.
Indonesia and the Philippines have determined the results heavily. According to the World Fact Book, 87% of the population in Indonesia is Muslim, while 93% of Filipinos are Christian. In this sense, religious holidays such as Idul Fitri for the first and Christmas for the second are more meaningful. At the same time, there is a common belief that it is not good to borrow anything in advance of a new year. As a result, only 21% of respondents in these two countries could waive such beliefs in the past.
Vietnam, with its strong traditions of large-scale celebrations of the Tet Holiday, stands in contrast. In particular, only 36% of the respondents in Vietnam had never borrowed anything in the past because of it. To celebrate the event, people requested $51-100 most often (26%). Meanwhile, Filipinos and Indonesians needed less than $50: 40% and 41%, respectively.

At the same time, the poll revealed that the situation started to change. If only 35% of Asians borrowed in advance of the New Year in the past, then already 49% were going to do so this time. All countries confirmed the tendency. Thus, 28% of the surveyed in Indonesia were going to borrow this year. In the Philippines – 41% and Vietnam – 78%. Interestingly, Filipinos said to ask for higher advances of $51-100 (30%), while respondents in Vietnam intended to borrow this year less than before – no more than $50 (27%).

All of these points can be associated with the increasing consumption and development of alternative lending in the region. Traditionally, people have addressed friends and relatives for extra funds. They still provide the main help for one-third of respondents in these countries (33%). At the same time, a notable second place has gone to alternative options, with a particular focus on non-banking online lending. Digital borrowings have become usual for 21% of all respondents in Asia. In the future, with an advance in technologies and increase in incomes of people, the segment will only grow its significance across the whole region.

Robocash Group is an international financial group operating in the segments of consumer alternative lending and marketplace funding in Europe and Asia. The company develops robotic financial services providing micro consumer lending to customers in Russia, Kazakhstan, Spain, Indonesia, Vietnam and India and operates its own EU-based P2P investment platform. The group develops products completely in-house using artificial intelligence, machine learning and data-driven technologies to provide precise and comprehensive risk management, comfort and speed for customers and efficiency for business.