Liberal and lefties love to attack the big tech companies like monopolistic players that are eating the lunch of small business, in both rich and poor countries.
Nothing can be more wrong.
The tech is empowering small business, often led by woman and minorities, in reaching a much bigger audience for their product and services. The most striking examples of how big tech players are improving the life of small entrepreneurs are in poor countries, including South East Asia, thanks to new super app like Grab or Go-Jek.
The Financial Times reported recently the story of Ruri Ruthyaty, the owner of a food stall in Jakarta, Indonesia.
A year ago, as a typical market seller, she would place her fish and vegetable dishes on banana leaves on the front counter and wait for customers to walk by.
Then she signed up with Grab, a food delivery and digital payment start up, that is one of the leader of Asia fintech scene. Now her food is delivered to diners on the back of motorbikes around Jakarta. Her accounting system, has evolved from a pen and scrap of paper to an automatically updated digital log.
Clients who use to hand over cash now pay with an app.
And as the revenues increased Grab financial partner, offered Ruri a loan to open a new stall. Grab had already all the information it needed about her creditworthiness through the app logging her business transactions….
This story captures the transformative effect that financial technology is having across South East Asia, a region of 655 people in 11 countries. Small business, always underserved by the incumbent banks, have fund an unlikely ally in fintech and delivery apps, that are supporting them in their expansion.
Asia expansions has been harmed in the past by an inefficient and expensive service offered by Banks and financial institutions.
A survey of 4,5000 banking customers in South East Asia conducted this year by PWC, found that the proportion experiencing problems with their banks was 82% in HK, 71% in Singapore and 65% in Malaysia.
More fintech welcome….