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by Michael Stemmle

For vendors looking to tap the growth in demand for digital across various Asian markets, catering to different needs and tastes is crucial to be able to provide something relevant and of value to each type of institution.

As the next generation of wealthy Asians increasingly look to divest family businesses, they are expected to demand more from their wealth managers in terms of quality of service. To succeed under this spotlight, institutions inevitably have to turn to digital ways of doing business – just as their counterparts have been doing elsewhere in the world. If they don’t, they risk losing out to the competition.

For technology firms engaged in building digital offerings for banks and wealth managers on a global scale, therefore, this presents new exciting prospects. Yet there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the Asian landscape, plus the region’s markets are all at quite different stages of development.

As a result, these vendors must understand and cater to the crucial differences in terms of why banks want to leverage technology, depending on where they are located.

For example, at the crux of it, digital strategies in Europe are driven by a desire to cut costs and ramp up profit. By contrast, in Asia, digitisation is for the most part led by the need to reach out to as many people as possible, and quickly. Local markets across South-east Asia, for example, are a case in point – with wealth management in its infancy, a large chunk of the population lacks access to traditional banking services.

“In Asia, it depends on the market and territory. If you look at the Philippines, there is a huge segment that is underbanked, so digitisation helps to solve those particular problems,” says Michael Stemmle, founder and Chief Executive Officer of additiv.

In the more developed wealth hub of Singapore, meanwhile, the drivers for digitalization are competition, cost and differentiation, he explains. Banks also need to meet customers’ growing demands for an enhanced experience.


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