With Covid affecting both lives and livelihoods, the need for credit has arguably never been greater. And companies of all shapes and sizes have rushed in to fill the void, with nearly every startup worth its salt harbouring fintech ambitions.

However, where there is great need, there are usually unscrupulous operators looking to take advantage of the desperate. In India, we saw the proliferation of Chinese lending apps Chinese lending apps The Ken India’s instant loan app crisis is made in China Read more that sought to make their fortune off the country’s most vulnerable borrowers.

The problem of unscrupulous lending apps is hardly limited to India, of course. In Southeast Asia, governments have had to crack down on illegal lenders as well. In Indonesia, the region’s most populous country, authorities have shuttered over 5,000 illegal lending apps since 2018. Indeed, between January and April of 2021, Indonesian authorities have shut down over 1,800 such lenders.

The fintech space has also seen its fair share of success stories. The BNPL, or buy now pay later, space, for instance, has gone from strength to strength. In India, the BNPL market is expected to hit US$100 billion US$100 billion The Ken Buy now, worry later: the Indiabulls Dhani spin on lending Read more in gross merchandise value by 2025. In SEA, meanwhile, the BNPL race is getting hotter by the day, with everyone from Grab and Shopee venturing into the space. Singapore-based Advance Intelligence even attained a US$2 billion valuation US$2 billion valuation The Ken The B2C engine behind Advance Intelligence Group’s US$2bn valuation Read more , largely powered by its BNPL business, Atome.

In today’s podcast, Jon Russell, Arundhati Ramanathan, and Ranjan Crasta recap the highs and lows of the fintech space over the past year. And with 2022 looming large, they get into what’s likely to make fintech headlines in the coming year as well.

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