‘MALAYSIA IS IN­TER­EST­ING TEST-BED FOR FIN­TECH’

MDEC build­ing ecosys­tem with key stake­hold­ers to help star­tups grow suc­cess­fully

New Straits Times - - Business -

FARAH ADILLA

KUALA LUMPUR farah.adilla@nst.com.my

MALAYSIA is an in­ter­est­ing test-bed for fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy (fin­tech) so­lu­tions and prod­ucts to launch in South­east Asia, said Malaysia Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Corp

(MDEC) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk

Yas­min Mah­mood.

“The coun­try has a good mix of pop­u­la­tion in the ur­ban, subur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas, which caters to a va­ri­ety of tar­get mar­ket for fin­here, tech play­ers and in­no­va­tors.

“Build­ing on its back­bone as one of the global key play­ers in Is­lamic fi­nance, Malaysia’s unique propo­si­tion is that fin­tech play­ers will be able to launch and serve a dif­fer­ent mar­ket.

“This in­cludes fin­tech star­tups and com­pa­nies who pre­vi­ously have yet to en­ter fin­tech in­dus­try for Is­lamic fi­nance, where they can test and launch syariah-com­pli­ant prod­ucts in Malaysia for the re­gion as well global mar­ket,” she said at Finnovasia KL 2017 Con­fer­ence, yes­ter­day.

“While fin­tech is still a new space, it will not stop MDEC from cre­at­ing an or­gan­ised fin­tech ecosys­tem that un­der­stands how en­gage­ment with start-ups, in­vestors, and other in­no­va­tors from around the world builds value,” said Yas­min.

“MDEC is build­ing the fin­tech ecosys­tem with the key stake­hold­ers and we are en­cour­aged by the sup­port of our reg­u­la­tors like Bank Ne­gara Malaysia and Se­cu­ri­ties Com­mis­sion (SC) who are here to­day to help fin­tech star­tups in Malaysia grow suc­cess­fully,” she said.

Her state­ment was echoed by Bank Ne­gara di­rec­tor of fi­nan­cial sec­tor de­vel­op­ment depart­ment Az­nan Ab­dul Aziz who said Malaysia was very uniquely po­si­tioned as a test-bed for in­no­va­tive and tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions for the emerg­ing mar­kets.

“We are ranked highly among the top coun­tries for the de­vel­op­ment of Is­lamic fi­nance and we are recog­nised for our pas­sion and com­mit­ment to ad­vance fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion agenda.”

Az­nan said Malaysian con­sumer pro­files and chal­lenges were sim­i­lar to those in the emerg­ing mar­kets — a mid­dlein­come coun­try with re­spectable gross do­mes­tic prod­uct growth of four to five per cent per an­num and a size­able pop­u­la­tion of about 30 mil­lion with high mo­bile Internet growth pen­e­tra­tion.

“As such, Malaysia pro­vides such an ideal con­sumer base.”

Az­nan said there was also a strong and holis­tic sup­port from key stake­hold­ers in driv­ing not just fin­tech ecosys­tem but also ecom­merce and small and medium en­ter­prise en­trepreneur­ship.

“Bank Ne­gara con­tin­ues to col­lab­o­rate closely with our other fel­low reg­u­la­tors and agen­cies such as SC and MDEC to pro­vide in­fra­struc­ture and con­ducive reg­u­la­tory frame­work for vi­brant fin­tech land­scape,” he said.

The con­fer­ence, con­ducted by Finnovasia in part­ner­ship with MDEC, sees more than 30 lead­ing lo­cal and global fin­tech ex­perts, as well as reg­u­la­tors and bank­ing ex­ec­u­tives shar­ing ex­clu­sive in­sights on the lat­est trends, cur­rent de­vel­op­ments and pre­dic­tions for the fin­tech in­dus­try, glob­ally and in Malaysia.

Datuk Yas­min Mah­mood

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