KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s financial technology (fintech) development is strong compared to other Asean countries, said CIMB Group Holdings Bhd’s chief fintech officer, Olivier Crespin.
He said the country’s strategic location allowed it to reach the Asean market with a population of 650 million, which provided a huge opportunity for the local fintech industry.
“If you compare Malaysia with Singapore, Malaysia receives a higher number of fintech investments, which has been quite successful,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Fintech Innovation Summit 2017 yesterday.
From the regulator’s perspective, Crespin said Malaysia had done a lot in developing the fintech services, including creating the sandbox while the implementation of application programming interface (API) and the e-know your customers (eKYC) process had set up the foundation to benefit the customers.
He said sandbox was a testing environment that isolates untested code changes and outright experimentation from the production environment or repository in the context of software development including web development and revision control.
He said fintech would open a platform to collaborate with banks and bring a new level of customer experience, operational efficiencies and business opportunities.
“It will help banks reach a bigger market, provide different kind of offerings, be more client-centric, as well as adding value for its customer,” he said.
Crespin said banks would also be able to work with more partners including other banks and integrate with the ecosystem, improve development speed, adopt new mindset and be smart about regulations.
He said Malaysia was able to provide wider services to clients as current account, savings account (CASA) holders would increase and penetrate 90 per cent of the population.
He also said the fintech platform was a big way to improve life as it would encourage building a digital attacker and other security applications.
“It can also be something related to day-to-day life such as booking a trip for holidays, taking a public transport, preparation for retirement and sending kids to university,” he said.
Meanwhile, IDC Financial Insights associate vice-president, Michael Araneta said the key theme for Malaysian fintech companies, moving forward, was to grow beyond the country.
“2018 will be a banner year for Asia/Pacific fintechs to regionalise – similar to the journeys of Alipay and Grab – so Malaysian companies will have to compete fervently against those from other markets. They all need to achieve scale and ubiquity as quickly as possible,” he added. — Bernama