M'sia best suited for testing, launching FinTech solutions in Asean: MDEC

Farah Adilla

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is a suitable test-bed and platform to launch FinTech (financial technology) solutions and products in Southeast Asia, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said today.

Yasmin said the country has a good population mix in the urban, suburban and rural areas, who make up different target markets for FinTech 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 which have yet to enter the FinTech (sector) for Islamic finance. They can test and launch Shariah-compliant products in Malaysia for the region, as well as the global market," she said in her keynote address at the Finnovasia 2017 Conference here today.

Yasmin said while FinTech is still a new sector, it will not stop MDEC from creating an organised FinTech ecosystem which understands how engagement with start-ups, investors, and other innovators from around the world build value.

"To be able to do that, MDEC is building the FinTech ecosystem with key stakeholders, and we are encouraged by the support of our regulators, like Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission, who are here today to help FinTech start-ups in Malaysia grow successfully," she said.

Besides that, Yasmin said the MDEC is optimistic that Malaysia's digital economy will exceed its target of contribution to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) of 18.2 per cent by 2020.

"As a result of our relentless commitment, in 2015, the digital economy in Malaysia accounted for 17.8 per cent of the GDP, bringing our nation closer to the 18.2 per cent target set for 2020.

"With MDEC leading the charge, supported by businesses and consumers, I have no doubt that the digital economy has the ability to contribute 20 per cent to the GDP of Malaysia by 2020," she 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, share exclusive insights on the latest trends, current developments and predictions for the FinTech industry globally and in Malaysia.