Strategy, approach and outcome

Let me begin by thanking all our members for their continuous support to the Fintech Association of Malaysia. We held an Annual General Meeting recently and have an additional four new talented individuals being elected to hold office for the term 2019/2020. Congratulations to the new & re-elected committee members and they are already working to create, enhance and sustain relevant values for members, the fintech industry and Malaysia digital economy. For this address, I want to touch on three key matters – our strategy, approach and expected outcomes for the next 12-months

Figure 1: FAOM's Overarching Strategy for 2019/2020

On strategy, we are steadfast with our 5-pillar strategy that focuses on (1) Talent management for now and future, (2) Funding facilitation for start-ups, scalable and growth fintech firms, (3) Story-telling skills development for an effective and sticky branding, (4) Financial Technology innovation & implementation that adds value and significance to humanity, and (5) Conducive internal & external environments that facilitate comprehensive growth for fintech industry and Malaysia digital economy. These key elements are the crucial building-blocks in formulating and implementing comprehensive action-plans for various stakeholders to consider, adopt and re-calibrate, where relevant.

Our status as a not-for profit organisation is no hindrance for us to double our effort in creating awareness about the 5-pillar strategy to all stakeholders, providing relevant perspective for better understanding, and connecting platforms to foster collaboration, as well as constantly reaching out to other associations and innovative individuals who share the same vision with us.

Our approach is to focus on initiatives that is material, via collaborative mindset and with viable outcome – with goals of creating values for the fintech industry in Malaysia and facilitate various efforts toward making Malaysia a high-income nation. What we meant by material is for us to focus on efforts that bring values to most stakeholders, fast to implement and in-line with our 5-pillar strategy. For example, our recent initiative to supplement the Securities Commission effort engaging with the digital asset exchanges community (about the digital asset aspects in the RMO Guidelines) have created positive awareness and understanding about the benefits of such regulation. We also supplemented it with collective industry input from various parties on the same issue and shared it with the SC thereafter.

The other important aspect that we are constantly promoting collaborative mindset rather than zero-sum game, as it is proven that the former promotes openness and innovative discourse, as well as faster and thriving fintech adoption, by new and incumbent financial institutions. It also facilitates creation of new business model, particularly through shared eco-system and digital platform, as well as willingness to share various data securely for an effective private and public partnership. Such mindset pivot would accelerate creation of high-value jobs in many sectors, especially financial, hospitality and general services sectors as it promotes healthy discourse, new business perspectives and efficiency via technology adoption based on knowledge-sharing. We are highly confident that Malaysia would be able to achieve high-income nation status sooner, provided that we approach fintech adoption through collaboration and with an open mind.

Figure 2: Mindset Shift is one of our key challenges

Our expected outcomes for the next 12-months are as follow: (1) Strengthen our effectiveness as a national level association in enhancing fintech as one of the key elements for Malaysia digital economy, (2) Obtain sufficient funding from the government of the day and private sector to enhance awareness about opportunities in Fintech at other major cities, particularly – Georgetown, Johor Bharu, Kota Bharu, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, (3) Co-organise key events with key stakeholders such MDEC, BNM, SC, MaGIC and perhaps MyCreative – in enhancing the effectiveness of our 5-pillar strategy, especially the story-telling skills.

Having said all the above, as part of our immediate programs in collaboration with our key partners, block your calendar from 17 to 21 June 2019 for the MyFintech Week ’19 (details here) by Bank Negara Malaysia and Malaysia Tech Week (details here) by MDEC.

As a conclusion, we are sharing our strategy, approach and expected outcomes to garner support from as many stakeholders possible. We welcome ideas, collaborative opinions, constructive criticism and resource sharing – to facilitate efforts in positive value creation and nation building for Malaysia. Most importantly, we need to work together with collaborative mindset rather than based on hierarchy or perceived importance, as the latter is proven to be among the chief hindrance in value creation and innovation. Looking forward to collaborating with all!

Ridzuan Aziz

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