Malaysia’s National Bank gives ‘e-money’ nod to IT firm


KL Golden Triangle view

Photo (GraphicStock): View of the Golden Triangle from Petronas Twin Towers, KL


  In August of this year, a new Forrester study noted that financial services organisations (FSIs) in Malaysia may be slower than their Asia Pacific counterparts in adopting digital transformation and cloud technologies.

Forrester Research analyst Fred Giron said the study - involving 34 senior IT decision-makers in the Asia Pacific financial services sector from nine countries: Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines - paints a picture of these organisations "at vastly different levels of maturity in cloud understanding and adoption."

Giron further summarised this picture.  "Today the behaviour towards implementing cloud and the related internal policies among FSIs in Asia Pacific are clearly maturing. Cloud is increasingly seen as an enabler of the organisation's journey to digital transformation."
"But it is important to realise that a cloud strategy will only be successful if there is a clear understanding of applicable regulations," said Giron. "As organisations' understanding of regulations and of how and when to engage regulators increases, so too does their ability to successfully adopt competitive cloud solutions."

National research agency MIMOS also noted encouraging signs of fintech in the local landscape. At a recent partnership signing, Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah, who was MIMOS' president and chief executive officer at the time,  said: "Today, fintech is disrupting the financial service sector in a big way, and technology is set to continue to change how customers view financial institutions."

Bank Negara role

While there are some recent notable digitalisation efforts such as an Asean-wide partnership between firms in Malaysia and India. Bank Negara Malaysia (Malaysia's National Bank) is continuing to encourage digitisation moves across the financial sector.

On 6 September 2017, Malaysia-based public listed PUC announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, EPP Solution, an e-payment services provider for businesses, has received approval from Bank Negara Malaysia for an e-money license.

This will allow EPP to develop its eCommerce application within regulatory requirements set by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Cheong Chia Chou, who is group managing director and chief executive officer of PUC (MSC) Berhad, which has MSC (Multimedia Supercorridor) Malaysia status, explained that the move makes possible a business expansion programme.

The proposal, first announced on 30 August 2017, involves a variation of Irredeemable Convertible Unsecured Loan Stocks (ICULS), subject to approvals, to enable a comprehensive eCommerce and payment business, which will include the provision of e-money issuance.

"We are pleased with this approval as we continue to build up our capabilities and expand our suite of innovative offerings for the benefit of Malaysian businesses and consumers," he continued.  "This is in line with our efforts to grow our eCommerce and financial technology-related business - and we are excited to soon debut our e-payment services to the market."

To see some recent Malaysian FSI digitisation features, visit:

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