Next Bank hopes to spur fintech growth in Malaysia
By Lum Ka Kay November 9, 2015
- Collaborative community to enhance financial services for consumers
- Fintech disrupts the banking system, not banks, says Maybank exec
NEXT Bank has launched its Kuala Lumpur chapter, saying it hopes to create a connected financial services technology (fintech) community in Malaysia that brings industry players like bank and regulators, together with startups, investors and accelerators.
Next Bank describes itself as an independent organisation driving change in financial services through design, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The whole idea is to make banking better for consumers, according to Next Bank KL co-lead Lee Yen Ming.
“The financial services industry has been reinvigorated by rapid developments in emerging technologies,” he said.
“With support from various agencies, and interest from industry and innovators, we see great potential for Kuala Lumpur to be a hub for fintech growth in the region,” he said at the launch of the Next Bank KL chapter in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 6.
In addition to Lee, the other co-leads of Next Bank KL are Jason Lee and Wilson Beh. All three are banking industry professionals.
Next Bank says it has hosted 16 events worldwide, in association with 64 global brands.
At the launch, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) head of corporate development and innovation Amran Hassan said Next Bank KL would help speed up the growth of the fintech community in the country.
He said fintech is here to disrupt banking systems, not banks.
“Banks are here to stay, but banking systems are going to change,” he said.
Amran also listed out some challenges faced by banks in their efforts to become more innovative – among them are long and complicated processes to get approval, and another the amount of time it takes them to implement a project.
“It’s not easy to get approval for a new project, and a lot of time is needed to implement it even after getting the approval.
“But with startups which already have the idea, we can collaborate to speed things up a little,” he said.
Meanwhile, among the challenges faced by startups while trying to realise their ideas are capital, branding and customer base, Amran pointed out.
“But you see Maybank, for example – we have a 22-million customer base. And of course, we have the capital and our brand is known to many people,” he said.
Thus, the marriage between banks and startups is very important, he argued.
“Banks have the funding and huge customer base, while startups are the ones with ideas of innovation. Together we can speed up the banking system disruption process,” he added.
Meanwhile, Saving Plus Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Siew Yuen Tuck advised fintech startups to keep one thing in mind when trying to sell their products to a bank: “Will we solve the real problem for banks?”
“Nowadays, consumers are smarter, more demanding and more connected.
“So at the end of the day, your product has to create a shared value proposition between you and the bank, and ultimately, bring convenience to consumers,” he said.
Saving Plus is the holding company for fintech portals RinggitPlus.com and SaveMoney.my.