New Digital Finance Innovation Hub By BNM, MDEC and UNCDF to Drive Financial Inclusionby Vincent Fong September 26, 2018
In a tripartite partnership, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) launched the Digital Finance Innovation Hub.
Malaysia and China were the only two countries that UNCDF selected to set-up this hub. The objective of the Digital Finance Innovation Hub is to enable service providers, including financial institutions and fintech start-ups, to use technology in promoting inclusive finance.
While is it a well known fact that Malaysia’s financial inclusion is among the highest in the region, during the launch UNCDF’s regional advisor, Vincent Wierda stated that financial inclusion is not solely focused on percentage of the population with bank accounts, he further emphasised that the industry needs to shift the focus from banked population to the usage of financial products to save, invest, insure and plan for the future.
His views were echoed by Deputy Finance Minister, YB’ Dato Ir. Haji Amirrudin Hamzah added that it is critical for woman and youth have equitable access to financial products to realise their full economic potential.
Sharing the same views Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said, financial exclusivity is the bedrock of any economy, she expressed that MDEC is fully behind this iniative as it aimed towards Malaysia B40 and M40 segment.
During the launch, UNCDF Technical Advisor, Jaspreet Singh added the Digital Finance innovation hub will have 3 core pillars to it name ; Incubating and accelerating innovation, creating a culture of innovation, and facilitating learning and sharing.
To that end UNCDF has also partnered with BNM and MDEC to launch the Inclusive Fintech Accelerator Program, a program aimed at solving specific financial inclusion pain points in Malaysia, surrounding four key areas which are spending, saving, borrowing and financial planning.