5 Reasons Fintech Startups Should Join BNM & MDEC’s Fintech Booster

5 Reasons Fintech Startups Should Join BNM & MDEC’s Fintech Booster

by August 21, 2020

Earlier in August, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) together with the Malaysia Digital Economy Development Corporation (MDEC) jointly launched their fintech capacity building program, Fintech Booster. The program is intended to further support the growth and development of fintech companies in Malaysia and is also open to foreign companies with no presence in Malaysia yet.

Norhizam Kadir, Vice President, Fintech & Islamic Digital Economy, MDEC commented during the launch that they came up with program together with BNM when they identified that there are commonly 3 main roadblocks that fintech startups face namely; understanding regulation and compliance matters, gaining market access, and technology.

Echoing Norhizam, Suhaimi Ali, Director of the Financial Development and Innovation Department at BNM, said that 60% of applicants for the fintech regulatory sandbox faced no regulatory impediments, indicating that there’s a gap in understanding regulations among fintech startups. He cited this as one of the reasons why BNM partnered with MDEC to fill that gap.

If you’re wondering whether or not this program is right for you, here a few reasons for your consideration.

Jump-start your fintech business in Malaysia

Setting up a startup or expanding your business to another country in itself is no easy feat, with fintech businesses there’s often an added layer of difficulty of regulation and compliance.

If you’re a brand new fintech startup or an established one looking to expand into Malaysia’s market, this program by MDEC and BNM can help you shorten the learning curve by providing you all the know-how you need from the complexities of legal and compliance issues, business model to technology.

This is done mainly through mentorship consultations and public workshops.

Guidance and access to knowledgeable local experts

Other than toolkits gathered from credible sources like BNM, you will also gain access to the Fintech Booster’s program partners who are domain experts. These include reputable firms like PwC, Masyref, Tawafuq, Zaid Ibrahim & Co, Richard Wee Chambers, LH Advocators, and Solicitors. It’s a blend of consulting firms, law firms, and even shariah finance consultants.


The partners will impart their expertise to participants of the Fintech Booster program from public sessions, like the ones pictured above, as well as structured private sessions.

Its jointly curated with Bank Negara Malaysia

Suhaimi Ali revealed during the launch that BNM worked closely with MDEC to curate the content especially on topics related to regulatory requirements.

Business activities regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia

Business activities regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia

They have already lined up programs covering regulatory requirements on eKYC, cyber-security, consumer protection, digital banking, payments systems, digital remittance, lending, investment, and more.

Possibly as a teaser to some of the modules, Suhaimi also went on to conduct a session which expanded on all the relevant regulations in Malaysia’s fintech scene during the launch.

Its fully digital

Much like everything else in this world, this program was also impacted by COVID-19, initially planned as a physical program, they have shifted this to be a digital one.

This allows potential applicants to participate from anywhere in the world and is particularly useful for foreign fintech startups looking to enter the Malaysian market.

Its costs nothing

Unlike many of incubators and accelerator programs out there where startups have to pay a fee or give up equity, the program is offered to the fintech community for free. All the partners have committed considerable amount of time and resources to also offer their services through this program on a pro bono basis. Since MDEC is a developmental agency responsible for the digital economy in Malaysia, they have no intention of profiting from this initiative.

The only cost for startups who are keen on being part of this program is their time and commitment.


To learn more about this program please visit their website here