KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian financial technology (fintech) firms are setting up their own umbrella body as a platform for these emerging companies to work with industry regulators and expand their business.
The FinTech Association of Malaysia (FAOM) protem president, David Fong, said by having a unified voice, they could engage regulators to have “orderly disruption instead of chaos”.
“Banks and insurance companies are no longer the sole custodians of financial services, rather financial technology has opened us to prospects to serve the market by offering tools to improve operational efficiency,” he said.
The association, Fong said, is the first of its kind for the industry in Malaysia.
Fong said the association would also help members move into other markets through collaborations with other fintech associations in the region, having begun talks with the Thai Fintech Club, Indonesian Fintech Association and Fintech Singapore Association.
“Across the Asean region, this emerging industry is growing increasingly prevalent and is set to grow over the years,” Fong said.
Founding members of FAOM included companies like payment solution services GHL System Bhd and SoftSpace, online insurer GetCover, financial comparison services Jirnexu and GoBear.
The association, which launched in conjunction with the Fintech Payment Conference on Saturday, was approved by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) on October 24, and consisted of members 57 members so far.
The FAOM’s formation comes on the heels of the Equity Crowd Funding (ECF) and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending operators announcing their own association, the Registered Digital Markets of Malaysia.
Fong said there would not be overlap, as FOAM was open to a broader group from fintech firms, financial institutions, Government agencies and private investors who have an interest in the industry.
He estimated there were around 70 to 80 Fintech startups based in Malaysia.
Its protem secretary Jason Lee said ordinary and associate memberships are open to locally incorporated companies and Malaysian individuals.
Noting that some Malaysian-based companies chose to incorporate in Singapore, Lee said they could instead join as affiliate members.
A formal board would be elected at their coming AGM on Dec 2.
The proposed association was still under the ROS’ evaluation.
It is expected to be set up latest by early 2017.