The world has shifted drastically with the pandemic. With its lingering effects, more people are relying on financial technology with its reliable and contactless transactions to meet their needs. The use of Advanced Analytics and AI in fintech has become critical to ease-of-use and security in the context of AML. Usage of AA and AI allows for risk mitigation as well as cost-efficiency; saving investigators’ time in tracking activity that is seen as a potential threat.
The latest OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 8 September 2020, looked at how financial institutions from Malaysia can apply real-world AI and advanced analytics applications to ensure a world-class integrated banking system that has comprehensive risk management, efficient fraud anticipation and complete regulatory compliance with an eye on bettering customer experience and improving enterprise profitability.
A comprehensive risk assessment and understanding is a must for financial institutions
OpenGov Asia Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Mohit Sagar, opened the session by observing that the world has become chaotic and the status quo been disrupted.
In these turbulent times, he stressed it is critical to ask key questions: How do we stay ahead of the curve? How do we keep safe? How do we stay compliant?
These questions become more pertinent and urgent when bad actors are evolving rapidly and becoming increasingly sophisticated.
Being compliant is just the first step. Mere check-box implementation could possibly make organisations more vulnerable as it is a broad, general framework.
Ideally, organisations need to have a comprehensive risk assessment and understanding of their organisation and their context – not an easy nor simple undertaking.
Given the complexity and finesse required, it is best to find the right partners to ease through the process of augmenting a corporate’s existing AML system.
Augmenting and not replacing existing AML capabilities is the priority
After Mohit’s introduction, Managing Director, SAS Malaysia, Cheam Tat Inn, explained that his organisation’s analytics solutions have been used across different parts of the banking landscape.
They have been deployed to enable digital transformation, enhance customer experience, improve risk management and strengthen fraud and security intelligence.
He added that the SAS Solutions optimise and enhance existing AML capabilities and not replace them entirely.
Ahmed Drissi, Anti-money Laundering Lead, APAC, SAS, joined Cheam to give weightage to the need for external expertise. He opined that financial companies need to invest in Machine Learning and AI to automate and speed up the onboarding process.
He showed the delegates a graph that depicted clearly how some regional and tier-1 banks had improved their operational efficiency. Expounding on their proposition, he explained that the SAS Solution had several key capabilities:
- Transaction Monitoring
- Customer Risk Rating/Due Diligence
- Customer screening
- Transaction screening
- AML & CTF Investigation
These key capabilities can be applied to an organisation’s existing AML systems to improve and strengthen its ability to combat financial crimes through advanced analytics.
Entity resolution in the context of AML will help in the reconciliation and gathering of normal multiple data and uncover hidden relationships through the analysis in customer’s attributes. This is important to establish a single view of the customer. It will help investigators have a holistic view of a customer.
Ahmed re-emphasised that SAS’s goal is not to replace existing AML capabilities but to optimise and/or augment them as part of segmentation.
Challenges in AML regulation from an HSBC lens
After Ahmed, Lee Ashmore, Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering Technology & Head of Compliance IT-APAC gave a presentation on the challenges on AML regulation through an HSBC perspective.
Lee explained that customer segmentation models can be complex and can take a long time to develop in HSBC.
He shared that there were problems they encounter when a high number of false positives are flagged while using a rule-based TM that needs to be addressed
Lee was of the opinion that it might be difficult to transition from one system to another in their current situation. Fine-tuning systems are time-consuming and thresholds can be severely impacted by market volatility through external events such as COVID-19.
After these insightful presentations, the virtual insight moved into a time of interaction through OpenGov Asia’s polling session.
On the first question asked the delegates where they were in their current AML journey, close to half (44%) said that they have replaced their current AML solution in the previous year.
While discussing answers, a senior executive from a prominent bank in Malaysia shared that they shared their solution about 2 years ago, but are still facing some challenges including false positives, calibrations etc. He also shared that it is an ongoing journey for them, and they are looking to incorporate AI in their AML solution.
Interestingly, in the last session with Singapore-based delegates, for the same question, 62% answered that they were looking for technology that would complement their existing AML solution.
The second poll question asked if the current AML platform/solution provides real-time screening capabilities. Over 48% confirmed their platforms can only screen transactions by batch while 44% said that their AML platform has real-time screening in place.
A delegate reflected that batch screening is appropriate for more complex non- sanction transactions. But for screening sanctions, it should be done real-time. However, ideally, it would be to have a combination of both which is something new to explore.
The third asked about the main challenges that delegates are facing during the AML investigation process. A majority of them (38%) felt the lack of data/insight around customers, accounts and entities is the main problem.
On this one of the delegates shared an interesting reflection. She shared that the major issue is customer information not being updated. When the information is not updated, the risk profiling and mitigation also turns out to be inaccurate. So even when the claims and transactions are not actually high-risk, they seem suspicious.
On the final question on the extent to which organisations are incorporating AI/ML in their risk and compliance programs, half of our audience (50%) voted that they are still evaluating AI and ML before actually incorporating it.
Ahmed shared that it is good to see that majority of organisations were in different stages of their adoption cycle. They have either already adopted it or are evaluating it to understand its benefits. In the same vein, Ahmed brought the session to a closing where he thanked the delegates for the great insights they had all shared.
He closed by reminding them that AI/ML are not plug-and-play solutions that replace current solutions. They augment existing capabilities and strengthen existing systems. Further, SAS has worked hard to create a way of implementing their solution that can be customised to each organisation’s specific requirements and context.
The entire session, with the deep interaction among delegates and experts, led to an intense time of discovery and learning. Advanced Analytics, AI and AML capabilities can be a great tool in strengthening existing systems to combatting financial cybercrime and fraud – activities that may pose high-risk to customers and that can seriously affect an organisation’s credibility.
The digitisation and digitalisation of the Malaysian economy is an important factor in the changing society today as most countries are re-emerging by adopting new norms due to pandemics affecting various sectors. This unprecedented situation has led to irregular structural changes in past lifestyles.
However, a majority of the population does not have much choice because they have to adapt to the new paradigm as past practices have to be changed forever. It is important to acknowledge that this crisis is causing the emergence of change agents that trigger a new digital era.
The industrial revolution that bloomed about 200 years ago has exposed humans to technology has now entered a new phase which is the leap into the Industrial Revolution 4.0 or IR 4.0. Despite the belief that IR 4.0 will remain, the implementation of these technologies will determine which societies will progress and which ones will be left behind.
Just as steam engines trigger the use of fossil fuels to aggravate the current climate crisis, the power of IR 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, material internet (IoT), robotics and crypto will determine the quality for human beings whether they provide well-being or vice versa.
Taking on the responsibility of digitising Malaysians who are ‘affected’ by this transformation, the role of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is being implemented accordingly. The agency is responsible for ensuring the widespread dissemination and use of IR 4.0 tools in advance so that the community is aware of the challenges that are inevitable not only in Malaysia but also globally.
Considering that more than 90 percent of businesses in Malaysia are categorized as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), it is an essential requirement for this group to be given ‘digital power’. Therefore, the focus is also given to MDEC for the digitization and digitization of family-based businesses.
Investment through training, subsidies, incentives, grants and loans are all important to achieve the goal of digital participation, especially during these challenging times, MDEC is in a unique position to encourage grassroots engagement by sharing resources that fairly involve all stakeholders in society.
The main philosophy that drives the penetration of IR 4.0 technology in the Malaysian digital economy is to achieve common prosperity for all citizens. The current global crisis is an opportunity to place the country in a position from where it can prepare for a better future with greater possibilities as well as by placing the community at the centre of IR 4.0 technology.
Another article notes that MDEC aspires to firmly establish Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN, a regional digital powerhouse launching global champions to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). It also aims to ensure the digital economy will drive shared prosperity for all Malaysians by accelerating our digital economy growth, ensuring it is inclusive and rewarding for all, focused on the key drivers: empowering Malaysians with Digital Skills, enabling Digitally-Powered Businesses, and driving Digital Sector Investments.
At the cusp of the 4IR, Malaysia is blessed with the chance of re-engineering the human experiment using technologies that decentralise authority and de-emphasise divisions along the lines of colour, creed and country – what the Japanese have coined as “Society 5.0” – and the nation has adapted as “Malaysia 5.0”.
The term describes the next stage of the evolution of societal communities. The quest for Society 5.0 is built around the needs of a human-centred society. MDEC envisions playing a leading role in catalysing this transition to Malaysia 5.0 as a new narrative for introducing emerging technologies which are essential tools in the new Malaysia 5.0 digital economy.
With Malaysia 5.0, it can contribute to a more sustainable and circular economy, where greater well-being is possible for all citizens regardless of age, ethnicity, and class.
The federal government announced the establishment of a new industry advisory committee to help guide the implementation of its Cyber Security Strategy 2020. The Industry Advisory Committee will provide advice to the government through regular meetings and report directly to the Minister for Home Affairs.
The 2020 Cyber Security Strategy is firmly focused on protecting families and businesses, especially as they spend more time online, both at home and in their workplaces, the Minister for Home Affairs said. The Committee brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sector that will build on the success of the Industry Advisory Panel and ensure the industry will continue playing a vital formative role in shaping the delivery of actions set out in the Strategy.
The work of the committee will be essential in light of the key role connected technologies are expected to play in Australia’s post-COVID recovery. While daily life is increasingly connected by digital technologies, more abundant and better-resourced cybercriminals and cyber-activists and increasingly sophisticated and emboldened state actors mean Australia is quite literally under constant cyberattack.
Meeting that challenge requires Australia’s cyber defences to be strong, adaptive and built around a strategic framework that is coordinated, integrated and capable — the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy provides that framework.
The committee will be chaired by the CEO of an Australian telecommunications company fresh off his stint as chair of the industry advisory panel that shaped the development of the new strategy. Meanwhile, the Chair of Australia’s sovereign cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider will serve as Deputy Chair.
The new committee also has two other industry advisory panel members and joining these experts on the panel will be Cyber Security CRC CEO, the CEO of an Australian cloud, data centre, government cybersecurity and telecom company, and the Chairman a firm that provides real-time detection and ranging of objects and events.
Boosting cybersecurity government-wide
On a state level, the NSW government aims to streamline and standardise how agencies go about sourcing cybersecurity contractors by establishing a series of government-wide buying arrangements.
The Department of Customer Service this week approached the market to set up cybersecurity purchasing arrangements (CSPAs), as the need to secure the state’s digital services continues to increase. The arrangements will seek to overcome undisclosed “issues associated with the procurement of cybersecurity professional services to date”, and “ultimately facilitate cybersecurity uplift” across government.
Services expected to be covered by what will in effect be a panel include incident response, vulnerability assessment, maturity assessment, digital forensics, penetration testing and generic cybersecurity professional services.
This move comes in preparation for the government’s parliamentary inquiry into its handling of cybersecurity following a series of high-profile breaches, including an email compromise that saw 738Gb of data, or approximately 3.8 million documents, lifted from Service NSW.
The CSPAs will give agencies the confidence that they are procuring services from “capable suppliers” that have met a set criterion that ensures services are “fit for purposes” while minimising complexity.
This will involve “standardising the definition of services such that they are more easily understood by both buyers and suppliers allows for better comparison”, tender documents state.
The arrangements will also build on the government’s IT consultant fee caps introduced earlier this year by ‘locking in’ pricing. Suppliers will be expected to agree on “cost structures at the establishment of the CSPAs” to provide “confidence in the cost of engagements”.
The CSPAs will sit alongside the whole-of-government Cloud Purchasing Arrangements (CPAs), which were introduced by the department earlier this year to simplify public cloud procurement.
Having battled the global pandemic for more than 6 months and foreseeing its lasting impact in the times to come, it is important to ask how prepared we are for the life after COVID–19. What are some of the valuable lessons that we have learnt in the past few months that we must take with us as we venture into the ‘new normal’?
In an attempt to discover and delve into the answers to these questions, OpenGov Asia hosted an OpenGovLive! Virtual breakfast insight with financial industry executives based in Indonesia.
The timely and thought-provoking issues saw a 100% attendance and high engagement rate from the audience for the session.
Balancing digital transformation along with managing fraud and risk is a major challenge for banks
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia set the tone for the discussion by pointing out that the new, transformed workspace is no longer a physical place that employees go to but a cluster of virtual work tools that lets employees stay productive anytime and anywhere.
This free and flexible style of working has posed a major challenge for the financial sector industry. They are under a lot of pressure to balance their digital transformation efforts with the increasingly stringent regulatory guidelines alongside managing stakeholder expectations.
Apart from being resilient, banks have to constantly ensure that they are compliant and not flouting any regulations to ensure their presence amongst other contemporaries.
Operational resilience, which was earlier a seldom-discussed topic in the boardrooms, has been elevated on the priority list of CIO’s.
Mohit also highlighted the fact that mere compliance is not enough to ensure survival in the post-COVID-19 world. Constantly pushing the envelope by innovating and thinking outside the box is more important than ever.
He left the audience with advice that to effectively manage these distinct aspects of their business, it would be expedient to seek help and support of partners who specialise in it and who can help them prioritise right in the new uncertain normal.
How SAS can help and support financial institutions in the post COVID era
After Mohit’s challenging opening, Anggaraini Rahayu, Director-FSI, SAS Indonesia, shared her insights on the topic.
Anggaraini began by explaining how SAS can support, help respond to sudden changes and mitigate risk for the financial institutions as they recover in the post COVID–era.
She shared that SAS is doing this by identifying the volatility in macroeconomic factors that are key drivers of change, building up data and analytics capabilities along the journey to recovery and getting ahead of the innovation curve and applying analytics for future strategies.
Anggaraini elaborated on the various trends and opportunities in the FSI that have emerged beyond the pandemic. They are enhanced focus on digital transformation, better integration of financial services to the monetary policies, the robustness of asset and liability management, heightened security risks and surge in contactless payments.
She also talked about the way SAS operates in the financial industry space by enabling effective operations and working with innovative solutions that are driving amazing outcomes for their customers. As SAS champions driving value from analytics, she some of their use cases across the financial institution value chain shared with the delegates.
Anggaraini delved into the biggest focus area of SAS I.e. risk management for banking and insurance industry. She shared with the delegates the details of the SAS fraud and security intelligence solutions and how it enables users to stay resilient and relevant in the post-COVID-era.
She concluded her presentation by sharing some successful implementations of the above-mentioned solution.
Speed of service delivery is of utmost importance in the new financial industry world
After Anngarani’s information-rich presentation, Gerard Mcdonell, Regional Solution Director Fraud & Security Intelligence, SAS came forward to share his perspectives with the audience.
In his very first slide, Gerard highlighted the importance of the speed of delivery in the post-Covid era. Banks and financial institutions are under a lot of pressure to meet the changing demands of their customers in this new world. The need to go digital for financial institutions in the current scenario comes with the downside of increased risk of financial crimes and fraud.
He underscored the need for speed by quoting Klaus Shwab, who said that in this new world it’s not the big fish that eat small fish but the fast fish eating the slow fish.
Gerard validated his statement by citing a recent example where a large European bank lost an opportunity to expand their market due to the lack of agility and velocity in their DNA.
He also echoed the sentiment that the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation for financial institutions forcing the unbanked population to make a leap to digital banking. This, on one hand, has added to the existing challenges for the banks but, on the other, has exposed them to a new customer base that they can tap on.
He went on to shed light on the ways AI can support them. They include accuracy and efficiency with compliance, quick identification of fraudulent transactions, fast and accurate credit scoring.
Gerard strongly advised the colleagues from the industry to embrace the latest advancements in AI to tap on this newly created customer base.
He concluded his presentation by sharing how SAS helped a major bank to significantly improve its fraud management by implementing the fraud management and credit authorisation solution together.
Learning to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 crisis in the financial sector industry
After Gerard, Alfanendya Safudi, Senior Vice President, Head of Credit Portfolio Risk at PT. Bank Mandiri shared his learnings with the delegates.
Alfanendya opened his slot by sharing that, just like the most of delegates and their organisations, Bank Mandiri had very limited visibility of the impact the COVID-19 crisis would have on the economy.
But early stress testing and contingency actions are key to mitigating the impact of COVID–19 outbreak. He ardently advocates stress testing as an effective way of mitigating COVID risk and also emphasised that the test needs to be updated frequently as well as supported by robust tools and systems.
He cautioned the delegates to not rely on a singular stress cycle and undergo multiple rounds of it as they did at Bank Mandiri.
Towards the end of his presentation, Alfanendya shared with the delegates how banks need to prepare as they move forward in the new normal. He also agreed that there is an increase in non-financial risks like fraud, scams, cyber-attacks etc. during the COVID-19 crisis that needs to be better prepared for in times to come.
After the informative presentations, it was now time for the more interactive part of the session: the polling questions and discussions.
On the question about your organisation having the tools to model out the P&L under a wide range of different economic and non-economic scenarios, a majority of the audience voted that they use traditional forecasting techniques, and they are good enough (77%).
One one of the delegated reflected that they are currently using the traditional techniques that are sufficient for now but they are also open to new technologies out there that can help them do it better.
On the question about the impact of the pandemic on their operational risk exposure, particularly relating to fraud and compliance, a major chunk of the delegates voted that increased online and application fraud, along with greater resource demands to keep AML/ KYC/ screening compliance under control have been impacted (50%).
A digital executive shared that increased online or payment fraud and application fraud are bigger impact areas in their organisation that they need to work on.
On the final question about the top priorities, while managing risk management portfolio, the delegates seemed divided between updating their legacy with a modernised risk infrastructure (36%) and using AI and machine learning for credit scoring, capital optimisation, back-testing and model validation and regtech (36%).
After the polling session, the Virtual Breakfast Insight reached a timely conclusion with closing remarks by Febrianto Siboro, Country Managing Director, SAS.
Febrianto began by thanking all the delegates and speakers for joining the session and sharing their insights with the audience. He encouraged the audience to make use of various AI/ML and analytics solutions by SAS to augment their service delivery and team SAS would be happy to entertain their queries and demonstrations for the same.
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) in partnership with the Malaysian branch of an American multinational technology company have launched the “Highway to a 100 Unicorns” initiative, which is part of a joint initiative to empower local start-ups and strengthen Malaysia’s start-up ecosystem.
Eligible start-ups will gain access to focused workshops on business and technology, as well as monthly knowledge-sharing webinars with the global start-up community. Additionally, the top start-ups from Malaysia will stand to gain from a year-long mentorship program, access to enterprise clients, as well as engagement opportunities with the firm’s experts and industry leaders.
The Managing Director of the tech firm’s Malaysia arm stated that the country has a vibrant start-up ecosystem, and they play a vital role in the economy as innovators, disruptors. In partnering with MDEC and MaGIC, the firm introduced the ‘Highway to a 100 Unicorns’ initiative in Malaysia.
The initiative is part of the firm’s collective commitment to empowering local start-ups with the right technology and expertise, enabling them to scale and achieve more globally. The start-ups could potentially become tomorrow’s unicorns, helping to shape economic recovery and resilience and build a stronger long-term future in Malaysia.
The Chief Executive Officer of MDEC stated that Kuala Lumpur has been ranked 11th among emerging start-up ecosystems in the world by Startup Genome, which adds to the confidence that Malaysia is primed to be the preferred land and expansion base for the best innovators and tech start-ups regionally.
As the spearhead of Malaysia’s digital economy, the CEO highlighted that MDEC is firmly committed to assisting tech start-ups in their fundraising journey, global market expansion, and forging corporate partnerships to entrench Malaysia, “as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.”
The CEO of MaGIC noted that the Highway to a 100 Unicorns initiative is in line with their commitment to driving the development of a sustainable start-up and social enterprise ecosystem in Malaysia.
While steady growth has been witnessed over the years, the entire ecosystem has been challenged to innovate and accelerate its growth at a much faster pace in recent times. This initiative presents an exciting opportunity for Malaysian innovators and founders to scale and move beyond borders, through global collaborations, as well as industry-led mentorship and guidance.
To be considered for the initiative, start-ups will first have to apply to the Emerge X competition. There are three criteria for Emerge X, which are:
- Business-to-Business companies with product-market fit, revenue-generating with at least 3-4 clients.
- Business-to-Consumer companies with a large customer base (upward of 100K customers) and are revenue-generating.
- Funding is a plus.
All Emerge X start-ups will be awarded free GitHub and Azure credits and focused business and technology workshops.
The top finalists from Malaysia will be announced in November, joining other shortlisted innovators and entrepreneurs from 16 other Asia Pacific countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
Additionally, the finalists will benefit from a year-long mentorship with technical and business deep dives, a Founder Bootcamp over 3 days, access to enterprise clients globally through Microsoft’s unique co-sell program as well as opportunities to interact with Microsoft experts and industry stalwarts.
The Highway to Unicorn programme was first launched by the firm for start-ups in India, where only 56 start-ups were selected to the Emerge X program from six states, which have over 15,000 start-ups. The Emerge X winners have greatly benefited from global market access support, a 3-day founder bootcamp with world-class mentors, access to funding, ongoing mentorship, and guidance on Azure, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more. Following the success, the programme has been extended to the Asia Pacific region.
The Government Communications Security Bureau’s (GCSB) National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) helps government agencies and organisations of national significance protect and defend their information systems against cyber-borne threats that are typically beyond the capability of commercially available products and services.
The NCSC works closely with CERT NZ (Computer Emergency Response Team) to provide guidance and help on cyber threats. CERT NZ helps business, organisations and individuals wanting prevention and mitigation advice on online security issues that do not require the NCSC’s specialist skills and knowledge to respond to. It has primary responsibility for cyber threat reporting and a coordination role in threat response.
With elections over, the NZ government can resume business which is good news for tech. NZ Cert, the government entity that tracks cyber breaches, feels that the economic growth policy takes a leaf out of the Singapore playbook, with a focus on industry transformation.
During the first lockdown, cabinet refocused their industry policy on specific sectors that were well-positioned for and would benefit from a high-intensity and high-investment strategy – digital tech, advanced manufacturing and sections of food and fibre. These sectors were considered sectors that had the potential to become highly productive and internationally competitive.
The Digital Technology Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) has been gotten off to a solid start. The ITPs provide a framework to proactively and collaboratively drive change with the government that would encourage and drive the growth of the tech sector.
Collaborative workstreams are exploring education pathways to accelerate the development of local skills. Changes in procurement approaches to stimulate the local tech sector have been put in place and the government is looking to get a better understanding of tech export successes. Work on the advanced manufacturing ITP has also started and this should be beneficial to the high-tech manufacturing and biotechnology parts of the tech sector. The government has also significantly worked on the development of a national AI strategy and data-driven innovation.
All of this in an effort to develop a robust narrative for a strong tech story for New Zealand.
As has been happening across the globe, COVID has dramatically increased New Zealand’s reliance on digital devices and the internet. Yet, NZTech Chief Executive Graeme Muller said CERT NZ research indicated that New Zealanders are not adjusting their behaviours around cybersecurity fast enough.
The research found 87% of the country’s respondents acknowledge security of their personal information online is important but 40% say safeguarding their information is inconvenient. About a third do not regularly check the privacy settings on their social media accounts and the same number do not use two-factor authentication when logging into an online account. Even with increasing news reports about security issues such as ransomware, identity theft and hacks, people still do not think it will happen to them or their business, Muller says.
He quoted a recent global analysis of hacks and data breaches that estimated it would cost three million dollars on average for a company to recover from a successful hack. For the average New Zealand company, this could be disastrous, so business owners need to take cybersecurity seriously.
Similarly, consequences from breach of personal data, identity theft, ransomware, fraud and direct monetary loss could be significant. According to CERT NZ’s quarterly data, thousands of Kiwis are subject to cyber blackmail and fraud every year due to their complacency around simple security measures.
CERT NZ ran its Cyber Smart Week 2020 campaign from October 19 – 23, 2020. The main goal of the initiative is to increase the cyber resilience of New Zealanders making them, and the nation, less vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in collaboration with a local tech reseller and an American tech manufacturer to launch a new technological learning space, the AktivUKM ruang space for students and the entire campus community. The Vice-Chancellor of UKM stated that the AktivUKM™ space is the first learning space in public universities in Malaysia, which involves strategic collaboration with industry.
The idea of establishing the AktivUKM™ space begun with the aim of aligning with the UKM Strategic Plan 2019-2021 with the concept of House of Quality where Teaching-UKM has been given the mandate to realize the Empowerment of Teaching and Learning and Talent Outreach.
In line with the mandate, the establishment of the AktivUKM™ space is expected to empower students with relevant and futuristic skills to face the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The space was created as a knowledge hub that connects students, lecturers and UKM staff.
Its location, located in the Tun Sri Lanang Library, makes it a bridge to connect knowledge in the physical world and the digital world. True to its name, AktivUKM™ is symbolic to drive digital teaching and learning activities among campus residents and the community.
Apart from that, he said, the skills cultivated in the space are expected to provide students, lecturers and UKM staff to share, inspire, impart knowledge and further be able to increase the marketability of graduates.
Through this learning space, students will join the two industry partners in gaining hands-on experience and live digital and futuristic skills for their future careers. Students can also work with digital experts in the space to apply active learning with an American multinational technology company technology as well as develop and create innovative digital materials with futuristic space and technology.
In addition, the AktivUKM™ space provides a hub for lecturers to further strengthen strategic alliances with Apple in transforming teaching and learning (PdP) approaches. With this network, technology experts will be with lecturers in redesigning teaching with Apple’s futuristic ecosystem technology in line with Education 4.0. Lecturers can also create and innovate in PdP and in turn drive education based on the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Preparing Malaysian youth with digital skills
The current COVID-19 pandemic has made it apparent that equipping the workforce with digital skills is imperative for economic recovery. To enable this, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has introduced a Digital Skills Training Directory during its recent #MyDigitalWorkforce Week, an initiative to assist youth job-seekers and the unemployed.
The CEO of MDEC said the directory would act as a guide for Malaysians in selecting digital courses that meet their career needs. The introduction of the directory is consistent with the agency’s focus on developing digitally-skilled Malaysians. It will be the go-to guide for all Malaysians and the workforce on what to look out for when it comes to digital tech up-skilling and re-skilling programmes.
Businesses that are looking to hire personnel and have plans to equip talent with relevant digital tech skills can refer to the digital-first focused directory catalogue as it lists down courses that address in-demand digital skills. In addition, most of the courses have been approved for funding – for organisations or talents – under the government’s National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) Hiring Incentive that the Social Security Organisation (Socso) manages.
Should the candidates require training, up to RM4,000 training subsidy will be available for the unemployed who are selected for recruitment by Socso-registered employers.
This arrangement is also available for unemployed Malaysians who are registered with the Socso Employment Insurance System.
The directory covers all areas of digital skills training, from beginner up to advance level. The courses on the list consist of data science (50 courses); cybersecurity (44 courses); animation (19 courses); game development (five courses); and software development (55 courses). These include, but are not limited to, data science, cybersecurity, animation, game development, and software development for the new digital era.
As the world moves towards the digitisation of the economy, the adverse impact of financial crime in banks and other financial institutions is accelerating rapidly. The shift to a work-from-home system as a result of the pandemic has increased the vulnerability of remote financial sector employees whose devices lack adequate security.
There is so much fraud that goes unidentified and cannot be accounted for. As a result, fraud prevention is one of the top areas of concern for the financial sector industry today.
To understand and alleviate the relevant pain points of digital executives from the financial sector industry in Thailand, OpenGov Asia hosted an OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight that explored how Advanced Analytics, AI and Machine Learning can power the next-generation of compliance.
The full house of delegates at this event was a testimony to the relevance and importance of this topic among financial sector executives from Thailand.
Bad actors in the digital space are getting harder to identify as they are using the same technology as us
The event began promptly with Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia introducing participants and laying the ground for the discussion ahead.
Mohit emphasized the increased risk of fraud and money laundering in the financial sector industry in the current atmosphere. Bad actors in the digital space are leveraging the same advanced technology as legitimate organisations with a destructive mindset – and no restrictions of regulation and compliance.
This makes it imperative for financial sector institutions to augment and bolster their existing fraud protection through Advanced Analytics, AI and Machine Learning.
Mohit shed to light on the importance of sound leadership in these trying times and urged all to think as responsibly as leaders do.
He left the audience with advice to partner with experts who excel at utilising technology to strengthen compliance and fraud protection rather than losing this valuable time in understanding and enabling it themselves.
Innovation, adoption, and maturity: three phases of AI and ML adoption cycle in financial institutions
Ahmed: Other stakeholders in the industry recognizing and supporting the use of AI and ML in anti-money laundering initiatives
After Mohit’s opening, Ahmed Drissi, Anti-Money Laundering Lead, APAC, SAS elaborated on the detailed features of SAS’s money laundering solution. Ahmed spoke about the challenges in using traditional AML solutions and how SAS solutions overcome these shortcomings.
He further shared in detail of other the recognition and support for AI and ML in anti-money laundering initiatives by stakeholders in other industries.
Ahmed expounded on the three phases of AI and ML adoption cycle that include innovation, adoption, and maturity as demonstrated by various global and regional banks.
He shed some more light on the various AI/ML use cases in AML. These include entity resolution, customer segmentation, post alert scoring, model detection, tuning and optimisation. Being an expert in the field, he was able to articulately and authoritatively share details of the above-mentioned use cases with the delegates.
Banks and financial institutions must focus on simplifying and strengthening compliance
After Ahmed’s information-rich presentation, Viswanathan Namasivayam, Advisor for Data Science Enterprise Architecture, Data and AI Group at UnionBank Philippines gave his insights and opinions on the topic.
An advocate of simplification of compliance for banks and financial institutions, Viswanathan bases his conviction on the dramatic rise in fraud and hacking incidents he has observed.
He also believes in the power of advanced technology like AI/ML to mitigate these risks as it offers institutions the ability to go beyond a single representation of an individual or an entity, rendering a better understanding of the fraud risk.
Viswanathan shared a recent case study from Germany with the delegates to bring home the point that using AI in technology and security is inevitable in today’s world of increased cyber risk. The case study is a classic example of the consequences of failing to manage the risk associated with fintech companies. He also cautioned the audience that incidents like these would trigger more stringent and tighter regulations.
He completely agreed with Ahmed’s opinion about regulators and supervisors in the industry who also see a lot of value in using technology in this space.
Viswanathan concluded his presentation by pointing to the fundamental shift in financial institution’s approach in the handling of fraud incidences – moving from being reactive to proactive.
None the less, Vishwanathan ended on an optimistic note – acknowledging that this fundamental shift in institutions of becoming more proactive is a significant step for them in their journey towards a having a robust fraud and risk management system.
After these two insightful presentations, the event moved into the more participatory part of the session: polling and discussions.
On the question about the extent to which your organisation is incorporating AI/ML learning capabilities in your risk and compliance programmes, a majority of the delegates voted that they are using AI/ML across risk and compliance, including financial crime – watchlist filtering, sanction screening, and/or transaction monitoring (63%).
A senior delegate from a major bank shared that they are using AI and ML for other functions like data prediction and collection, sales, and contacting their customers but are still evaluating the advantages of AI to be implemented across all risk and compliance programmes.
On the next question about conducting or the need to conduct proper investigations on suspicious transactions and the availability of a sufficient platform to help with the investigation process, most delegates indicated that they have a platform providing these capabilities (63%).
Ahmed was happy to know about this trend and it was in keeping in with their expectation that most banks in Thailand have the proper platform and investigation tools in place.
On the final question about having a real-time fraud detection, prevention, and monitoring solution that is working together with an AML solution, the delegates overwhelmingly voted that they have a fraud system but it is separate from the AML solution (76%).
Another senior executive from a major bank shared that he voted for the above as they have two different departments taking care of fraud monitoring and anti-money laundering n their organisation. In the same vein, he shared that it would be good to have an integrated system over time.
After the polling session Nutapone Apiluktoyanunt, Managing Director, SAS Thailand came forward to close the session. He thanked all the delegates for taking the time to participate in the session and share their invaluable insights.
He also encouraged the delegates to reach out to team SAS if they have any questions or want to get more clarity on the solutions shared during the presentations.