By PREMALATHA JAYARAMAN
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has launched a regional collaborative FinTech Sandbox to provide opportunities for startups and innovators to develop and test new ideas, in efforts to boost further development and growth of financial technology (fintech) in Asean.
The first of its kind in the region, the Maybank Sandbox is a complete fintech ecosystem that provides all the essential components for free, to fast-track the growth of fintech developers across the region.
Maybank group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said Maybank’s Sandbox aims to fill the gap by providing the tools and ability to collaborate with the smartest and brightest talents in Asean.
“In today’s world, digital and technology advancements have transformed industries, driven growth and enriched lives. In the world of finance, this charge is led by entrepreneurs, startups and advocates known collectively as fintechs,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Abdul Farid said while many Asean countries are investing in developing and nurturing fintechs, growth is still slow compared to more established fintech hubs like the US and Europe.
“Having a great idea is not good enough to sell a product. Fintechs need to be able to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) in order to attract the right investments and funding. This is where many fintechs face challenges — in their ability to move from ideation to a working MVP,” he added.
Meanwhile, Maybank group CTO Mohd Suhail Amar Suresh said the Maybank Sandbox fills this by providing fintechs with environments, tools, simulated data, application programming interfaces (APIs) and the ability to reach out for talents within a safe and secure environment.
“What Maybank is offering is a platform for startups, fintech companies and any interested party to collaborate, experiment, incubate and prototype any idea or innovative solution they may have,” he said.
The Sandbox is accessible to developers in the region and even across the globe, to get connected with ideators, academia, businesses and their peers to create innovative end-to-end solutions — within an ecosystem that supports all emerging technology trends such as digital, Internet of Things, social, cloud and open source.
“We have leveraged Maybank’s internal digital and technology expertise to help accelerate and exponentially grow our regional fintechs,” he said.
Apart from providing a flexible, conducive and secure environment, the Sandbox also provides developers with real banking APIs to connect and make use of existing banking functions.
It also offers simulated data for analytics and simulation as well as development tools to enable them to create new web and mobile applications.
Mohd Suhail said Maybank Sandbox will enable team members from different countries to collaborate on the same virtual environment, thereby enhancing regional cooperation through exchange of ideas and expertise.