2017-08-01

Bank Negara Malaysia and AFI Co-Host First Policy Forum on Cybersecurity and Financial Inclusion

Policy forum “Cybersecurity: Safeguarding the Future for Innovative Financial Inclusion” is being held on 1 and 2 August 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for over 130 financial policy makers and regulators from 40 countries. Co-hosted with Bank Negara Malaysia, this is the first time Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) is focusing on the linkages between cybersecurity and financial inclusion in a peer-learning forum. 

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Mr. Adhari Belal Din, Assistant Governor of the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Dr. Alfred Hannig, AFI’s Executive Director and Mr. Norbert Mumba, AFI’s Deputy Executive Director opened the Forum and welcomed the participants.

“The fast-changing digital landscape has brought the financially excluded and underserved populations into the formal financial system, bringing about a positive impact on economic growth and stability”, Mr. Bilal said in his remarks, adding that he believes “this forum would be a valuable platform for members to learn and share their knowledge and experiences as well as generate new ideas, approaches and innovations as take-aways that could be emulated in your respective countries.”

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Dr. Hannig welcomed the participants and highlighted that “financial inclusion would not be possible without technology and digital financial services play an enormous role in closing the gap”, Dr Hannig told the Forum. “Cybersecurity is critical for financial inclusion as strategies are driven by adoption of new technologies” he said emphasizing that that AFI brings new technologies and together with its members, develops solutions to deal with new challenges.  

“The event is designed to foster dialogue between financial policymakers and private sector innovators to understand how cybersecurity connects to financial inclusion, and how we may together work towards solutions that provide safeguards for the most vulnerable users of digital financial services”, Mr. Mumba said in his welcoming remarks.

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Relative to the general population, the unbanked and underbanked are potentially more vulnerable to cyber threats, due to less sophisticated financial knowledge and unfamiliarity with technology. The policy forum is providing an overview of global cybersecurity risks, typologies of cyber events and the behaviors and profiles of cyber attackers and victims, particularly within sectors relevant to financial inclusion and in the context of developing countries. The Forum has been developed in recognition of the linkages between cybersecurity and financial inclusion and based on strong AFI member demand. Cybersecurity was highlighted in a recent AFI member survey as being one of three top areas within the realm of new financial technologies where members would like to learn more.