SAS and MDEC join forces to develop fintech talent and innovation in Malaysia

SAS, the global leader in analytics software and services, concludes the SAS FinTech Challenge 2017-2018 in Malaysia. Organized in partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and five partner banks – CIMB Bank, Hong Leong Bank, May Bank, Public Bank and RHB Bank, the competition sought to raise awareness and the adoption of fintech among young talent in Malaysia. A team from Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation emerged as the winner for their innovation around digital loan applications for online retailers.

Andy Zook, vice president, SAS ASEAN says, “The FinTech Challenge has been an exciting journey for SAS. It is so rewarding to see our future talent pool empowered to solve the complex challenges of today, using advanced data-driven approaches that will define the analytics economy. The forward-looking ideas developed through this competition have been inspiring! Together with MDEC and our partner banks in Malaysia, we have unlocked future skills in fintech, while demonstrating how the financial services industry can harness advanced analytics to its greater advantage. This is yet another meaningful collaboration with the industry ecosystem that SAS is proud to lead.”

In line with Malaysia’s 2020 digital nation vision, 47% of the nation’s financial institutions are ready to embrace fintech and have placed it at the center of their growth strategy. Similarly, a recent survey by global recruitment firm Randstad showcases the need for innovation and talent as Malaysian banks digitize. Recognizing this evolution, SAS and MDEC partnered with Malaysia’s top local banks and gathered the country’s best academic minds to address current paint-points faced by the industry. The SAS FinTech Challenge received encouraging responses, with over 80 teams participating to develop innovative fintech business models that will enhance banking experiences.

The winning team from Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation was awarded RM 50,000. Norhizam Kadir, Vice President of Growth Ecosystem Development of MDEC, says “We are uplifted by the innovation and hard work shown by all of the participating teams during the FinTech Challenge: the use of data analytics and creative critical thinking capabilities will be vital as we progress further into the digital economy. Challenges such as the SAS FinTech one serve to shine a spotlight on the talent in Malaysia.”

Teams from Universiti Tenaga Nasional and University of Nottingham Malaysia stood at second and third place respectively. All participating universities will have the opportunity for their projects to be implemented by the partner banks.

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