Smartphone-toting millenials to benefit more from ?fintech?: expert

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By Edd K. Usman Across the digital financial world today, there is an emerging trend called ?fintech?, or financial technology, which a Malaysian educator says will be a boon to Generation Y, more popularly known as millennials. [caption id="attachment_32359" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Sen. Paolo Benigno 'Bam' Aquino IV (left) speaks during the two-day conference on Islamic Finance organized by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in Makati City. Looking on are NCMF secretary/CEO Bai Yasmin Busran Lao (center), AMIN party-list rep. Sitti Djalia T. Hataman (right), and NCMF executive director Tahir Lidasan Sen. Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV (left) speaks during the two-day conference on Islamic Finance organized by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in Makati City. Looking on are NCMF secretary/CEO Bai Yasmin Busran Lao (center), AMIN party-list rep. Sitti Djalia T. Hataman (right), and NCMF executive director Tahir Lidasan[/caption] It is a trend that needs to provide training to millennial bankers, said Dr. Khaliq Ahmad, founding president of the International Council of Islamic Finance Educators (ICIFE) in Malaysia. Fintech is defined as “a line of business based on using software to provide financial services. Fintech companies are generally startups founded with the purpose of disrupting incumbent financial systems and corporations that rely less on software.” Ahmad stressed the importance of training for those studying Islamic Finance to help them reach their target audience. “We have a curriculum and we are including lots of information technology (IT) components. At the same time, we are also developing trainers who will be training the younger generation how to make smartphone that can help access the wider market of the finance industry,” he said. Ahmad, who spoke with Newsbytes.PH, was one of the lecturers at the 2nd International Islamic Finance Conference 2016 organized by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) on July 18-19 at New World Hotel, Makati City. Delegates and speakers came from Malaysia, South Korea, members of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC), and other countries. The NCMF, headed by Bai Yasmin Busran-Lao, invited Filipino and foreign speakers, including Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, who tackled the event’s theme: “Trabaho Ko, Ibada Ko: Mainstreaming Awqaf and Islamic Micro-finance towards SME Empowerment.” Busran-Lao lauded Aquino for sponsoring Senate Bill No. 3150, also known as ?The Philippine Islamic Financing Act 2016,? thanking the legislator for his initiative that addresses the welfare of Muslims in the Philippines. She also cited the success of 2015’s first international Islamic Finance forum also by the NCMF. “I am proud to say that have been receiving positive impact from our different partner agencies and institutions, including the people in the grass roots, who are in fact the captured market of this initiative,” said Busran-Lao. The NCMF chief noted the significance of this year’s team relating to work and worship. “We want to center our attention to this word ‘ibadah’ (worship) as embedded in our day-to-day transactions. In Islam, work is considered an act of worship when it is done with sincerity, honesty, and for the sake of Allah (God) Subhanna Wa Taalah,” Busran-Lao said. She said the NCMF wants to emphasize the relationship of work and worship. “In performing our respective work, we are also performing one aspect of our faith.” Aquino, in an interview, cited the importance of financial institutions such as banks to have world-class security as hacking is happening every day. “It should be a given that our institutions are expecting hacking to happen. In fact, some of the practitioners in the banking institution I talked to, they said they really experience it (hacking) every day. Thus, security should already be a given,” said Aquino. Early this year, the Bangladesh Bank was tricked by still unknown cyber criminals, carting away some $81 million. Part of loot found its way into the Philippines, prompting a Senate public hearing. “I think both government and private institutions should really have their own systems installed. We have our laws against cybercrime, but as we know hackers continue to test institutions. There are no more excuses today. Any institution must expect it already and they must prepare for it already within their own systems,” the senator said. Aquino said “security is a given already since the banks need to transact online. That’s how they correspond with each other, that’s how they do business with each other, and that’s how we do business with them.” ICIFE’s Ahmad said Islamic Finance is now moving into the next level, which is fintech. Enterprises would benefit from fintech, said Ahmad, since banks and financial institutions have complex bureaucratic processes that discourage small entrepreneurs from getting their services. On the other hand, fintech firms are nimble companies who deftly use electronic currency and technology to get things done. “Technology would be one of the important players in the future financing of SMEs,” said Ahmad. ]]>

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