Cloud, embedded finance, and no code/low code expected to influence financial services in Malaysia in 2023, according to annual Partner Predictions report revealed by software as a service (SaaS) cloud banking platform Mambu on Thursday.

The report noted that the impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt for many years to come and has been a key driver of the accelerated adoption of digital banking across Malaysia and the wider Asia Pacific region.

The adoption of public cloud technology in financial services has also been accelerated by the pandemic, with the rapid growth of digital banking services across the region a direct result.

Other trends and issues expected to have a significant impact on the Asia Pacific financial services industry include:

● Low code / no code: This approach will drive faster speed to market for new digital banking products and services by empowering business teams to quickly protoype and launch without the need for complex development processes and specialised coding skill sets.

● Big tech in banking: Already many big tech companies have moved into banking in Asia, with institutions like Grab, AEON, and the SEA Group all now part of conglomerates holding digital banking licences. This move by big tech will force banks to drive more effective digital transformation – customers now have higher expectations for their digital experiences, so traditional banks need to partner with technology providers to offer more competitive banking services.

● ESG and ethical impact finance: We will see a shift towards ESG across Asia Pacific, which will not only drive traditional banks towards more inclusive composable financial products and services, but also keep sustainability in mind for the benefit of their customers. In Asia, Islamic banks will see growing interest from potential customers outside of the Muslim faith who have a keen interest in ethical finance.

● The future of payments: Online, mobile, or digital payments have surged in Asia Pacific since the start of the pandemic, with Asia also having one of the biggest uptakes of e-wallets in the world. The year ahead will see a change in focus for banks around the payments theme, with greater emphasis placed on creating their own interfaces and making them more engaging, relevant, and interesting in order to increase brand loyalty, rather than integrating their products into external platforms.

“[In 2023], we expect more organisations to leverage cloud-based data and analytics to derive market insights and develop seamless, personalised customer experiences,

“In Malaysia, we’re helping Bank Islam build and deploy new services for customers that comply with Shariah/Islamic financial requirements. In Vietnam, we’re working with TNEX to build application functions that promote healthy living, improve personal finance management, and drive financial inclusion,” said Conor McNamara, Managing Director ASEAN at AWS.

Meanwhile, Mambu Asia Pacific Regional Vice President William Dale said a number of the predictions made in last year’s report have carried over into 2023, including a focus on embedded finance, digital payments and a switch from competition to collaboration.

“So, we expect to see more of the same, but faster, bigger and more impactful. Within the Malaysian digital banking industry, we’re seeing banks and fintechs starting to embed their services into merchant and super-app platforms, creating an ecosystem of services that work together seamlessly,

“This has outstanding benefits for consumers, who can subsequently manage all their financial, personal, social and ‘general life admin’ tasks in one place. We expect to see more of this kind of approach in 2023 as we head towards the goal of making financial services ubiquitous,” he added.

Mambu Chief Technology and Product Officer Fernando Zandona, on the other hand, said the financial landscape has been extremely turbulent for some time.

“Economic uncertainty, big tech companies redefining the financial services space, fintechs looking to be more nimble and efficient, banks looking to reinvent themselves, there is a lot going on,

“But no matter what, it is going to be the end customers who decide which players win and continue in the market, and these customers will favour those who move fast and innovate. Embracing technology will be one of the top approaches that financial services will need to survive and thrive,” he concluded.

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