As we turn the page and step into 2022, new realities and norms are beginning to set in. Majority of the population spent the last 2 years trying to stay afloat throughout the pandemic. Technology and digital (T&D) means were most prevalent in helping people cope with these new norms to go about their day to day lives.
Wrapping up 2021, we see that folks are starting to embrace T&D wholeheartedly. The rise of technology has greatly benefited society, allowing most activities to carry on, removing the risk that lockdowns bring to your everyday life. On a personal capacity, people have been able to check in on their friends and family online via Zoom and other video conferencing tools.
Business owners were able to keep the lights on by leveraging on technology to ensure continuity of their operations. To their surprise, shifting online allowed them to access and serve a much larger market, removing the geographical barriers that come with operating offline. Trade activities have gone online with retailers conducting business on social media and e-commerce platforms which have been evolving throughout the years to ensure a seamless experience for both retailers and customers.
With the rise of T&D, comes numerous solutions for business to automate different aspects of operations. Not only can sales be conducted online, but payroll, accounting and expense management as well as procurement and logistics all have been made easy with the rise of business software. However, education on different aspects of T&D is still very much needed to help maximize its use cases.
Financial Access and Inclusion
Fintech platforms such as Peer to Peer (P2P) lending sites and Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) platforms provide more funding options targeted at SMEs, which is one of the leading initiatives bridging the estimated funding gap of RM90 billion faced by SMEs. The government has supported these platforms through its Malaysian Co-Investment Fund (MYCIF) initiative which allocated RM58 and RM 42 million to P2P and ECF platforms respectively in 2020
Securities Commission of Malaysia (SC) statistics as at Q3 2021, shows that for P2P sites, a total of RM 2.0 billion has been raised via p2p means, which is quite impressive, especially considering that this is a 40% increase to the cumulative funds raised as at Q1 2021. Further breakdown revealed that on average, 60% of these funds came from retail investors aged 35 years and under. The same can be seen for ECF platforms, raising a cumulative RM 352 million as of Q3 2021, a 44% increase over Q1 2021. This too was driven by retail investors aged 35 years and below, whose contributions made up north of 45% of total funding on average.
The passion of retail investors is the key driver of this revolutionary fundraising movement. Leveraging on evolving technology, these platforms shift power back to the retail investor allowing them to compete with institutional firms. As technology evolves, barriers to funding will be lowered further, paving the way for even younger generations to be involved. Micro-funding becomes viable and competitive because there resides strength in numbers.
Government’s push for Innovation! Don’t miss out
New realities for business owners have settled in throughout the last couple of years. Sudden implementation of lockdowns and other virus curbing measures have left employees and employers on edge. The instability of income posed a big risk for most people, forcing them to adapt to this change. Bold measures had to be taken to ensure business continuity.
A noticeable lag in readiness to embrace new technologies has been revealed amongst local SMEs however, this issue has been addressed by both government and private entities. The SME digitization grant represents a governmental effort that has been pivotal in promoting the uptake of digitization, which was introduced in early 2020 and will extend throughout 2022.
Do take note that this grant has been extended throughout 2022! SME’s and tech solution providers are still able to participate and greatly benefit from this grant!
If you’re an SME business owner or an employee eager to learn about software tools that could help you increase efficiency in the workplace, we have a beginner friendly E-Book for you.
My Fintech Week 2022
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has announced their upcoming flagship event My Fintech Week (MyFW) which is taking place late in January 2022. This event is aimed at bringing a unique focus on the importance of sustainability and digital technology to help economies rebuild towards a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable future. It will also coincide with the launch of the Financial Sector Blueprint 2022-2026, which will chart the priorities of Malaysia’s financial sector in the next five years.
MyFW 2022 will bring together more than 80 visionary and leading voices in fintech and digitalization, together with sustainability experts, and target to generate engaging discussions that lead to actionable insights. These discussions revolve around seven key aspects of the financial sector. We have listed it down below,
- New Realities for Finance,
- Inclusion and Financial Health,
- Startups and