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MPay set to lead private-academia partnership to deepen local research in AI-driven KYC solution

MPay set to lead private-academia partnership to deepen local research in AI-driven KYC solution
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 29): End-to-end electronic payment solution provider ManagePay Systems Bhd (MPay) is set to ink a tripartite private-academia partnership with MSC Trustgate.com Sdn Bhd and University Malaya's Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Lab, aimed at producing a fully home-grown sophisticated know-your-customer (KYC) solution.

In an email interview with theedgemarkets.com, MPay founder and managing director Datuk Chew Chee Seng said the KYC solution is a necessary step for many industries, especially the banking sector, to reduce the risk of identity theft, money laundering, financial fraud and the financing of criminal organisations.

“Digitalisation of KYC has changed the banking paradigm from the physical facility to a mobile phone app, thus pressurising all the aspects of a “digital experience”.

“The main challenge of a fully digital experience is the ability to onboard a customer or client seamlessly while accurately authenticating the data provided to emulate a face-to-face process,” he said.

Chew highlighted that MPay is one of Malaysia's Fintech first-movers, while University Malaya’s AI lab’s facial matching and optical character recognition (OCR) technology had allowed both a reduction in manpower and increased speed of onboarding.

"Our e-wallet MPay Walet has received regulatory approval for our eKYC (electronic) practice and we are eager to work with Trustgate and UM’s (University Malaya) AI lab to further enhance the practice to include deep learning, 3D hologram and video KYC.

“This will provide for a start-to-end processing without human touch,” he added, confirming MPay’s commitment to investing funds and acting as an intellectual property (IP) originator for the commercialisation of the research.

Chew said MSC Trustgate together with MPay’s technology software provider Stark Global Sdn Bhd intend to offer this solution, packaged with its multiple implementations in the areas of compliance, risk management, fraud detection, business process management and customer services to financial institutions, large enterprises and the government sector.

Trustgate and MPay, as technology recipients of MIMOS Bhd, will use the MIMOS MyDigital ID framework to build high-assurance solutions for credential onboarding, and subsequent use for online authentication and digital signature computation. 

Trustgate will build identity proofing solutions, based on this MyDigital ID framework, encompassing purely online user interactivity for maximum convenience and self-service kiosks for a higher degree of assurance. 

This initiative is considered to be necessary for digitalisation to be effective, scalable and inclusive per the objectives of the recently launched Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital). 

Public and private-sector enterprises would also benefit — in that high-value services can now be constructed atop the foundation of a high-assurance digital identity.

Chew said growth in demand for digital banking is witnessing banks scramble to adapt or risk an increase in the customer churn rate.

“Those who have digitalised are already reporting improved operational efficiencies and automation over paperwork at bank branches, thereby also reducing operation cost.

“Trustgate's MyTrust ID, combined with Stark Global's expertise in mobile banking and digital omnichannel commerce solutions, will offer both customised and out-of-box solutions to the banking base, as well as digitalisation of large and small enterprises alike,” he said.

On what motivated MPay to invest as an IP originator, Chew said the partnership is geared towards developing UM's research into a marketable form, reducing reliance on imported technology.

“Similar private-academia partnerships in the US, Europe and India have had significant success — [with] Google and Facebook [being] probably the most recognisable examples.

“We hope that this exercise will encourage more private investment in local research commercialisation and innovation to drive Malaysia’s economy robustly forward into the future.

“While we get to own the commercialised product, University Malaya gets to build the research depth and encourage more students to participate,” he said.

Chew also added that the partnership with MSC Trustgate and University Malaya is an ongoing arrangement periodically enhanced with MPay’s investment.