KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is expected to finalise standards for the electronic Know-Your-Customer (e-KYC) by October this year, after receiving comments from industry players. (BNM is Malaysia’s central bank)

Assistant Governor, Jessica Chew Cheng Lian said following this, the existing requirements for face-to-face verifications for onboarding new customers would be removed for companies that received approval to conduct e-KYC.

“In this regard, I am pleased to announce that BNM will shortly be issuing proposed regulatory parameters for the conduct of e-KYC processes for remittance transactions,” she added.

Chew said this while delivering her keynote address at the opening of the Third Money Services Business Asia Pacific Conference 2017 (MAPC 2017) here, today.

She said regulatory changes to facilitate innovation remained extremely important to the central bank and it continued to provide an environment that encourages innovation in the financial industry, including in the money services business (MSB) sector.

“The Regulatory Sandbox which we introduced last year, itself an innovation in regulatory approaches, helps us to achieve this in a way that contains the external risks that can come with innovation, while allowing the opportunity for great new ideas to unfold and take root,” she added.

Commenting on BNM’s initiative on e-KYC, the Malaysian Association of Money Services Business President, Ramasamy Veeran said the move would help the MSB industry to grow faster.

“It will also make the people onboarding process easier, and see more competition between the non-bank industry, such as MSB and the banks,” he said.

He said the technology has been used in developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

“It is a high time for Malaysia to start working on this now. I believe every industry player, including banking and insurance personnel, are looking forward to the implementation of the initiative,” he added.

In May this year, BNM Governor, Muhammad Ibrahim was reported as saying the central bank hoped to operationalise an industry-wide implementation of e-KYC for the onboarding of customers by 2018.