Global Symposium on Innovative Financial Inclusion: “Harnessing Innovation for Inclusive Finance”
September 21-22, 2016Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Global Symposium on Innovative Financial Inclusion is being held on September 21 and 22, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event is co-organized by the World Bank and Bank Negara Malaysia.



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Although there has been commendable improvement in global financial inclusion, there are still as many as 2 billion adults that are financially excluded. Financial inclusion is recognized as critical to reducing poverty and achieving inclusive economic growth. Financially included individuals and firms can smooth their cash flows, meet unexpected expenditures or losses in income, or invest in their skills, health, assets, or new business. The World Bank Group has issued a call to action to achieve Universal Financial Access by 2020, which means that basic access to the formal financial system – for example, through debit cards or mobile money – should be possible for everyone.

Innovation in financial services has the potential to enhance financial inclusion in terms of access, quality, and usage in a cost-effective manner. Digital technologies, for example, are critical for inclusion, as they enable innovative and lower-cost business models for providing financial services, making it viable to reach the poor. They can also contribute to closing the persistent gender gap in access to finance—digital financial services allow women to receive or transfer money safely and conveniently from their own communities, businesses, and homes. These services can also make it safer and easier for women to put aside money for a medical emergency or a family job loss (and protect those savings from family members who may demand a share of the money).

As the global community continues to adopt innovative financial inclusion models, policymakers, regulators, and supervisors need to be positioned at the forefront of these developments so they are able to identify and manage the associated risks. More importantly, regulatory authorities need to be equipped with in-depth knowledge of innovative business models to develop an enabling ecosystem for innovative financial inclusion to thrive in a safe and stable manner.

The theme “Harnessing Innovation for Inclusive Finance” of the Global Symposium conveys the vision for innovative financial inclusion initiatives to be disseminated and scaled up globally in a responsible and sustainable manner. At the same time, policymakers and the private sector need to collaborate closely to understand and ensure that the associated risks of innovative financial inclusion are well-managed, so that there is confidence in the financial system as the estimated 2 billion unbanked adults migrate to formal financial channels.

The Objectives of the Global Symposium are to:

  • Facilitate broader understanding of innovative financial inclusion, including the current status of digital finance and adoption of technology across the world, and opportunities for innovation to address financial inclusion challenges in developing countries;
  • Showcase high-impact innovative financial inclusion channels and platforms that can advance financial inclusion;
  • Demonstrate best practice and key lessons learned in innovative product design, sustainable business models and the effect on financial inclusion in terms of improving access, usage, and quality;
  • Identify key barriers faced by the private sector in developing and deploying innovative financial inclusion initiatives, and how policymakers and regulators can contribute to the scaling up of viable innovative financial inclusion solutions;
  • Deliberate potential risks posed by innovative financial inclusion models and identify proportionate regulatory and supervisory approaches that enable innovative financial inclusion initiatives to thrive in a sustainable manner;
  • Serve as a nexus for public-private partnership in financial inclusion by convening national policymakers and private sector industry leaders to match technical needs and expertise.

Target Audience

The Global Symposium will convene up to four hundred global policymakers responsible for advancing the national financial inclusion agenda, regulators and supervisors from financial and non-financial sectors (e.g. ICT) and private sector industry leaders in innovative financial inclusion technology and solutions (local and foreign banks, IT start-ups)

Technology solutions companies are also invited to set up on-site exhibitions during the Global Symposium to showcase the latest innovative solutions in financial services.  

Venue:  The Global Symposium will be held at Sasana Kijang, No. 2 Jalan Dato’Onn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Language:  English

Organizers: The conference is jointly hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia and the World Bank

Fee: No Fees. Participants are responsible to make their own travel and accommodations arrangements. 

Final agenda (download)

Click links below for presentations or watch the sessions here.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

8:00 am – 9:00 am


9:00 am – 9:40 am

Opening Remarks: 

Muhammad Ibrahim, Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia 
Sebastian A Molineus, Director, Finance and Markets Global Practice, World Bank Group  

9:40 am – 11:00 am

Session 1. Inclusive Financial Systems of the Future

Technology and innovation are rapidly transforming the financial services industry, creating new products, markets, players, distribution channels, and new ways to serve the financing needs of individuals and firms. The session will examine the latest trends in innovations for lending and savings, payments and insurance and how these innovations help accelerate financial inclusion and bridge the gap to the 2 billion unbanked adults in the world.


Douglas Pearce, Practice Manager, Financial Infrastructure and Access, World Bank Group

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Prof. Njuguna S. Ndung'u, former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya

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Tianqi Sun,  GPFI co-chair, Deputy Director General, Financial Consumer Protection,  The People’s Bank of China  

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Norbert Mumba, Deputy Executive Director, Alliance for Financial Inclusion 

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11.00 am – 11:20 am

 Coffee break

11:20 am – 12:35 pm

Session 2. A New Wave in Payments and Remittances

A key transformation in the financial sector is the expansion of “cashless” banking to execute payments and send/receive remittances. Several financial institutions are adopting this approach to increase the scale of their operations, reduce costs and deliver more financial services to customers. What are the regulatory and main challenges in moving towards a cashless approach for both financial service providers and society? How can this market response contribute to closing the financial inclusion gap between urban and rural inhabitants?


Faris H. Hadad-Zervos, Country Manager for Malaysia, World Bank Group 


Tan Nyat Chuan, Director, Bank Negara Malaysia

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Molly Shea, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Digital, Western Union  

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James Lim, Head of Product for Asia Pacific, VISA    
Dianne Rajaratnam, Asia Lead, the Better Than Cash Alliance 
Salton Massally, Founder and Chief Technology Officer,  iDT Labs, West Africa  

12:35 pm – 2:00 pm

Lunch break

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Session 3. Innovations to Scale Up SME Finance

Innovative financial products and platforms have recently emerged as an alternative form of financing, particularly for SMEs. This session will highlight the latest innovations for financing particularly for SMEs, which includes new lending platforms, establishment of equity and fixed-income markets with regulatory requirements tailored to SMEs, role of market advisor and market-making systems, as well as the introduction of alternative methods of financing such as private equity, venture capital, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer, supply chain finance and securitization for SMEs.


Simon Bell, Global Lead,  SME Finance, World Bank Group


David Katz, Deputy Head of Global Government Relations and Head of Asia Pacific Government Relations, PayPal

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Arthur Gichuru, Head of Product Management, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Kenya 

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Mohamed Rafe b. Mohamed Haneef, CEO, CIMB Islamic Bank

Leo Shimada, CEO, Crowdo

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Xiaochen Zhang, Founding Partner, New Development Ventures 

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3:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Coffee break

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Session 4. The Future of Fintech in Financial Services

Investment in financial-technology (fintech) companies grew by 201% globally in 2015, compared to 63% growth in overall venture-capital investments. Discussions on fintech dominated the World Economic Forum earlier this year and confirm the advent of fintech in the financial sector. This session will highlight the latest trends in fintech and the impact on expanding financial inclusion to the underserved. Further, the session will also explore the relationship between fintech and the traditional banking sector, given its reliance on banking functions – will it compete with banks in the same segment or complement banking services? How can regulators play a role in managing the risks emanating from fintech?


Ivan Daniel Mortimer Schutts, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, Finance and Market Global Practice, World Bank  Group


Ari Sarker, Co-President Asia Pacific, MasterCard

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Alan Martinez, Director of Advisory Services, EFL Global

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Pavel Shoust, CEO, Russian E-money Association

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Stefan Carlsson, Head, SE Asia Markets, eCurrency

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7:00 pm – 9:00

Gala Dinner

Thursday, 22 September 2016

9:00 am – 9:15 am

Jose de Luna Martinez,
Lead Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group

9:15 am – 10:30 am

Session 5. Break-out Sessions

A.  Crowdfunding as an Innovative Platform

Recent innovations and acceptance in online transactions has led to an upsurge of crowdfunding platforms, using a range of business models to connect small private investors with businesses requiring financing. While this has allowed businesses greater access to credit, the issues of risk mitigation and appropriate regulation continue to be discussed. This session will examine the different types of crowdfunding platforms and the risks associated with debt and equity crowdfunding, as well as the regulatory frameworks to manage these risks.


Margaret Miller,  Global Lead, Responsible Financial Access, World Bank Group 


Leo Shimada, CEO, Crowdo

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Mohamed Izam Mohamed Yusof, CEO, IAP Integrated

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Kieran Garvey, Policy Programme Manager, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Xiaochen Zhang, Founding Partner, New Development Ventures 

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B. Potential of Big Data and Considerations in Consumer Protection

The increase in mobile and ICT adoption over the past years has seen masses gaining digital footprints for the first time ever, putting the spotlight on the potential of big data, i.e. information about individuals, their actions, and their preferences reflected through electronic transactions. This session will feature regulators, industry players and big data experts discussing the pros and cons of big data in advancing financial inclusion, for e.g. mobile phone usage data to supplement credit score, facilitating social media users to use social media activity and reputation to qualify for loans. Of importance, the discussion will also focus on consumer protection and data privacy considerations when tapping big data.


Charles Marwa, Senior M&E Advisor, Alliance for Financial Inclusion


Thillai Raj T Ramanathan, Chief Technology Officer, MIMOS Berhad

Ros Grady, Consultant, World Bank 

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Louis de Koker,  Senior Policy Advisor, CGAP  

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C.  Blockchain Technology – Increasing Transparency

Arising from the development of virtual currencies, blockchains are a decentralized means of recording and validating transactions. The prospects of blockchain technology are currently being explored by institutions and investors looking for greater speed and efficiency in making payments and transfers, and ultimately promoting financial inclusion. Bringing together regulators and proponents of blockchain technology, this session will elaborate on the nature of blockchains, discuss the benefits and risks of incorporating blockchains into conventional financial products and services, and highlight the necessary infrastructure and policies that will allow financial institutions to use blockchains in their operations.


Chia Tek Yew, Principal, KPMG Singapore


Michael Casey, Author, The Age of Cryptocurrency

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Alistair Duff, R3CEV Singapore   

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Sung-Youp Kim, General Manager, Future Planning & Support Team,  Hana Financial 

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Pani Baruri,  AVP, Delivery Head(Payments) & Digital Innovation / Blockchain Leader,  Cognizant   

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10.30 am – 11:00 am

Coffee break

11:00 am – 11.30 am

Key Take-Aways from Break-out Sessions

Speakers: Moderators from the 3 break-out sessions

11:30 am – 12:45 pm

Session 6. Creating an Enabling Regulatory Environment for Innovation in Financial Services

Financially innovative instruments are not enough to fully realize the benefits of financial services. If unmonitored and unchecked, innovation could pose systemic risks to stability and integrity, ultimately reversing efficiency gains from the use of technology. How do policymakers balance financial integrity and stability whilst developing an enabling regulatory environment that fosters innovation and creativity in the financial system? This session will also highlight key risks of innovation in financial inclusion and highlight proportionate regulatory approaches to address these risks.


Douglas Pearce, Practice Manager, Financial Infrastructure and Access, World Bank Group 


Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore

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John Price, Commissioner, Australian Securities and Investments Commission 

Shu-pui Li, Executive Director, Financial Infrastructure, Hong Kong Monetary Authority 

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Chin Wei Min, Executive Director,  Innovation and Digital Strategy,  Securities Commission Malaysia 

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Imansyah Imansyah, Deputy Commissioner, Strategic Management, Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK)

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Lunch break

2:00 pm – 3.15 pm

Session 7. Maximizing Collective Impact to Advance Financial Inclusion

The success of developing and implementing innovative solutions/platforms to advance financial inclusion requires multi-stakeholder coordination to truly scale up and ensure outreach to the unserved. How can we maximize partnerships between central banks and regulators, financial services providers, private sector companies and government agencies at each stage of developing an innovative financial inclusion initiative (e.g. from the pilot to scaling up to interoperability and new market entrants)? This session will discuss the practical partnership structures to align the unique end goals of each stakeholder and optimize outcomes for the unserved.


Sebastian A Molineus, Director, Finance and Markets Global Practice, World Bank Group


Bobby Rafinus,  Deputy Minister, Macroeconomy and Finance Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Indonesia  

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Rizal Bin Nainy, Deputy CEO, SME Corp Malaysia

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Mukhtar Malik Hussain, CEO, HSBC Bank Malaysia 

Mark Rozario, CEO, National Innovation Agency Malaysia

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3.15 pm – 3:45 pm

Coffee break

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm

Session 8. Interactive Session – The Way Forward for Innovative Financial Inclusion

Throughout the conference, there will be opportunities for participants to present their views, opinions or pose questions via interactive sessions following every panel discussion.

This concluding session will serve as a general platform to highlight participants’ views, answer questions raised by the participants and to summarize key takeaways from the Global Symposium that can be implemented as a way forward.

Moderator: Simon Bell, Global Lead,  SME Finance, World Bank Group 

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4:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Concluding Remarks

Keynote speaker: Ulrich Zachau, Country Director for Malaysia, World Bank Group

Logistic Note for Participants


The training will be held at Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Address: No. 2, Jalan Dato’ Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

For details of Sasana Kijang, please refer to the attached brochure.

Accommodation and Hotel Facilities

There is a wide choice of hotels in Kuala Lumpur that can meet the needs of international visitors. 

For the convenience of international participants of the Symposium, the following hotels in Kuala Lumpur agreed to provide group rate for the participants on first come first served basis.  Please contact the hotels directly for reservation. 

1.       Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Address: Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Malaysia
Phone: (60)(3) 2717 9900

Type of Room


Deluxe room

(with 1 breakfast and internet access)

MYR 395.00++

(MYR 460.57nett) per room per night

Deluxe room

(with 2 breakfast and internet access)

MYR 435.00++

(MYR 507.21nett) per room per night

Sheraton Club

(with 1 breakfast and internet access)

MYR 483.00++

(MYR 563.180nett) per room per night

Sheraton Club

(with 2 breakfast and internet access)

MYR 553.00++

(MYR 644.80nett) per room per night

For booking, please click here: The World Bank Accommodati Att00-4P89TT7 or copy and paste the following link into a web browser

The hotel will provide complementary daily drop-off and pick-up shuttle bus services to and from  Sasana Kijang for hotel guests  on September 21 and 22.  Detailed Schedule will be provided by the hotel at check-in. 

2.       Lanai Kijang

Lanai Kijang is the residential and training complex located close to Sasana Kiang, Bank Negara Malaysia. Shuttle bus service will be provided to the participants from Lanai Kijang to Sasana Kijang. Participants of the event can enjoy many of the  indoor and outdoor lounges and spaces provided by the facility for continuous learning, group interactions and networking.  Due to limited availability of rooms in this facility, please contact the Lanai Kijang at your earliest convenience for booking.

For booking, please fill in the attached Lanai Kijang Reservation form or contact directly:

Address: Lanai Kijang, 2 Jalan Berjasa, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +603 2618 2828, +603 2618 2600
Fax: +603 2618 2690

For details of Lanai Kijang, please refer to the attached brochure.

Reminder: As the accommodations in Lanai Kijang is highly demanded, please send your reservation at your earliest convenience. The deadline for booking with Lanai Kijang is August 21, 2016.                              

Type of Room


Single occupancy

Double occupancy

Single room

MYR 130 + 6% GST

MYR 150 + 6% GST

Twin room

MYR  160 + 6% GST

MYR  160 + 6% GST

Studio room

MYR  250 + 6% GST

MYR  250 + 6% GST

Visa Requirements

Most international travelers will need a valid visa to enter Malaysia. Please refer to the link below for visa requirements. Please be advised that that there is NO VISA-On-Arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Office Website: Immigration Department of Malaysia
Please let us know if you need an official visa invitation letter for your visa application by providing the relevant information in the online conference registration form.

Airport Transfer

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located 42 miles (70 km) from the city center, and travel time is approximately 45 to 60 minutes by taxi or the Airport Express train.

Airport Limo/Taxi services:
Participants can take the Airport Limo ( from the airport to the hotel.

You may need to get a coupon for limo or taxi (at a fee of MYR 2) at the Airport Limo counters at Arrival Hall, Main Terminal or the Taxi counter after exiting the arrival area.

The cost for the Airport Limo is approx. MYR 80.00 (USD24) per trip from airport to the city center.  

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport Express (KLIA Express):
Participants can also take the KLIA Express Train which runs from the terminal to the KL Sentral train station and the journey takes only 28 minutes.  The train operates at 15-mins intervals during peak hours and 20-mins during off-peak.  The cost for one-way fare is at RM55 (Adult) and RM25.00 (Child), and the return cost is RM100.00 (Adult) and RM45.00 (Child). 

Detailed information on KLIA Express Train and
Once you have arrived at the KL Sentral Train Station, you can hire a taxi to continue to your hotel.  The Budget Taxi booths are located on the upper level of the KL Sentral Train Station.    

General Information

Payment and currency: The unit of currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit indicated as RM.   

Participants are advised to change some currency into Ringgit upon arrival at the first port of entry in Malaysia. There are several licensed money changers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at both the arrival and departure halls and in and around hotels in Kuala Lumpur. Major credit cards like VISA and Mastercard are widely used throughout Malaysia. General banking hours are Mondays to Fridays from 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. ATMS are also available at the arrivals hall of KLIA.

Electricity: The standard voltage in Malaysia is 220 - 240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second.  Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets.

Language: The official language in Malaysia is the Malay Language.  However, in addition to Malay, many Malaysians speak English and Mandarin. Signs around the country are in Malay and English.

Mobile Phones: If you plan to make numerous calls and/or need to be reached at all times, you can use your international mobile phone as roaming is available in the country.  Otherwise you can purchase prepaid SIM cards (Hotlink, Digi, Maxis, Celcom, U Mobile or Tunetalk) at any phone shop located at KLIA either prior to clearing immigration or at the public area of the KLIA arrival hall, or at shopping malls.

Outings in Kuala Lumpur: Please check Malaysia Tourism Centre website.

Medical Assistance:  For any medical consultations and/or in health emergency cases you can rely on the hotel to call a doctor or use the emergency medical contacts listed below.

  • Gleneagles Hospital               Tel: (+603) 4141 3000
  • Kuala Lumpur Hospital           Tel: (+603) 2615 5555
  • Tawakal Hospital                   Tel: (+603) 4023 3599

Climate: Tropical climate with warm weather and rain all year round. The average temperature in September in Kuala Lumpur is 30°C.

  • Thank you for your interest on this Global Symposium
    The online registration for the Global Symposium has been closed as of September 9, 2016. Please contact or should you still want to register for the Global Symposium.
  • Bank Negara Malaysia

    Central Bank of Malaysia
    The role of Bank Negara Malaysia is to promote monetary and financial stability. This is aimed at providing a conducive environment for the sustainable growth of the Malaysian economy.
  • Location: Sasana Kijang, No. 2 Jalan Dato’ Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • CONTACT: Conference Organizers