“At some point in time, it (became) generally regarded that regulators are behind the financial innovation developments,” Teng said. “They have been since catching up with this problem.”
As an example, he points to an AFS-IT international forum held in Hong Kong in May that bought together leaders from fintech, the banking sector and government regulators, leading to the creation of a workgroup to raise digital KYC (Know Your Customer) standards and develop other safeguards.
“They are open to what the tech firms will say about compliance requirements or regulatory requirements when they develop products on their own or in cooperation with financial institutions,” Teng said. “That’s a very positive note.”
Created in March, AFS-IT is a Hong Kong-based NGO that identifies threats to such as money laundering, illicit transfers and terrorist funding, according to its official website.
“We only started in March this year; we have to move things step-by-step. But instead of just focusing locally, we moved to the region — at least to start with the Asian countries,” he said.
Ultimately, cybercrime is a crossborder challenge that demands a global set of protocols for all regulators to follow, Teng said.