Kuala Lumpur, Thursday, 9 January 2014: The Malaysian Association of Money Services Business (MAMSB) has been officially launched by the Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Dato’ Muhammad Ibrahim at a ceremony here this morning, in an effort to shape the growth and integrity of the money services industry and enhance consumer awareness.

MAMSB was established on 22 August 2013, barely five months ago. It is a national association for all the licensees and approved money services business agents governed by the Money Services Business Act 2011. Within this short span of time, MAMSB has managed to establish its own office premises and official website. As of 3rd January 2014, 412 licensee have registered as members. MAMSB has also conducted 6 training sessions on Fundamental Corporate Governance with the aim to enhance the professionalism of its members throughout the country. It is timely now for the association to start a new phase of its journey, i.e., to promote consumer awareness on the money services industry.

The remittance and money-changing industry in Malaysia has grown significantly in the last decade. Traditionally, remittance services in Malaysia were provided only by the banking institutions. With the growing importance and significance of remittance flows, in particular remittances abroad by foreign workers in the country, Bank Negara Malaysia has liberalised the policy to allow non-bank players to provide remittance services to increase access to formal remittance channels.

With the increase in the number of players in the money services industry and the introduction of the new legislation, the Money Services Business Act 2011, it is timely to establish the national association, the Malaysian Association of Money Services Business (MAMSB). The main objective of MAMSB is to support the money services industry and to promote a high degree of professionalism to align to the national agenda while representing the interest of its members.

Globally, the money-changing and remittance industry has also seen significant growth over the last decade in terms of size, sophistication and number of players with global linkages and advanced operations. In Malaysia, the volume of money-changing and remittance transactions has similarly increased significantly in tandem with the expansion in economic activity. The money services industry needs to be modernized in line with the rapid technological advancement. In modernizing the industry, it is important to ensure the safety, security and integrity of these activities in serving the consumers.

Hence, MAMSB also has an important role in educating the public, in particular the consumers on the provision of the money services in Malaysia and to encourage them to use the formal money services channels. Consumers need to be aware of their rights and provided with accurate and timely information on issues concerning money services.

The effectiveness of MAMSB depends on the awareness of its existence and the responsibility it carries. To this end, MAMSB requires more effective and efficient methods to reach out to the public. The media can play a very effective role to assist MAMSB in consumer education by disseminating the correct and timely information to the public.

MAMSB is confident that through constructive engagement with the relevant authorities, the money services industry will grow and develop into an even bigger player in the country’s economic prosperity.