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Matt Gamser

Matthew Gamser is CEO of the SME Finance Forum. He has over 35 years’ experience in private enterprise and financial sector development. He has worked for IFC for 10 years in various positions, including heading the advisory services for the financial sector in East Asia-Pacific (from Hong Kong). Prior to IFC he worked for 25 years in the private sector in management consulting and technology/small scale industry development. He holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University, and M.Sc. and D.Phil degrees from Sussex University (UK), where his work focused on the management of technological change.
BIIA Biennial Conference 2019

BIIA Biennial Conference: AI+Analytics+Data+ The Future of Managing Risk

Nov 04, 2019

It was a great honor to attend the Business Information Industry Association (BIIA) Biennial Conference from October 31 – November 1, in Bangkok, Thailand. The mantra of the meeting was the formula: “AI+Analytics+Data = the Future of Managing Risk”. The main themes included “AI:  Reality or Hype”, “The Changing Dynamics of Risk Management Information”, “Identity and Opportunity, Transparency, and Privacy”. What impressed me about BIIA, many of whose members have decades of success in serving the financial sector, is its openness to talk about the urgency of new thinking and new approaches to stay relevant. 

I moderated a panel on financial inclusion, where we brought SME Finance Forum members CreditInfo, Grab and JD Digits to join good friends NovaCredit. We talked about how new data and new approaches were enabling many more to gain access to payments, credit, insurance and other critical financial services. In this panel, we looked at what was necessary, beyond traditional credit information data, to manage risks for SMEs and individuals previously untouchable by formal finance. We also examined how financial capability might need to be re-examined entirely for this previously excluded group. 

I also served as a panelist with fellow member Experian, and the CEOs from Tinubu Square (innovator in trade insurance), Creditsafe (consumer credit innovator) and Schufa (the German bank-owned credit bureau) to discuss the future of credit and the credit information industry. Having boldly focused two years ago on how digitization needed to be embraced (and if not, how the industry might become a dinosaur), we continued to look at how technology is profoundly affecting the industry.

In speculating on the future of credit information, it was refreshing to learn how open my industry colleagues were about considering old models of central data stores may be losing value over time, and how partnerships with new fintechs and platforms may hold the key to their future.