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Technology has changed the face of the financial sector: however user base still needs expanding

Interview with Syed Ali Raza Bukhari — Chief Executive, Vector Securities (Pvt) Ltd

PAGE: KINDLY TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CAREER:
SYED ALI RAZA BUKHARI: I have been associated with the financial sector for quite over a decade now and have been involved in addressing multiple dimensions from catering to specific client needs to diligently managing back office operations including risk management and compliance.
It is a matter of great privilege and prestige for me to have been associated with the capital markets in various capacities. Being the front line manager of a stock brokerage firm and in particular of a highly regulated sector, I feel that there’s so little done and so much to be done yet. So much is to be learnt and so much to be implemented. I hope and pray to keep moving up the steep learning curve.

PAGE: DO YOU THINK THAT THE WORLD HAS CHANGED POSITIVELY DUE TO THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR?
SYED ALI RAZA BUKHARI: The shortest and the most assertive answer to this question is, ‘Hell Yes’. Technology has indeed changed the entire facet of not only the financial sector but in entirety the whole world. There has been a paradigm shift from using pens to digital signatures and from physical presence to cam chats and so forth. Technology has deeply impacted the entire network of life and I doubt there would be anyone who wouldn’t second it. Technological change pertaining to the financial sector in particular has made life much easier, be it dealing with the clients or the regulators. Transparency, ease and efficiency are the most vocal by-products of it all. I cannot far relate to the progress of our financial sector/capital market had there been no technology breakout.

 

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON THE USE OF E-COMMERCE IN PAKISTAN AND THE SITUATION OF THE INVESTMENT PATTERNS FOR THE YOUTH:
SYED ALI RAZA BUKHARI: Based on a research, it is observed that the younger population, between 18-34 years, is most actively involved in e-commerce trades as compared to the rest of the population. Moreover, those falling between the age brackets of 25-34 years account for the highest number of users, with the 18-24 years bracket falling at second place. One of the most significant reasons for this observation is the fact that people above the age of 35 are less inclined towards technology and its uses, whereas youth between 18-34 years are at forefront of the technological revolution and are more open towards adapting to technological changes.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON THE BENEFITS OF THE TECHNOLOGY, WHICH PAKISTAN HAS NOT AVAILED SO FAR IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR:
SYED ALI RAZA BUKHARI: Bitcoins or Blockchain transactions are globally and widely spreading. These digital transfers are taking up the entire global financial system like a forest fire. I believe that our apex regulators are already perusing and contemplating the use of this technology for the entire financial sector here in Pakistan. Nonetheless, everything has its course and a time check before it is comfortably implemented. I firmly believe that very soon people will be hearing about bitcoin transactions locally, which eventually, would be a paradigm shift for the entire financial system in the near future.

PAGE: HOW WOULD YOU COMMENT ON THE SUPPORT/MONITORING OF THE GOVERNMENT IN TERMS OF REGULATION OF E-COMMERCE THESE DAYS?
SYED ALI RAZA BUKHARI: Every era in the past has had its threats and the same were addressed as we evolved. But in today’s T-era (Technological era) no threat is considered as devastating as a cyber crime threat. The latest ‘ransomware’ cyber-virus attack on China emerging from Europe, that led to not only crippling life but creating widespread panic and complete fiasco, is a unique set of example and benchmark to study and stay ahead of.
Yes, technology is the base to continued advancements in various walks of life, but then so are its inevitable threats that are to be monitored as vigorously. Robust regulations have to be inculcated across the breadth where developments have to be back tested for loops and threats. I believe that our government/regulators are well acquaint of these cyber threats that run hand in hands with all the tech-developments and are striving hard to staying abreast with it.

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