ASEAN banking powerhouse and one of the region’s largest Islamic financial services providers, CIMB Group, has joined hands with Axiata Digital Capital (ADC) to offer digital financing solutions to over half a million SMEs in two of the biggest Shariah financial markets in Southeast Asia.
CIMB Group, the parent of CIMB Islamic, has entered into what has been touted as the “first regional collaboration between a bank and a digital services provider that is focused on fueling the growth of micro and small SMEs” with the fintech services arm of Axiata Digital.
“We are pleased to partner Axiata Digital Capital to strengthen our digital proposition to potentially 700,000 SMEs in Malaysia and Indonesia enabling them to gain access to financing solutions seamlessly and speedily to support their growth. Through this collaboration, we aim to fulfil SMEs’ unique needs based on their different business life stages. Further, CIMB will also extend end-to-end support for SMEs to expand their businesses both within their home market and offshore, by leveraging on our strong regional footprint and network,” said Victor Lee, CEO of group commercial banking at CIMB Group.
The financing solutions will be distributed through ADC’s digital financing platform, Aspirasi, a new addition to ADC’s portfolio of fintech solutions which include e-wallets and microfinancing and remittance products.
IFN Fintech understands from Axiata Digital that both the entities have “plans in the pipeline” for Shariah compliant digital banking and financial solutions.
This would be aligned with CIMB Group’s SME focus: earlier in March, the bank partnered with Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia to provide SMEs access to RM2 billion (US$478.7 million) in financing through the latter’s Shariah compliant Portfolio Guarantee-i scheme. The banking giant, which has a market capitalization of about RM52.3 billion (US$12.52 billion) as at the end of June 2019, has also committed to invest RM300 million (US$71.8 million) in tech and data for its commercial banking business over the next five years, to support the SME sector which expanded by 6.2% and 10% in Malaysia and Indonesia respectively, last year.