Bank Islam goes digital

Malaysia’s oldest Islamic bank is turning to a Fortune 500 firm to transform its capabilities to be more in line with the digital age, with eyes on rolling out fintech solutions by next year.

Bank Islam is looking to leverage on fintech to better compete in the digital economy by working with global tech consulting firm Cognizant to lay its digital banking platform. This comes months after its subsidiary (BIMB Investment Management) raised the game by being the first asset management firm to incorporate artificial intelligence in its offering.

Under the collaboration, Bank Islam and Cognizant will identify suitable fintech products and develop them under Bank Negara Malaysia’s regulatory sandbox, explained CEO Khairul Kamarudin. The bank expects to launch at least one retail fintech solution by June 2018.

Primarily serving the retail segment, Bank Islam will also design new fintech solutions for the SME sector.

“We would leverage on Cognizant’s fintech solutions such as peer-to-peer financing, crowdfunding, mobile payments, wealth management and remittance platform to develop innovative products and services at a competitive pricing,” said Khairul.

The bank projects that it would be able to overcome cost and physical barriers to tap the rural and underbanked segments and expects to more than double revenue from non-fund-based income to 10% and attract some two million customers to migrate to the digital platform by 2019. To date, the base of its mobile banking customers stands at 900,000.


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