Malaysia’s oldest Islamic bank has unveiled its cloud-native digital banking proposition, a move to capture the digital-native younger generation. It is targeting between 350,000 – 400,000 downloads for the app over the next 12 months.
Bank Islam’s new proposition is branded Be U, which CEO Mohd Muazzam Mohamed believes would be a “gamechanger” for the bank as well as wider Shariah banking industry as it removes the need for branch visits. The app is built using Mambu Digital Core as its technology backbone and is housed in the Amazon Web Service cloud.
“Through Be U, Bank Islam is shifting from being product-centric to customer-centric in building products that fulfill customer needs. This effort aligns with our five-year business strategic plan (LEAP25), which aims to become the champion in Shariah-ESG total financial solution with leadership in digital banking and social finance,” said Muazzam.
The bank expects the app to open up new consumer segments and therefore, revenue streams, by focusing on young adults at the early stages of their working life and catering to their growing needs as they move toward financial independence.
The launch of Be U follows hard on the heels of the country welcoming the first five recipients of Bank Negara Malaysia’s highly coveted digital bank license – two of whom will be operating on a fully-fledged Islamic banking basis. While the industry expects another two years before these license holders would begin serving the market, the fervor for digital bank is high, driven in no small part to the COVID-19 pandemic which has altered consumer behavior. Incumbents and start-ups are aggressively pursuing a stronger digital mandate. For example, Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia is looking to launch its cloud-native Islamic digital bank this year while the country’s largest lender, Maybank, is bolstering its MAE app which has blurred the lines between a traditional bank and e-wallet.
Currently, the Be U app offers a savings account, fund transfer capabilities as well as a goal-based saving feature. Over the next 12 months, Bank Islam will be expanding the app’s offerings to include term deposit, a gig marketplace, debit card, personal financial management, microfinancing as well as microTakaful.
“We will replicate the learnings from Be U into the entire organization, which is the bigger picture we’re looking at. We want to turn Bank Islam into an increasingly agile organization by adopting new ways of working, attracting talents with new skillsets, using the latest technology, and leveraging data and automation,” explained Muazzam.