Thursday, May 23, 2024
ReportMalaysian Islamic banks raise their digital game

Malaysian Islamic banks raise their digital game

An Islamic bank in Malaysia has made digital onboarding a reality, leveraging on the country’s new guidelines, while another has integrated lifestyle banking into its customers’ digital experience. These are just a handful of new developments in the country as financial institutions scramble to alleviate revenue pressures through greater digital capabilities as customers pivot to online channels amid a global coronavirus pandemic.

Hong Leong Islamic Bank along with its conventional counterpart Hong Leong Bank (HLB) became the first banks in Malaysia to implement a digital-only onboarding service for citizens to open a bank account. This was facilitated based on Bank Negara Malaysia’s Electronic Know-Your-Customer (eKYC) guideline issued in June.

“Based on our data, we have seen a significant shift to digital banking over the past seven months. Expanding our digital offerings to the first-of-its-kind digital account opening through eKYC will further propel the move to digital banking,” explained Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB Dominic Fuda. “With COVID-19 still being a concern for all, digital platforms, including digital banking and payments, will play an even greater role in helping customers continue to live life and run their business uninterrupted.  

Online application for a bank account has been a service available to the banks’ customers previously; however, customers still had to complete the process by visiting a branch in-person for identity verification. 

“Apply@HLB closes the loop on our previous account opening process and delivers an end-to-end digital account onboarding process, which is also aligned with our digital-at-the-core strategy,” said Shailesh Grover, HLB’s chief digital and innovation officer, referring to the new app.

A debit card will be sent to customers opening a banking account through Apply@HLB and the group will also soon activate a fully digital credit card and enable personal financing applications without requiring customers to visit a physical branch.

In the last week, we also saw the country’s largest banking group, Maybank — which operates one of the largest Islamic banking brands in the region — launch MAE by Maybank2u.

The new app is built around an ecosystem focusing on personal finance management beyond regular banking needs.

“MAE by Maybank2u was developed to be more than just a banking app; we want it to be an all-encompassing platform to help our customers manage their day-to-day money matters. Imagine it to be a pocketable digital bank but with many cool features to help you take control of your money. The app contains the existing features within Maybank2u to help with your daily needs such as paying bills and fund transfers; but we have also introduced new tools to help customers track their spending while encouraging them to save too,” Maybank’s group president and CEO, Abdul Farid Alias,explained. The wallet also comes with a complementary debit card but more importantly features elements of lifestyle banking such as dining recommendations.


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