The digitalization strategy of Malaysia’s Maybank is yielding encouraging results, particularly for its Shariah banking portfolio.
Like many of its global and regional peers, Maybank is executing its growth plans with digitalization as its core, and figures as well as projections for group-level measures bode well for its Shariah business.
The lender expects a 30% year-on-year increase in Zakat transactions this Ramadan through its mobile app and web platform. This translates to RM30 million (US$7.28 million) in Zakat payments across about 200,000 transactions.
This optimism is driven by recent upgrades to its online Zakat features on both the digital platforms, including the automated calculation of Zakat contributions.
“Customers do not need to painstakingly search up the price of rice as stipulated by each state Zakat body as it is readily available in the app, nor do they need to key in their personal details as we have automated this process. The Akad for Zakat is also displayed at the payment confirmation page, making our online Zakat system the most complete one in the country presently,” explained Hamirullah Boorhan, Maybank’s head of community financial services Malaysia.
The digital Zakat payment service extends to all state Zakat bodies in Malaysia.
Hamirullah also shared that eDuit Raya, the bank’s e-transfer service designed specifically for Eid, will generate some 1.5 million transactions, amounting to RM115 million (US$27.91 million).
Zakat collection aside, another digital initiative showing promising results in the Islamic side is Maybank’s SME Digital Financing, which was introduced in late 2020.
Within six months of its launch, the bank hit the RM1 billion (US$242.72 million) threshold in loan approvals, receiving on average several hundreds of applications a day. Over 8,200 SMEs, out of which 85% are start-ups and microenterprises, benefited from this program. It is learned that over 70% of the RM1 billion in loans approved, or RM725 million (US$175.97 million), carry Shariah compliant structures. “Maybank SME Digital Financing was introduced last September at the height of the pandemic with two objectives in mind: first, to provide a quick and hassle-free financing to SMEs during this critical period when liquidity is crucial. Secondly, we wanted to ensure that financing is accessible to smaller enterprises, such as start-ups and microenterprises, which often face difficulty in securing funding due to their lack of credit record or collateral. We are very pleased that the market has responded positively to this solution so far and most importantly, SMEs are getting the assistance they need,” commented John Chong, Maybank Group’s CEO of community financial services.