Malaysian banks increase spending on digital, engagement financial wellness initiatives

KUALA LUMPUR: About 64 percent of Malaysian consumer business decision makers said their respective companies are increasing spending on digital and engaging financial wellness initiatives – the highest number in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, more than Singapore, Japan and Australia.

According to a study commissioned by Backbase, a leading engagement banking platform, the reveal came from the filing of applications for a digital banking license from Bank Negara Malaysia.

As of the filing date, June 30, 2021, the central bank had received 29 applications for five digital banking licenses, which are expected to be granted in the first quarter of 2022.

“Malaysia’s retail banking sector is now preparing for the onslaught of competition by bringing a variety of new digital capabilities to its customers,” said Backbase.

APAC regional vice president Iman Ghodosi said the current situation offers banks an opportunity to build their digital offerings as the report showed Malaysians have an insatiable appetite for digital offerings.

Around 67 percent of consumers surveyed said they use their bank’s mobile app, 87 percent believe that a great mobile app is a feature they value from financial service providers, and 82 percent use their smartphone to do their day-to-day banking. he said.

Ghodosi expects the next six months to be a critical turning point in digital banking.

“The urgency and focus behind it is clear – Malaysia has five of the hottest digital banks waiting to explode into the banking scene and take market share over the next year, and traditional banks are concerned,” he said.

He noted that Malaysians want greater levels of customer service and flexibility in the financial services they subscribe to, the ability to access their personal finances anytime, anywhere through any channel, and the tools necessary to manage them.

“Traditional banks can lose ground if they don’t innovate quickly. It is now more important than ever to have the relationship with your customer.

“We have entered the era of engagement banking, a development that emphasizes a unified platform approach to banking, and the number one priority is to fully align the bank with the customer and move away from isolated technology investments,” he added . – Bernama

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