Categories: Finance

Boost and RHB consortium look to greater financial inclusion

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KUALA LUMPUR – Boost, the fintech arm of Axiata Group Bhjd and RHB Banking Group achieved a significant milestone after securing the highly anticipated digital bank licence issued by BNM.

Boost and RHB formed a Digital Bank consortium with Boost owning a majority stake of 60%, and RHB owning the remaining 40%.

The idea, they said, was to drive innovation, increase competitiveness and fast-track the country’s digital transformation ambition.

The aim will be to create greater access for financial inclusion digitally amongst the underserved and unserved segments.

Dato’ Izzaddin Idris, President & Group CEO of Axiata who is also the Chairman of Boost says, “This is a significant milestone for Axiata’s fintech business and a validation of the strong value proposition we bring to the table with our partners RHB Banking Group.

“The digital banking business aligns with our collective aspirations to support Malaysia’s digital transformation, as well as the advancement of Axiata’s digital inclusion drive across the region.

“Securing this license in our home ground delivers multi-pronged opportunities to address ongoing digitalisation shifts across our businesses. On one hand, we can now deliver financial inclusion to underserved and unserved segments such as the Micro and Small and Medium.”

A Boost to financial inclusion

For Sheyantha Abeykoon (picture above), Group CEO of Boost, the Digital Bank will be a catalyst for greater financial inclusion and aligns with our core mission to financially empower and support users and merchants.

“The award of the digital banking licence now fulfils our vision of becoming a full spectrum fintech player in the region to better serve the underserved and as one of the pioneers in the industry, we look forward to this very exciting journey in creating an inclusive digital and financial ecosystem for all Malaysians together with RHB via the digital bank.”

Mohd Rashid Mohamad, Group Managing Director/Group Chief Executive Officer of RHB Banking Group says this is an exciting chapter for the financial services industry in Malaysia.

“The Digital Banking license granted to RHB and our partner Axiata is an important step in reinforcing our commitment to continuously enhance our value propositions and better serve our stakeholders, particularly in providing quality financial services to a wider range of customers, in this case – underserved businesses and individuals in Malaysia.

“Our joint customers will gain access to credit that is digital, nimble, and secure. Which ties in well with RHB’s brand commitment of delivering simple, fast and seamless experiences. We look forward to playing our part in charting the industry’s evolution into this exciting era of digital banking and making progress happen for everyone.”

The Future of Digital Banking in Malaysia

With the announcement of five digital banking licenses, Malaysia is now poised to unlock the benefits of a fresh digital banking journey.

It echoes a growing international confidence in digital banking solutions, with almost 250 digital banks established globally by the end of 2020, of which 50 of the digital banks are based in the Asia Pacific region. Acceptance of digital banking solutions has grown rapidly in recent years.

According to the 2021 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes study, over 74% of Malaysians are aware of digital banking and 66% are interested in using digital banking services.

This is also evident within RHB with 93% of all transactions being digital in 2021, which is a significant increase from 64% in 2017. 

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