AmBank ramps up digital strategy

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s sixth largest banking group by assets, Group, plans to ramp up the digitalisation of its financial services as it looks to invest RM150mil over the next two years for its digital strategy.

Group chief operations officer Datuk Iswaraan Suppiah said the RM150mil capital expenditure represented an increase of 50% as compared to the RM100mil spent in the past two years.

Although AmBank’s digital journey started relatively later than the other big names in the financial sector, about 70% of the bank’s products and services have been digitalised or “made online” to date.

In less than two years after the inception of its digital strategy, AmBank has seen promising returns from its investments.

Since the launch of AmOnline – AmBank’s digital banking service – in October 2017, the bank’s customer base has doubled in size, Iswaraan told StarBiz.

The AmOnline app is the country’s first online banking platform to be equipped with a multi-lingual option in English, Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin.

The app, which is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offers transacting features such as fund transfer, bill payments, prepaid mobile top ups as well as credit card and loan payments.

Customers can also consolidate their outstanding credit card balance from other banks into their AmBank credit cards, or get cash from their credit card under the “Quick Apply” feature.

Iswaraan pointed out that as a result of AmBank’s continued digitalisation push, its online financial transactions have surged by 100 times in a one-year period.

“On the retail segment, our digital initiatives have allowed the cost of serving customers to come down to 10% as compared to what we will incur if we serve through branches. We will pass through the reduced cost to serve in terms of better rates online to our customers.

“As for the non-retail or corporate segment, we have the AmAccess digital banking platform. We are seeing the average current account balances grow up to three-fold for these clients who use our digital solutions,” he said.

He added that AmBank would soon pilot-launch its SME online banking platform, AmAccess Biz.

Iswaraan said AmBank rolled out new features for its digital platforms once in every three months to update the online solutions and meet customers’ evolving needs.

The bank’s online offerings are mostly developed by its in-house technology experts in line with AmBank’s aspirations to transform its digital footprint, led by data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

On Oct 29, AmBank launched its virtual financial assistant, AMY, as part of its drive to enhance customers’ digital banking experience. AMY, an acronym of AmBank Malaysia, is integrated into AmBank’s AmOnline mobile banking app.

For a start, Iswaraan said AMY would focus on assisting customers on credit card services such as activating a new card, resetting a forgotten pin, arrange a temporary or permanent credit card limit increase, blocking a lost card and help customers pick the right credit card.

“AMY has been a success for AmBank. Since its launch till Nov 21, some 22,100 users have interacted with the virtual financial assistant.

“About 288 cards have been activated, while 132 temporary credit limit increase applications have been recorded via AMY,” he added.

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