Maybank expects its 2017 mobile transactions to hit RM22b

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MALAYAN Banking Bhd’s (Maybank) mobile transactions are expected to hit a total value of RM22 billion by the end of the year, in line with the group’s efforts to boost digital banking.

Group CTO Mohd Suhail Amar Suresh Abdullah said the group’s digital journey has seen good traction over the last three years, with approximately 48% of eligible customers digitally active today.

“We estimate that by the end of 2017, RM22 billion in transaction value would have been conducted via our mobile platform this year, growing 95% year-on-year.

“Currently, we are grossing about RM19 billion, so the target is most likely achievable,” he told reporters at Maybank’s Digital Day media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The banking group’s mobile transactions, which have been growing in number and value at over 50% since 2015, are also projected to jump twofold to one billion by the end of 2017 from 484.7 million transactions in 2016.

“The transaction value target will be driven by higher usage and the new Maybank mobile app, which has a more personalised and simplified approach,” Mohd Suhail said.

According to the group’s statistics, the bank presently has 4.62 million digitally active users compared to 3.7 million in 2016, while monetary transactions to date stand at 342 million versus 253 million a year ago.

It currently also sees nearly 50% of new current accounts being opened via digital channels. The country’s largest lender by assets is said to be well-equipped to handle the exponent ial rise in demand and usage of digital channels among its customers, though it did not reveal the cost of its investment into digital technology, talent and security.

Among the bank’s upcoming services and features in the pipeline include facial and voice recognition capabilities, as well as QR (quick response) payments for digital banking customers.

“Although there is expected to be long-haul pressure on fees resulting from these initiatives and the convergence of digital with traditional banking, we expect this to be compensated by the volume of customers adopting digital banking,” Mohd Suhail said.

Group CFO Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said the reduction in general transaction fees will be offset by cost savings and increase in ancillary business.

On the effects of digitalisation on Maybank’s brick-and-mortar segment, he said physical branches remain “very important” to the group’s business.

“Branch optimisation is something we look at with or without the digital agenda. If there is rationalisation, it is due to a geographical overlap.

“With our digital initiatives, we are working on re-skilling people and shifting them to advisory roles to engage better with customers,” Amirul Feisal said.