AmBank aims 1m online users by end-2018
AmBank

The platform has seen its transaction count grows 63% since October 2017, while total transaction value has risen 24%

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

AmBank (M) Bhd aims to double the number of users on its AmOnline, an enhanced Internet banking platform, to one million by the end of 2018 as it continues to intensify its digital banking journey.

The banking arm of AMMB Holdings Bhd is expected to experience about 1,500 to 2,000 sign-ups per day on the platform, which was soft-launched in October last year.

“We are targeting to have one million users on AmOnline by year-end. Currently we have about 500,000 users,” AMMB group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir told reporters at the official launch in Kuala Lumpur recently.

He added that over half of the users registered with AmOnline have downloaded the mobile-app version of the platform — which is available on both iOS and Android — onto their smartphones.

“We are also talking to some players in the ecosystem to onboard more users rapidly,” AMMB group COO Datuk Iswaraan Suppiah said.

The platform has seen its transaction count grows 63% since October 2017, while total transaction value has risen 24% to about RM900 million per month.

Sulaiman said the online banking platform has an investment cost of about RM50 million, excluding infrastructure costs.

The group plans to roll out one new feature for AmOnline every three months.

This includes “Ask Amy”, a virtual customer service representative within the AmOnline mobile app which will be released in the second half of 2018 and will address credit- card services, with broader capabilities to follow thereafter.

According to Sulaiman, the bank has about four million customers on hand including 2.5 million active retail customers and 174 branches nationwide.

On whether the banking group would undertake more staff head-count reduction exercises in line with its digital banking agenda, Sulaiman said this would depend on its operational and digital needs.

“It’s always been about what the staff want and aligning that to what the bank wants. We did the most recent Mutual Separation Scheme (MSS) because we had cut a lot of processes and we didn’t need so many people.

“It was a function of the need then. The intention is not to lay people off, rather at that point in time, we made changes in processes and we gave the staff the option to stay on and make changes in the way we do business, or to opt out,” Sulaiman said.

AMMB in January this year offered the MSS to eligible and confirmed employees of AmBank, AmInvestment Bank Bhd and AmBank Islamic Bhd on a purely voluntary basis to further optimise its organisational structure.

The timing of the scheme was a result of the bank’s engagements with employees over the past year, through which it received queries on the possibility of a separation scheme from some staff members who wished to pursue other opportunities after having been with the group for some time.

Sulaiman said the group’s head-count today for the MSS-offered segments stands at about 8,000, while it was previously 9,500 before the recent MSS.

Meanwhile, the group’s total head- count including its insurance segment amounts to over 10,800.

“If we look at our processes and think we can be more efficient then, of course we will offer options to the staff. Some will want to retire, some want to become entrepreneurs and some want to go into investments,” Sulaiman added.