AmBank’s digital banking adoption grew 70% during MCO

The group decides to use most of its spending capacity towards upgrading its digital capability and enhancing customers’ convenience

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

AMBANK Group’s digital banking platform, AmOnline, saw a substantial increase in adoption of up to 70% during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, particularly from March until June.

Its COO Datuk Iswaraan Suppiah said the bank witnessed an uplift of customers utilising the digital channel compared to non-digital and traditional channels such as branches and automated teller machines (ATMs).

“Previously, for retail, the branches used to constitute almost 60% to 70% of the total retail transaction. But now, it is only doing about 7% to 10% of the transactions.

“We noticed that nearly 90% of the transactions are done through our digital banking platform,” he said at Red Hat Inc’s virtual press briefing on Charting Malaysia’s Course for Digital Resilience with Ambank and Social Security Organisation (Socso).

The group decided to use most of its spending capacity towards upgrading its digital capability and enhancing customers’ convenience when using Internet banking, especially via mobile.

“The whole idea is to offer convenience to customers. We realise having banking services at the branches per se is limiting, and our idea is to provide banking services in the customers’ ecosystem,” he said.

Iswaraan added that the group currently targets to have 1.4 million online customers on AmOnline by the end of its current financial year ending in March 2021.

He said the figure is a significant increase compared to 230,000 customers when the platform was launched two years ago.

AmBank currently has two main online initiatives, namely AmOnline and AmAccess Biz, which provide cash management solutions for small and medium enterprises.

Iswaraan said the bank has managed to gather nearly 8,000 corporations through AmAccess Biz since the platform launched at the end of last year.

The number is expected to at least double within next year or so, he added.

The group’s upcoming plans, Iswaraan said, include investing heavily in the open application programme interface (API) specification.

He said the programme generally helps developers use a specific software product in various ways, such as fitting it into third-party projects.

“There are already people connected through our open APIs and many other partners who are utilising us for that purpose.

“This is how AmBank will facilitate in the digital space, but the branches, ATMs and other physical banking aspects will still be available,” he added.

Recently, AmBank and Socso bagged the Red Hat Asia-Pacific Innovation Awards 2020 Malaysia for their innovative use of Red Hat’s enterprise open source solutions.

The bank won the cloud-native development category, while Socso topped the digital transformation category.

The winners were selected based on the impact of their Red Hat deployments on their business goals, industry and communities, as well as the uniqueness of the project’s vision.

US-based Red Hat is a leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container and Kubernetes technologies.

It helps customers integrate new and existing information technology applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardise on its operating system, and automate, secure and manage complex environments.

AmBank said the group embraced new working practices among its teams, through Red Hat, with a common goal of launching better and faster digital products to capture a larger market share.

Meanwhile, Socso CEO Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed said Red Hat’s solutions have been integral to its transformation strategy by allowing it to scale and improve business agility.

“Socso’s vision is to be the first, dynamic and outstanding leader in social security. With reduced operational costs and improved services, we can introduce and deliver new digital services rapidly and improve our customer service and reach effectively,” he said.

Apart from AmBank and Socso, Red Hat also awarded 27 other Asia-Pacific organisations this year across five categories, namely in digital transformation, cloud infrastructure, cloud-native development, automation and resilience.