UOB’s transaction banking business making headway in Malaysia
To be able to address its corporate customers’ unforeseen challenges during the pandemic effectively, UOB’s senior management in Malaysia knew it had to be swift and decisive.
The response was a combination of efforts. Notably, the bank’s cash management business remained resilient and agile despite a general slowdown in the economy during the pandemic. At the same time, UOB Malaysia also launched new products and increased customer engagement to improve user experience.
“An important part of our focus has been developing new solutions so that our transaction banking offering evolved to better optimise and accelerate business growth among our customers,” said Lucas Chew, Country Head of Transaction Banking at UOB Malaysia.
Bringing more cash management online
The continuous enhancement of new features in BIBPlus (UOB’s business internet banking platform) reflects UOB’s focus on alleviating customers’ challenges by enabling them to operate more efficiently.
In particular, it minimised trips to the bank. This was achieved through several ways, including making it possible for customers to perform additional Employee Provident Fund (EPF) payment types such as late charges and dividends via BIBPlus.
The bank also created the option for customers to make electronic foreign currency transfers to UOB Malaysia accounts for the first time.
The efforts to craft new solutions and enhancements have led to a strong 30% growth in the bank’s BIBPlus customer base in 2021; more specifically, seven out of every 10 customers now subscribe to BIBPlus.
“Whilst businesses across industries big and small were forced to work from home to fight the pandemic, we took the opportunity to stay connected with them via digital and electronic means,” explained Chew.
This also required greater customer engagement to educate them on online banking and its benefits via a series of communications in relation to set-up, security and ongoing usage.
“The common thread of our communications revolves around assisting our customers in their banking needs without compromising on their health and safety,” added Chew.
Driving digital collaboration
UOB Malaysia has been in the forefront of driving digitalisation by helping customers to shift their business from offline to online.
Due to the prolonged movement restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Malaysia last year, UOB has been swift in introducing a number of new products and services to ensure the sustainability of their customers’ business by adopting digital tools.
- SWIFT GPI – creating traceability for international payments to ensure higher levels of transparency
- DuitNow QR – allowing customers to easily receive instant payments from their customers by scanning QR codes
- UOB mCollect – digitising collections for customers, working as both Point of Sale and Cash on Delivery
- Newly-enhanced UOB eAlerts – providing more account-related and trade activities via email and SMS
Ultimately, the bank uses its Application Programming Interface (API) to help transform customers’ businesses into more efficient entities.
“This empowers them to perform real-time financial transactions using their own Enterprise Planning Resource system without the need to log in to online banking,” explained Chew.
Supporting financial ecosystems
As the importance of robust financial supply chain management become increasingly acute for businesses, it is more critical than ever to thoroughly understand what customers want and need, and then align this with tools and services to optimise their finance and business operations.
“With customers’ requirements becoming more complex, plain vanilla solutions are no longer sufficient. Customised solutions are now the standard for any transaction banking business,” said Chew.
This can be seen from the various solutions which have been implemented for different types of customers.
For instance, for Dropee, a B2B commerce solution provider whose main challenge relates to the handling of large volumes of payments, UOB’s cash management solutions entail receivables, host-to-host and SWIFT MT940 solutions. The bank also engaged with the client on a business collaboration which benefits both parties via UOB x Dropee – in short, fostering more business leads.
This also highlights the pioneering nature of UOB’s solutions in leveraging fintech as technological partners.
Meanwhile, for Sekolah Menengah Chung Ling Persendirian, an independent secondary school in Penang, UOB Malaysia provided a bespoke set of cash management solutions covering receivables, payables, liquidity management and information management. The result was an optimised way for the school to collect tuition fees, as well as other value-added solutions to enhance administrative and financial processes further.
“We aim to become our customers’ trusted partner; a partner who works with them to realise their business expansion aspirations, and support them every step of the way,” added Chew.