10 April 2023

Alliance Bank Leads the Way for Innovative Digital Solutions for MSMEs

Press Release

Kuala Lumpur, 10 April 2023 - Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad (“Alliance Bank” or the “Bank”) has clinched the “Best SME Financing” award at The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services International Awards 2023 for its innovative digital solutions which makes financing more accessible to MSMEs.

The Bank was benchmarked against more than 100 financial institutions around the world and emerged the leader in the business lending category winning the “Best SME Financing” award for its digital SME financing initiatives which include fully digital collateral-free financing solutions for up to RM1 million via Alliance Digital SME Express Financing and Alliance Digital SME Cash Flow Financing. Both can be applied for online and requires only one single document for submission.

These digital solutions also picked up awards at two other recent awards programmes namely the Global SME Banking Innovation Awards 2023 for “Microfinance Product of the Year” as well as at the Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards 2023 for “Best Loan Offering”.

“Over the last few years, we have grown our market share in the SME industry from 3.4% to 5%, growing even through the challenges of the global pandemic. The inroads we have built has been further strengthened by the innovations in our product and service offerings as well robust digital platforms that provides fast and relevant solutions to meet our customers’ needs,” said Raymond Chui, the Bank’s Group Chief SME & Commercial Banking Officer.

Established in June 2021, Digital SME was part of the Bank’s accelerated digital agenda to keep ahead of the market. It embodies the challenger bank mindset in developing solutions for the smaller and micro SMEs (MSME), a segment that has been traditionally underserved and seen as a higher risk as compared to larger SMEs and corporations.

“We believe in serving our business customers across their life cycle and providing a full suite of products and solutions to enable and support their progress along their growth journey. The smaller SMEs have specific needs compared to more established businesses and therefore the Digital SME unit was established to tackle this challenge,” Chui said, adding that the unit utilises a ‘test and learn’ approach with team members who are encouraged to think ‘outside of the box’ to meet the unique challenges posed by the target market.

Chui said that the digital user journey introduced for MSMEs saw a 71% better completion rate since inception while customers only need an average of 10 minutes to complete their remote form submission which also features a 30% improvement on the number of details they have to provide during submission.

The Bank has also recently introduced remote opening of Business Current Accounts for business owners, following the success of its digital financing solutions.

“One of the challenges of serving this segment is that they have limited credit history and we have to look for ways to help them including new methods of underwriting and offering non-financial resources for them such as access to the Bank’s B2B resource center, BizSmart® Solution, a one-stop online business community portal for customers to access a broad suite of solutions and services at preferential rates,” Chui said.

Earlier this year, Alliance Bank also launched its MSME Business Outlook 2023 report which found that insufficient cashflow and working capital to be among the common barriers to the growth aspirations for MSMEs with 42.9% expecting cash flow to be an issue for them to capture business opportunities this year.

“MSMEs remain optimistic about making business decisions as one in three (32.9%) also said that they are still willing to take bolder strides for better future gains. Our support to enable their growth and help them to overcome their challenges is a helping hand towards maximising their impact and contribution to the economy in which they play a significant role,” Chui continued.

“As a Bank that aims to be our customer’s partner for life, our role does not end when they come onboard with us whether with the opening of a business banking account or loan application. We will continue to connect with them to deepen our understanding of their needs in order to continue innovating and grow alongside them,” Chui added. For more information on Alliance Bank Digital SME, please visit https://www.alliancebank.com.my/digitalsme

Accepting the Best SME Financing award at the prestigious The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services International Awards 2023 is Alliance Bank Group Chief SME & Commercial Banking officer Raymond Chui (second from left) and the bank’s digital SME head Kevin Shum (second from right). They are flanked by The Asian Banker Global international resource director and Excellence Awards Advisory Council member David Gyori (left) and The Asian Banker Global research director Christian Kapfer (right).