Boost-RHB consortium, AEON Credit get digital bank green light

Boost Bank chief executive officer Fozia Amanulla

PETALING JAYA: Boost, the financial technology (fintech) arm of Axiata Group Bhd, together with its consortium partner, RHB Banking Group, has received the official approval from Bank Negara and the Finance Ministry to commence operations as a digital bank, with effect from Jan 15, 2024.

In a joint statement, Boost and RHB said the consortium becomes the first primarily Malaysian-owned digital bank to commence operations with a pioneering embedded digital bank app in the local market, designed to meaningfully address financial inclusion gaps for the underserved and unserved.

“The Boost-RHB Digital Bank Consortium received regulatory approval ahead of the scheduled timeline, following a thorough operational readiness review validated by Bank Negara.

“Having successfully demonstrated a robust and resilient foundational infrastructure for the digital bank, now formally known as Boost Bank by Axiata and RHB (Boost Bank), the consortium will advance into the alpha-testing phase involving internal employees, family, friends and a selected group of customers.”

In the lead-up to the public launch, the parties said the digital bank will progressively enhance its product propositions and refine the user experience to pave the way for a new era of embedded finance tailored to meet the diverse needs of all Malaysians.

“Spearheading the team is Fozia Amanulla, who was recently appointed chief executive officer of Boost Bank.

“She leads an experienced digital bank team, encompassing expertise across technology, information security, product, risk and compliance, and more – leveraging fintech talent from Boost, banking expertise from RHB and new capabilities from the wider industry.”

The Boost-RHB digital bank consortium, in which Boost holds 60% equity and RHB owns the remaining 40%, was among the five successful licence applicants announced by Bank Negara in April 2022.

Separately, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd announced that its associated company, AEON Bank (M) Bhd, has also obtained approval from Bank Negara and the Finance Ministry to commence its digital banking operations in Malaysia.

In a statement, the group said this positions AEON Bank as the first Islamic digital bank in Malaysia.

“The approval was granted pursuant to Bank Negara’s validation of the bank’s operational readiness. AEON Bank is also a subsidiary of AEON Financial Service Co Ltd,” it said.

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