HONG Leong Islamic Bank (HLISB) recently unveiled its latest effort to strengthen its digital banking platform with the official launching of the first HLISB concept branch in the D’Pulze Shopping Centre, Cyberjaya.
With a heavy emphasis on digitalisation and vibrant, open decor, the compact 668 sq feet (62 sq m) branch utilises state-of-the-art infrastructure and IT systems, including self-service banking technology, touch screen PCs, iPads and video conferencing facilities to help deliver advice, handle customer complaints, enquiries and service requests.
HLISB managing director and chief executive officer Raja Teh Maimunah said customers in the digital age are looking for convenience.
“We have to provide new ways for customers to do banking, in particular today’s tech savvy customers who want services to be faster and with less intervention.
“Technology has a major role to play in business today and we are taking on this challenge to cater to the needs of younger customers while maintaining the longstanding relationship we have with our loyal customers,” she said.
“Customers will not have to queue up and it saves waiting time,” she said, adding that the bank chose Cyberjaya as the first location because it represented technology, is the centre for the Multimedia Super Corridor and had great infrastructure.
The Cyberjaya concept branch will be the first of three which are planned to be opened in locations with high pedestrian traffic this year, such as shopping malls where customers can enjoy 12-hour, seven-days-a-week operations.
Raja Teh Maimunah also said that the new branch’s concept also goes hand-in-hand with the bank’s increased focus on development of digital and mobile channels, such as the rebranding of Hong Leong Connect, its digital brand.
“Over 60% of Malaysians are now smartphone users, and there is a growing need to simplify products and services in order to be relevant to today’s customers,” she said.
One of Hong Leong Connect’s prominent features is PEx, its mobile money transfer service launched in March last year, that allows app users to send money by using the recipients’ mobile phone numbers.
The recipient gets a PIN and will be able to withdraw money from an ATM, or have it transferred into their accounts directly if they are Hong Leong Bank account holders.
Moving forward, Raja Teh said that all future HLISB branches would adopt the digital concept.
“Islamic banks do not have a wide network and it is hard to compete with conventional banks, so the digital platform is the way to go as we can reach other markets which are, right now, extremely fragmented,” she said.
She added that this was also in line with Bank Negara’s agenda to develop Malaysia as an Islamic banking hub.
“It also costs half compared to opening a traditional branch, with which we are able to expand our footprints even more,” she said.
Raja Teh Maimunah said that this was the first such concept in the evolution of Hong Leong bank branches and that they hope to pave the way for similar innovations in the banking industry.
“We hope that by promoting the digital banking platform, we can help contribute to the country’s economy and put Malaysia on the world map as an innovator in the financial industry,” she said.
Present to officiate at the launch was Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah.
“The financial services sector is starting to respond to today’s digitally empowered consumers. By offering something new, financial institutions like HLISB are increasing competition in the sector and encouraging traditional financial service providers to also innovate their offerings,” he said.
“It is my hope that other financial institutions will follow suit. These branches are the first step in the journey towards offering fully digital services across the nation,” he said before officiating at the launch with a digital signature.