KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd, through its fintech arm Boost, will launch its digital banking component with its partner RHB Bank Bhd by the end of this year.
Group chief executive officer and managing director Vivek Sood said the product offering includes cash deposits, current account and savings accounts, credits of different forms, insurance and other financial products.
“We will launch the products starting from, and hopefully, at the end of this year and are optimistic of the outcome from digital banking,” he said during the media briefing for Axiata’s annual general meeting today.
Vivek said the company is confident with launching the digital bank, which it secured from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in April last year, and pointed out that the company have done most of the operation of the digital bank.
“We have issued RM1.5 billion of loans to small and medium enterprises within our existing businesses with Boost.
“As for credit, we also have acquired over 500,000 customers, which is also the number of our active customers on a monthly basis, of which could potentially be the customers for our digital banking from day one,” he said.
Vivek added that the company is in the midst of preparing its digital banking plans for BNM’s necessary approval, especially for the operational review for phase one.
“We have constituted the legal company. We got the ministry, board members, and management put in place for the digital bank. Whilst the information and technology (IT) platform is being implemented.
“The platform is set up with full security, whether it’s on privacy, data breaches or cyber security. Not only that, the approvals from the central bank will be taken into consideration if the platform is adequately secure,” he added.
On earnings, Axiata posted growth in revenue of 6.2 per cent to RM27.5 billion in the financial year 2022 (FY22) despite macroeconomic challenges last year.
Strong operational performance and one-off net gain on the Celcom-Digi merger have reflected in the company’s profit after tax and minority interest (PATAMI) to increase by more than 100 per cent to RM9.8 billion.
The company achieved cost savings of RM1.7 billion in FY22, which allowed the company to have a healthy balance sheet towards the end of the year with a cash balance of RM7.5 billion.
Axiata also declared a higher total dividend of 14.0 sen per share for the financial year ended 31 December 2022 compared to 9.5 sen in 2021.
This includes a special tax-exempt dividend of 4.0 sen per share after the completion of the Celcom-Digi merger.
Chairman Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said Axiata had shown a prudent yet progressive approach to becoming more resilient through strong execution capabilities and agility.
“We continued to take meaningful steps in executing our Axiata 5.0 Vision to drive sustainable business growth and build digital inclusivity, connectivity and ecosystems that empower communities and businesses.
“Axiata is encouraged that its efforts to advance an inclusive digital economy and society have earned it an improved ranking to 22 on the World Benchmarking Alliance’s Digital Inclusion Benchmark, which evaluates the world’s 200 most influential digital technology companies on their responsibility to foster digital inclusion across the sector,” he said.
Image by: New Straits Times