Technology has vastly altered the way people bank. The days of standing in long queues at the bank are almost behind us! Today, people can open and manage digital bank accounts remotely. For those living in Malaysia, there are many fantastic digital banking options for consumers to choose from.
Due to new banking regulations, a limited number of digital banks are allowed to operate in Malaysia. However, the options that are available remain highly competitive. From Alliance Bank to OCBC Malaysia’s digital banking services, there are great digital banks to choose from in Malaysia.
In Malaysia, there are many digital account options available to consumers to suit their banking needs. In order to choose the best account for their financial needs, there are many factors to consider. Once we’ve looked at these, we’ll guide you through the digital banking options available in Malaysia!
Does Malaysia Have Digital Banks?
In recent years, digital banking has been a hot topic for those in Malaysia. To become a licensed digital bank in Malaysia, digital banks need to be licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia. Of course, BNM is Malaysia’s central bank and is responsible for licensing digital banks. However, Malaysia’s central bank is limiting the number of digital banking licenses they provide.
In 2021, Bank Negara Malaysia received twenty-nine applicants from digital banking contenders. However, there aren’t that many digital banks in Malaysia. That’s because the central bank limited the number of digital banking licenses to a total of five. This means that digital banking will not greatly alter or disrupt the existing banking sector in Malaysia yet.
Due to the limit on licenses by BNM, the competition was neck-and-neck between the 29 applicants, who all sought to provide digital banking services to the 32 million individuals living in Malaysia. However, compared to other countries, Malaysia has relatively high banking rates among its adult population.
According to statistics provided by the World Bank, only an estimated 8% of Malaysia’s adult population does not have access to a bank account. However, this figure may be as high as 15%. However, the government is hoping the advent of digital banking will result in 95% of their adult population having bank accounts.
There’s certainly interest from Malaysians in the financial services provided by these digital banks. In a study carried out by Visa, it was reported that more than 60% of Malaysian respondents were interested in using digital banks.
From paying bills to transferring funds to family and friends, there are many great reasons the citizens of Malaysia are intrigued by digital banking services. However, it’s important to carefully consider your financial needs before selecting a digital bank to open an account with.
Digital Banking Options In Malaysia
Digital banking licensing is just started in Malaysia, so there are a limited number of options available to customers. However, these digital banks remain competitive in terms of the services they offer consumers. This means that, even though your options may be somewhat limited, they’re all great ones!
Alliance Online By Alliance Bank
Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad is one of Malaysia’s leading banking groups. Founded in 1982, Alliance Bank has been offering competitive financial services to consumers and businesses for many decades. To remain competitive in the banking sector, Alliance Bank has expanded its services to include digital banking.
With the Alliance Online banking platform, users in Malaysia will be able to create a bank account digitally. With their digital accounts, users will be able to transfer funds between their accounts and transfer funds to other local banks. Users will also be able to pay various bills, top-up their prepaid devices, and even make financial investments online.
Alliance Bank’s digital banking solution is also secure! You’ll be able to get notifications whenever your account is involved in a transaction, allowing you to remain in control of your finances. With plenty of online security features implanted by Alliance Bank, you’ll be able to bank securely on the go, no matter what time it is!
Clicks By CIMB Bank
With their headquarters established in Kuala Lumpur, the CIMB Group Holdings Berhad is a universal Malaysian bank. CIMB has a strong presence in Malaysia. Founded in 2006, CIMB now has more than one thousand branches across the region. However, their next expansion is a digital one!
With a simple digital registration process, Clicks from CIMB Bank is another great digital banking option available to Malaysians. With a digital Clicks account, users will be able to transfer money, pay bills, and view bank statements – all from CIMB’s dedicated banking app.
Through their digital platform, Clicks account holders will also be able to schedule payments and top up prepaid credits. Users will also be able to make cashless QR payments using the Clicks mobile application. There are also many investment opportunities available to Clicks users through the online platform.
HSBC Malaysia Digital Banking
HSBC Bank is a multinational British banking institution. Founded in 1836, HSBC has a well-established presence across the globe. In fact, they have a presence in more than 80 international territories. This included Malaysia, where HSBC is offering world-class digital banking services!
In terms of registration, digital bank accounts can be set up with HSBC Malaysia online or through their mobile application. Within three simple steps, prospective users will have completed the registration process. Once their accounts are approved, users can begin using HSBC Malaysia’s digital banking facilities.
HSBC’s digital banking supports many transfer and payment options, including JomPay, DuitNow, and FPX. From personal financing to investment opportunities, there are many other great digital banking features for users. With advanced security measures implemented by HSBC, users can bank comfortably knowing that their finances are secure. Especially with the numerous security options provided by HSBC Malaysia.
Maybank2u By Maybank Malaysia
Established in 1960, Malayan Banking Berhad (more commonly known as Maybank) is a universal Malaysian financial institute. According to recent reports, Maybank is the most valuable banking brand in Malaysia. In fact, Maybank is the largest financial services institution in Malaysia. When you’re one of the top five banks in South East Asia, you have to provide cutting-edge services!
With a simple and efficient digital onboarding process, Maybank2u offers many different digital services to consumers in Malaysia. With their intuitive app, users will be able to get an overview of their finances, pay bills and e-bills, and make payments and transfers.
From Samsung Pay to Visa’s Click to Pay, there are many contactless payment options available to Maybank2u digital account holders. Scan and pay QR payments are also supported. Maybank2u also encourages consumers to realize their savings goals, allowing them to track these digitally. Users will even be able to invest their spare change for further financial benefits.
OCBC Malaysia Digital Banking
Founded in 1932, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC Bank) is an international Singaporean Bank. In 1994, OCBC Bank Malaysia Berhad was established. Today, OCBC Malaysia is one of the largest foreign banks in the region. As part of the second-largest banking group in South East Asia, OCBC Malaysia has remained competitive in the financial services they offer.
OCBC Malaysia’s forward-thinking digital banking solutions allow users to bank securely wherever they are. With their digital accounts, users will have access to many more financial services than just transfers, payments, and statements. With their handy application, all your financial services will be consolidated into one easy-to-use platform.
From this platform, users will be able to get an overview of their spending habits, make contactless payments, and make investments from the comfort of their phones. Even as you spend, you’ll keep earning with OCBC cashback programs, discounts, and one-for-one deals.
Choosing The Right Digital Bank For Your Financial Needs
With a limited number of digital banking options available in Malaysia, it’s crucial that prospective users are aware of the factors they need to consider when choosing a digital bank.
#1: Consider All Digital Banking Features
If you decide to open a digital bank account, it’s important to make sure that you have access to all the banking facilities you’ll require in the future. Due to this, prospective customers should carefully consider all the features offered by digital banks.
As mentioned earlier, there are many basic features that are considered standard digital banking features. However, there are also more advanced features certain digital banks will offer their customers. While these extra features may not appeal to all users, there may be nifty features that allow you to better manage your finances.
#2: Consider Digital Account Requirements
One of the best advantages of opening a digital bank account is that it can be done online from anywhere. However, when opening an account, it’s important to be aware of any account requirements that are stipulated by the financial institute.
Your chosen digital bank may require you to make a minimum deposit when opening your account. If this happens to be the case, you’ll need to enquire about the methods that can be used to fund your account.
It may also be stipulated that you need to maintain a certain minimum balance to keep your digital account active. Ultimately, these stipulations will vary between digital banks. Many digital banks across the globe no longer require initial deposits or minimum balances.
#3: Consider Your Banking Accessibility
In many regards, digital banking simplifies the way people fulfill their financial needs. Without the need to ever visit a banking branch to complete transactions, there’s much to love about digital banking. However, there are also certain limitations that come with a fully digital banking experience.
One factor in this regard is the access you’ll have to ATMs with your digital bank account. Digital banks will state which ATMs customers can use across the nation. Furthermore, digital banks may even offer a certain number of free withdrawals to users every month. Once any free withdrawals have been used, fees will generally begin applying.
Another factor to consider is account or payment limitations. Depending on your relevant banking needs, you’ll want to ensure that your chosen digital bank account is suited to long-term your financial habits. Digital banks may offer various account options to users, allowing you to find the account most suited to your banking needs.
#4: Consider Digital Banking Fees
Above, we mentioned possible ATM withdrawal fees and varying account options. These factors are closely linked to digital banking fees. These fees are an important consideration to make when choosing a digital bank. Luckily, digital banks are known to be more transparent in terms of account fees.
With different types of digital accounts offered by digital banks, fees may vary between these different account options. When finding the right digital account for your banking needs, it’s imperative that you understand the fee structure associated with your desired account.