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Affin Bank's remarkable project receives Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards

SMEColony steps up the digital game for SMEs.

Ninety-nine percent of business establishments in Malaysia are Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), but most of them have yet to fully realise the benefits of digitalisation and e-commerce. This is extremely important in the “new normal”, which prescribes businesses to go online and provide goods and services in the best and most convenient way possible amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With the Malaysian government launching several digitisation initiatives and projects for SMEs, local financial institutions need to complement these efforts and provide better support for the SME space in the country. Affin Bank Berhad (AFFINBANK), a local Malaysian bank and the financial holding company of Affin Islamic Bank Berhad, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad, Affin Moneybrokers Sdn Bhd and AXA AFFIN Life Insurance Berhad, attempts to bridge the digitalisation gap with SMEColony, Malaysia’s first SME Community Development App, prioritising SMEs and startups’ need and community growth.

At the Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards, the SMEColony platform was awarded as the best in the Mobile - Banking category. SMEColony serves as a one-stop platform for SMEs to access information and resources that are otherwise unavailable in conventional banking platforms and touchpoints. Through SMEColony, AFFINBANK acts as the intermediary between SMEs and passionate industry partners like government agencies and like-minded businesses.

SMEColony’s core propositions are to improve business knowledge with continuous content enrichment, enhance financial well-being via advisory and bank solutions, as well as expand network via events and functions. SMEColony operationalises these propositions through various features including Rakaniaga, SME BizChat, Startup Exclusives, and Financial Solutions, amongst other compelling features.

SMEColony’s Financial Solutions form a suite of banking facilities provided by AFFINBANK and AFFIN ISLAMIC designed to make SMEs run more efficiently. Available in both conventional and Islamic financial products, these solutions involve deposits, financing, trade, and cash management. In addition, SMEColony offers Bancatakaful/Bancassurance to help business owners safeguard their businesses against risks with a customized protection plan.

Meanwhile, with Rakaniaga, users can draw from a vast wealth of information on business solutions available to them. From digital marketing to logistics and all kinds of suppliers ready to support business growth, SMEColony’s comprehensive database helps SME owners reach out to the best partners and engage with them. Users also have access to SME BizChat, where they can attend or join online events to connect with industry innovators, be up to speed with the latest trends, and discover business tips to help them get ahead.

Beyond SMEColony, AFFINBANK has created a roadmap to sustain a robust and accessible digital SME community ecosystem that puts SME businesses first. With a 5,000-strong team, the Bank has not only come up with the innovative SMEColony mobile application, but also several more digitization initiatives soon to come in serving its customers better.

The Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review, was held via video conferencing throughout the month of September.

This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Justin Ong, Partner and FSI Financial and Regulatory Risk Leader at Deloitte Asia Pacific; Alvin SH Gan, Executive Director, Partner, Head of IT enabled Transformation (ITeT) at KPMG Malaysia; Hari Iyer, Executive Director, Advisory at BDO Kuala Lumpur; Michael Lim Jr, Managing Director at Crowe Growth Consulting Sdn Bhd; Jade Leong, Partner, Advisory at Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn Bhd.

If you would like to join the 2021 awards and be acclaimed for your company’s exceptional technological innovations, please email Julie Anne Nuñez at julie@charltonmediamail.com

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