Bank Islam launches Be U, its branchless, cloud-native digital banking proposition that seeks to aid the progression of financial inclusion by targeting the digital-native, younger generations.
Using Mambu digital core as its technology backbone and housed within the Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud, the digital banking app offers users access to various banking services, including a zero balance savings account, fund transfer capabilities and a ‘Nest’ feature that helps users save for specific goals.
With zero legacies, the proposition is able to react to customers’ needs quickly. By leveraging its cloud-based advantage, Be U users can benefit from the agility of the app and enjoy a more curated, user-friendly and personalised banking experience.
In regards to financial inclusivity, the service benefits from being completely branchless. However, in a country where, according to BNM, only eight per cent of the population is regarded as ‘unbanked’, this advantage is unlikely to arrive as a major revelation.
As pointed out by Fitch Ratings, ‘the vast majority of these people have little or no income, which suggests they are not likely to become bankable simply because of renewed competition or better digital services.’
The service’s target audience is the ‘younger generations’ and its developers have hoped that by designing an ‘engaging and user-friendly interface’, the app will encourage this demographic to better understand and maintain their finances.
Indeed, this group of people are typically thought to be more digitally savvy, so the capabilities of the app might indeed prove to be a success yet.
Describing the service as “a gamechanger for Bank Islam,” group chief executive officer, Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said: “It is a product that intends to redesign and catalyse Bank Islam’s future growth by leveraging the rapidly changing fintech landscape and further allowing customers access to an affordable and easy-to-use financial solution.
“Through Be U, Bank Islam is shifting from being product-centric to customer-centric in building products that fulfil customer needs. This effort aligns with our five-year business strategic plan (LEAP25), which aims to become the champion in Shariah-ESG total financial solution with leadership in digital banking and social finance.”
Updates to the service, which are expected to arrive over the course of the next year, will include term deposits, gig marketplace, debit card and personal financial management capabilities, alongside micro-financing and micro takaful insurance.
“We will replicate the learnings from Be U into the entire organisation, which is the bigger picture we’re looking at. We want to turn Bank Islam into an increasingly agile organisation by adopting new ways of working, attracting talents with new skillsets, using the latest technology, and leveraging data and automation. This will, in turn, enable Bank Islam to serve our customers better,” Mohamed emphasises.
Being made available to the public since mid-June this year, Bank Islam targets between 350,000 and 400,000 downloads and users of the Be U app within the first 12 months of its operations.