SME Bank inks MOUs with Telekom Malaysia and Commerce.Asia to digitize access to SME financing

Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad (SME Bank), an agency under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development inked two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and Commerce.Asia respectively to complement SME Bank’s transformation agenda. Through the partnership, SME Bank aims to create the National SME Digital Platform, especially for micro and small enterprises to get access to financing.

The collaboration with TM will enable SME Bank to gain access to TM’s digital infrastructure and services such as high-speed internet; data centre and cloud computing which will serve as the enabler for SME Bank to explore on providing digital solutions for financing needs of the SMEs. Apart from being a technology partner to SME Bank’s digital economy blueprint, TM will also contribute its in-house talents such as data specialists and program architects to guide the SME entrepreneurs on their journey to digitalisation. In its efforts to encourage speedy and high adoption of digital technologies, TM is also offering attractive total communications solutions for SME entrepreneurs to be connected and enable them to explore a bigger market for more opportunities.

The collaboration with Commerce.Asia on the other hand will provide SME Bank access to Commerce.Asia’s database of over 700,000 SMEs in Malaysia and comprehensive ecosystem of eCommerce enabling technologies. This will complete the first phase of the digital platform creation whereby, Artificial Intelligence will be used to analyse the performance and readiness of the SMEs and develop an action plan to further assist them to grow bigger. With the uncertainty in the SME sector, it is important for the Bank to maximise its resources and use the digital data to produce a dynamic decision in order to nurture strong and resilient SMEs in the ecosystem.

Aria Putera Ismail, Group President/Chief Executive Officer, SME Bank said, “The National SME digital platform is our comprehensive effort and also a solution to become the leader in SME ecosystem that complements the wave of Industrial Revolution 4.0. It will give us the capabilities to make data-driven decisions and better manage our portfolio.”

He added, “We want to be the game changer in developing the SMEs. With this National SME digital platform, it will definitely revolutionize the way SME entrepreneurs are being supported and developed. This initiative is expected to transform the dynamics of SME contributions towards the nation’s economy. Previously, the Bank has also signed a collaboration with Orion IXL to provide FINTECH solutions by creating a framework for traditional and alternative credit scores for SME Bank’s customers.”                                                                                                                                   

Commenting on the collaboration, Moharmustaqeem Mohammed, Acting Executive Vice President, unifi, said, “TM is extremely excited to be part of the National SME Digital Platform development journey. The opportunity to assist and equip the thousands of new Nano & Micro businesses and eventually grow with them has long been our aspiration. As SME continues to drive the country’s economy, our digital solutions would enable businesses to scale up their operations and catalyse growth. This project is aligned with our mission as an enabler of Malaysia’s digital nation aspiration”

unifi currently offers unifi Biz plans from 10Mbps to 30Mbps and 100Mbps, designed to bring more values to SMEs in helping them to take the first step to be on-board the digital journey.

Ganesh Kumar Bangah, Executive Chairman of Commerce.Asia said, “Commerce.Asia’s ecosystem of eCommerce enablers has 5,000 active sellers that processed a total sales of RM400 million last year. This partnership will assist sellers with financing which will enable them to further grow their business while providing the other 700,000 SME’s in our database with access to both financing and eCommerce enablement technologies.”

With collective efforts from SME Bank and the industry players, the Bank is confident that it is able to reach out to more underserved and unserved SME entrepreneurs by providing the right financing to targeted SMEs. This will lead into greater opportunities for the entrepreneurs as well as the Bank. It is important to fortify these communities to ensure they are able to sustain the business and place them in a stronger position to compete locally as well as globally.