Boost Bank by Axiata and RHB (Boost Bank) has officially launched its innovative digital banking app, marking a significant milestone in Malaysia’s financial technology landscape. 

In an exclusive interview with MARKETECH APAC, Diana Boo, chief marketing officer of Boost, shared exciting details about the launch of Boost Bank’s homegrown digital banking app. She also discussed the app’s innovative embedded onboarding journey and outlined Boost Bank’s long-term strategic goals for advancing the digital banking sector in Malaysia.

Diana Boo, Chief Marketing Officer, of Boost

The start of a long digital journey 

Approved by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Boost Bank aims to transform the way Malaysians interact with banking services through its pioneering embedded onboarding journey.

Boost Bank’s launch event was graced by the prime minister, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, and the minister of digital, Yang Berhormat Gobind Singh Deo.

“During the inaugural event, the Prime Minister expressed his confidence that digital banks, like Boost Bank, will drive e-payment transactions and financial literacy for the nation,” Boo recounted. 

For Boo, Boost Bank has distinguished itself as an industry pioneer through its innovative ‘embedded onboarding journey’. This unique feature allows existing Premium Wallet users on the Boost eWallet app to seamlessly open a Boost Bank account digitally, even if they do not already have a bank account. Users simply tap on the ‘Bank’ icon on the Boost eWallet app’s homepage and complete a straightforward eKYC and registration process to open their Boost Bank account.

Additionally,  Boost Bank is also leveraging strategic partnerships to enhance its offerings. Recently, Boost Bank announced its partnership with MYDIN to offer preferential daily interest rates of up to 4% p.a. on its promotional Savings Jars, called ‘Groceries Jar’, and RM10 cashback on the Boost eWallet app. 

“In the coming months, we will unveil even more partnership promotions across both East and West Malaysia, including CelcomDigi, Bataras Sdn. Bhd., CKS RETAIL Sdn. Bhd., FARLEY (KCH) Sdn. Bhd., Servay Hypermarket (Sabah) Sdn. Bhd., and Boulevard Hypermarket and Departmental Store Sdn. Bhd,” Boo revealed. 

Embedded banking in daily life 

Boo believes that Boost Bank stands out as a frontrunner in the embedded banking industry due to its seamless integration into Malaysians’ daily routines, such as grocery shopping and paying telco bills.

“In summary, we go to our customers,” Boo emphasised. “Our approach is deeply aligned with our founding mission to serve the underserved segments of society by driving greater financial inclusion and creating greater access to banking solutions for the underbanked and unbanked communities.” 

Prime Minister Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim and the Minister of Digital Yang Berhormat Gobind Singh Deo joins the launch.

Boost Bank’s innovative model is further strengthened by its unique combination of the technology-first mindset of a fintech (Boost) with the trust and stability of a large financial institution (RHB Banking Group). 

“Capitalising on the combined and extensive ecosystems across the Boost-RHB Digital Bank Consortium, Boost Bank is strategically positioned to unleash the true potential of embedded banking in the long term, for which the entire value chain is estimated by industry research to reach $305 billion in APAC within a few years,” Boo explained. 

Boo also pointed to the success of digital banks in broader Asian markets as evidence of the viability of Boost Bank’s model. 

“Sustainable models that leverage ecosystems are most likely to succeed,” she noted.

As the Malaysian digital banking landscape continues to evolve, Boost Bank’s objective remains clear. 

“Our goal is to create a digital banking experience that is accessible, inclusive, and innovative,” Boo asserted. “This is just the beginning of our journey. Boost Bank will progressively expand our digital bank features and solutions to better serve the needs of all Malaysians, such as our much-anticipated Debit Card.”

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In line of the upcoming Hari Raya festivities, RHB has launched its latest film ‘Lembaran Baharu’ (Forgiveness) alongside creative agency FCB SHOUT, featuring a dramatic reenactment of ‘the most unforgettable case’ of Malaysian lawyer Ahmad Zaharil Muhaiyar’s long and illustrious career. 

In 1998, Ahmad Zaharil found himself helping a woman who had stolen a pencil case as a gift to her son who had ranked number one in class. Ahmad Zaharil went on to represent her in court pro bono and was able to reduce her sentence to Good Behaviour Bond. One day, about two decades after the fateful encounter, he was approached by a young man who revealed that he was the son of the woman whom he defended back in 1998, and is now following Ahmad Zaharil’s footsteps by being a lawyer.

Abdul Sani Abdul Murad, group chief marketing officer at RHB Banking Group, said, “Hari Raya is a season of forgiveness and starting anew. Ahmad Zaharil’s astonishing story perfectly encapsulates these values and so much more, proving that forgiving and helping with a sincere heart will often bring not only far-reaching consequences, but also life-changing outcomes.”

He added, “A seemingly insignificant gesture from Ahmad Zaharil on that one fateful day not only changed the life of the woman he helped, but also her son and all the people he would go on to help as a lawyer. Spanning over two decades, this story is the epitome of RHB’s brand belief of ‘Together We Progress’, and I believe the lessons we can take away from this incredible tale of forgiveness, justice, and kindness are especially apt in the times that we are living in today.”

Meanwhile, Tjer, head of creative at FCB SHOUT, commented, “The way we approached this story was very different from the other RHB festive films that we’ve done. This time, because we couldn’t write a better story even if we tried, we simply allowed art to imitate life. With Ahmad Zaharil himself as our consultant, we stayed as true to the real case as possible.”

He added, “As such, we didn’t have to take a lot of creative license to turn this true story into an engaging and entertaining piece that is fit for the Hari Raya occasion. Instead, we spent a lot of time working with our production partners at D Moving Pictures and GT Records to find the most engaging way to craft an emotionally charged film that would do justice to the life-changing actions of the protagonist and the unbelievable outcome that followed.”

Lastly, Ong Shi Ping, co-owner and chief creative officer of The Shout Group and FCB SHOUT, said, “The hallmark of progress is measured by how far we are willing to go to help another person, even when they can offer us nothing in return. I believe that Ahmad Zaharil’s story is beyond just a great festive film, as it is also a timeless reminder of the power of simply being human.”

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – RHB has announced brand new enhancements to its RHB REFLEX Premium Plus digital platform, the all-in-one financial management solution for SMEs. The enhanced version brings forward an integration that offers more options for accounting and payroll connectivity, as well as provides a more holistic ecosystem proposition for business owners.

The all-in-one financial management solution helps businesses manage and automate daily operations such as financial, sales, accounting, and people management including accounting & HR-related transactions. Chung Chee Kai, the head of group transaction banking of RHB Banking Group, said the accounting and HR solutions via API integration within RHB REFLEX Premium Plus allow for seamless and secure connectivity to third-party service providers, which in turn provides them with better control and improved cost and operational efficiencies through the automation of various accounting and HR functions.

“At RHB, we are focused on delivering market-leading and seamless customer experience that holistically addresses our customer’s business needs. RHB REFLEX Premium Plus addresses the increasingly sophisticated needs of our SME customers and today, more than 2,000 of our SME customers are already using this facility. We target to [onboard] a total of more than 15,000 SME customers to this enhanced digital platform by 2025,” said Chung Chee Kai.

Through this first-in-market API integration of accounting and HR solutions, RHB’s SME customers are able to seamlessly automate payroll and other accounting functions, such as viewing their banking account balances and preparing invoice and salary payments, directly via the partner’s platform without the need to go on different channels. Furthermore, customers can retrieve essential information via an all-in-one financial dashboard as well as automate bank reconciliation and retrieve on-demand/periodical bank account statements.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In conjunction with Chinese New Year (CNY), which will be celebrated on 1 February, banking institution RHB has launched a new campaign film, aimed at inspiring Malaysians that the ‘good’ can start from one person.

As a preface to RHB’s new ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) aspirations, the film, which was created in collaboration with advertising agency FCB Malaysia, humanizes a crucial environmental issue and brings a pivotal lesson to life via a heartfelt story of a young boy and his father, who both have different views of what a small spark of action can do

Titled ‘A Spark for Change’, the film tells the true story of a fishing village that faced a waste management crisis due to its inaccessibility and the irresponsibility of its residents in managing their litter. A group of 10-year-old kids took up the responsibility and cleaned up the entire fishing village, inspiring all the villagers to be more mindful of their waste and litter.

Abdul Sani Abdul Murad, RHB Group’s CMO, believes that progress is often sparked by those who are bold enough to take the first step to bring change to the world, inspiring others with their actions to do the same. 

“That is how we can make the world a better place, and that is what ‘Together We Progress’ is all about. Hence, ‘A Spark for Change’ is more than just an environment story; it’s an origin story of progress,” said Murad.

Meanwhile, James Voon, FCB Malaysia’s associate creative director, said, “We had to strike a fine balance between education and emotion, and thanks to our production partners at PRS and GT Records, the story was perfectly and beautifully told.”

Ong Shi Ping, FCB Malaysia’s co-owner and chief creative officer, shared that people can start something good and inspire others around us to do the same.

“As we are in the midst of rebuilding our communities and lives together, I think this lesson is more relevant to us now than ever,” said Ping.

The campaign is already running across all RHB Bank’s social and digital channels.