Axiata and RHB Signs MoU To Formalise Group-Wide Partnership And Joint Bid For Digital Bank License

Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata) and RHB Banking Group (RHB)  has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand and deepen collaborations between both Parties.

This partnership serves as a solid foundation for driving innovation, increasing competitiveness and accelerating the country’s digital transformation and financial inclusion goals.

The company has established a comprehensive Heads of Agreement (“Agreement”) between Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd (Boost Holdings) a subsidiary under Axiata and RHB to create a consortium to apply for a digital banking license (Digital Bank) under the framework established by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

As equity partners in the consortium, Boost Holdings will own a majority stake of 60 percent, while RHB will own the remaining 40 percent in the Digital Bank, subject to approval from BNM.

Celcom Axiata Berhad has also signed up as a major commercial partner on joint Go-To-Market activities with the Digital Bank on products and services which will benefit the customers of both parties. Other commercial partners are being finalised and will be announced in due course.

The Parties will seek to expand on Boost Holdings’ extensive fintech experience developed through Aspirasi, a digital micro-financing and micro-insurance provider and the Boost e-Wallet. Boost Holdings’ intimate knowledge of customers via analytics and artificial intelligence will provide better customer solutions, product personalisation and risk-based pricing.

Axiata’s President & Group Chief Executive Officer, Izzaddin Idris said, “We are pleased to expand our partnership with RHB in cementing our mutual commitment to support the Government’s ambition to narrow, if not close the national digital divide.”

“Through innovative, efficient and secure banking services, we are confident our strategic collaboration will meet the fast-evolving demands of segments of retail customers and micro-SMEs overlooked by traditional institutions.”

“For the past five years, Axiata has been doubling down on our efforts to strengthen the foundation of our financial inclusion objectives,” he added.

Khairussaleh Ramli, Group Managing Director of RHB Banking Group said, “The MoU sets the foundation for both RHB and Axiata to explore further group-wide partnership opportunities in all countries where we mutually operate. We believe that broadening our collaboration will result in greater accomplishments particularly in enhancing customer experience as well as providing greater accessibility to banking services for a wide range of customers.”

Apart from the Digital Bank license, both RHB and Axiata are also exploring more opportunities to enhance their joint customer ecosystems. In recognition of the strength of their respective SME ecosystems, one potential initiative involves providing combined solutions to SMEs.

Axiata currently serves more than 250,000 merchants and micro-businesses via their Boost e-Wallet and Aspirasi microfinancing businesses, whereas RHB offers more than 200,000 of its SMEs access to a connected ecosystem of SME banking and business solutions (integrated suite for payments, human resource management, accounting, and financing).

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