Maybank customers in Malaysia can soon open Singdollar savings accounts online

The Maybank Group has an international network of over 2,600 branches in 18 countries, including all 10 Asean nations. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Maybank Singapore on Thursday (Jan 27) launched three new digital banking services including online savings and current account openings, in a move to stay relevant and grow its customer base in the Republic.

Retail customers of Maybank in Malaysia will soon be able to open a Singapore dollar savings account with Maybank Singapore, which will enable them to hold deposits in the local currency and perform real-time, cross-border fund transfers. However, no specific timeline was provided.

Ms Cynthia Liaw, head of virtual banking and payments at Maybank Singapore, said funds can be transferred instantly between the two countries after customers apply to open an online savings account in Singapore.

Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients will soon also be able to open current accounts with Maybank Singapore, as well as apply for other products such as debit cards and cheques on its website.

Mr Marc Leong, head of SME banking at Maybank Singapore, said the bank will also provide services to help SMEs digitalise their businesses.

The bank currently serves almost 20 per cent of all micro-businesses and SMEs in Singapore, and expects at least 1,800 new online SME current account openings in the first year after its launch.

Maybank Singapore has also rolled out a new lifestyle and payments app called Maybank2u SG (Lite), which is a simpler version of its main Maybank2u online banking app, with new features such as digital cash gifting and money management.

Dr John Lee, chief executive of Maybank Singapore, said the bank's goal is provide its customers with "secure and instantaneous" digital access. This is in line with its parent company Maybank's five-year plan to make banking as convenient as possible.

The bank announced the new strategy during the pandemic last year, with the aim of boosting its return on equity. It added that demand for digital banking had risen during the pandemic, with more users embracing digital banking platforms.

Maybank's announcement comes at a time when major banks are jostling for a larger share of the Asean banking sector, and comes after UOB announced the acquisition of Citigroup's consumer banking business in four Asean markets, including Malaysia's, for close to $5 billion.

Maybank says it is Malaysia's largest and South-east Asia's fourth largest bank by assets. The Maybank Group has an international network of over 2,600 branches in 18 countries, including all 10 Asean nations.

Maybank Singapore is one of the group's largest overseas operations and is licensed as a qualifying full bank in Singapore. As at Dec 31, 2020, Maybank's total assets in Singapore were approximately $81.5 billion, it said.

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