UOB SmartBusiness propels SME towards digital efficiency and growth
UOB SmartBusiness connects small and medium-sized enterprises with tailored digital solutions, fostering technological empowerment and resilience amid operational challenges
- Addressing SME challenges in digitalisation
- Emphasising personalised service and relationship management
- Empowering SME and future initiatives through digitalisation
Malaysia’s financial services industry has demonstrated resilience and progress, with a surge in demand for contactless financial services on the back of COVID-19. The country is undergoing an accelerated digital transformation with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), overcoming challenges such as manual processes, limited access to financial insights, and difficulties in cash flow management.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is supporting SMEs in digital transformation, risk management and product development. SMEs are very critical to Malaysia’s economy, contributing more than a third to the gross domestic product and providing over four million jobs. While capital and loans have been mainly secured by SMEs through the banking system, BNM continues to support micro SMEs, allocating a total of MYR 600 million ($127.8 million) from selected facilities under BNM’s fund to support four target segments.
Addressing SME challenges in digitalisation
SMEs have made significant progress in digitalisation but challenges persist. These include the need for continued education on the benefits of digital solutions, and potential changes in traditional business models. Additionally, the concerns over data security and privacy in an increasingly digital environment, and competing digital platforms, could create confusion among SMEs when choosing the most suitable solutions for their specific needs. On top of that, ensuring affordability and accessibility of digital tools to a broad spectrum of SMEs, including those in less urbanised areas, remains a challenge in promoting widespread digital adoption.
UOB Malaysia has been at the forefront of supporting SMEs to transform digitally as the bank understands that SMEs face various challenges such as manual processes, limited access to financial insights, and difficulty in managing cash flow effectively. Hence, UOB BizSmart was launched in UOB Singapore in August 2016 and expanded regionally to Malaysia in 2018 as UOB SmartBusiness. This is a regional initiative where UOB collaborates with a suite of digital solution providers to help SMEs drive business efficiency and growth.
Ho Hui Ming, country head of business banking at UOB Malaysia, said: “UOB SmartBusiness has grown significantly, offering partnerships with numerous digital ecosystem players, spanning areas like accounting, HR, payroll, point of sale (POS), payments, and digital transactions. This aligns with the trend of digitalisation to enhance resilience and expansion.”
Emphasis on personalised service and relationship management
UOB SmartBusiness offers digital tools and services, streamlining operational tasks like human resource and payroll management, payments, accounting, POS, and e-commerce. These solutions accelerate SMEs digitalisation journey by simplifying routine processes to reduce paperwork and save time. SMEs
can effortlessly manage cash flow, perform banking transactions, and have a clear insight to their financial health, providing them with a best-in-class, enhanced user experience.
Understanding that SMEs often require guidance and support in navigating the complexities of business banking and digital transformation, UOB Malaysia has dedicated digital advisors who can offer personalised advice and complimentary support to help SMEs make informed decisions. This distinguishes UOB SmartBusiness from automated alternatives in the market. UOB Malaysia also tailors features and functionalities of UOB SmartBusiness to meet SME needs, enabling small business owners to partner with solution providers who align with their business needs.
Empowering SMEs and its future initiatives through digitalisation
UOB SmartBusiness has notably supported operations for SMEs, representing a profound shift in the way these businesses operate. Among the SMEs that have embraced digitalisation through UOB SmartBusiness, almost a third recognised the value and efficiency of the bank’s services and have switched to UOB Malaysia as their main banking partner. This underscores the impact of UOB SmartBusiness in fostering long-lasting relationships with SMEs, signifying not just a change in technology but a fundamental transformation in how businesses interact with financial partners, solidifying UOB Malaysia’s position as a trusted ally in their digital journey.
Apart from adopting UOB SmartBusiness solutions, a notable portion of UOB Malaysia’s business banking customers are actively using the UOB SME platform to ease their day-to-day transactions and to receive advisory insights, resulting in more engaged customers. To stay ahead of the digitalisation trends and offer the best solutions to meet the changing needs of customers, UOB SmartBusiness continues to increase partnerships with solution providers to drive innovation, while still collaborating with traditional non-digital partners.
UOB SmartBusiness is not merely a digitalisation solution; it is a catalyst for transformation. With a deep understanding of SMEs and a commitment to personalised service, UOB SmartBusiness is propelling SMEs towards a future defined by digital efficiency and growth.
Keywords: Uob Smartbusiness, SME, Digital Efficiency, Digitalisation, Financial Services Industry, Covid- 19, Financial Services, Resilience, Contactless Financial Services, Operational Challenges, Technological Empowerment, Digital Solutions, Personalised Service, Customer Relationship Management, Digital Tools
Institution: Bank Negara Malaysia, UOB Country
People: Ho Hui Ming