Telekom Malaysia (TM) and Maybank Islamic have joined forces to deliver what is claimed to be Malaysia's first Islamic banking-as-a-service (BAAS) solution powered by 5G.

Gigi Onag, Senior Editor, APAC

February 16, 2024

2 Min Read
TM and Maybank Islamic launch 5G-powered banking as a service
Dato' Mohamed Rafique Merican, Maybank Islamic's CEO, and Shanti Jusnita Johari, chief commercial officer for consumer strategy and business at Unifi (third and fourth from left) at the launch of the "Go Niaga" mobile business banking bundle.(Source: Telekom Malaysia)

Telekom Malaysia (TM) and Maybank Islamic have joined forces to deliver what is claimed to be Malaysia's first Islamic banking-as-a-service (BAAS) solution powered by 5G with yesterday's launch of the "Go Niaga" mobile business banking bundle.

Targeted at both consumers and micro, small and midsized enterprises (MSMEs), the partnership combines Maybank Islamic's financial services and TM's Uni5G Postpaid Biz mobile packages.

The Go Niaga mobile banking bundle aims to address the essential banking needs of local entrepreneurs and MSMEs, filling current market gaps that prevent them from participating in e-commerce. It is designed to help businesses manage finances, improve incomes and offer digital payment options powered by secure 5G connectivity and networks.

"This partnership is a significant step forward in financial inclusion. By embedding Maybank Islamic's BaaS solutions within Unifi Business' platforms, previously unbanked or underbanked individuals and businesses will gain access to Maybank's essential financial services and 5G mobile connectivity through TM's cutting-edge technologies," said Dato' Mohamed Rafique Merican, Maybank Islamic's CEO, in a joint statement.

Unifi Business is TM's digital business solutions arm, which is tasked with managing this latest collaboration with Maybank Islamic.

"While the technology originates from the BaaS concept, what makes it unique is its adherence to Islamic principles, making it the pioneering example of its kind in Malaysia. It combines modern technology with the ethical requirements of Islamic finance, providing innovative and faith-based financial services," he added.

The Go Niaga bundle includes account and credit facilities as well as payment acceptance facilities through Maybank Islamic's QRPay Biz and Tap2Phone, which enables cloud POS (point-of-sale) via mobile devices to facilitate digital/card payments.

The bundle also includes any one of Unifi's three Uni5G Postpaid mobile plans and comes with free 5G mobile devices – which the companies say will ensure "secure access to financial services as well as bring 5G capabilities to more communities."

A digitally inclusive nation

Shanti Jusnita Johari, chief commercial officer for consumer strategy and business at Unifi, said TM's collaboration with Maybank Islamic ''paves the way to a digitally inclusive nation."

Malaysia has more than 400,000 MSMEs, which account for nearly 38% of the country's GDP. They are considered a key growth engine of the local economy. Yet their potential is often dimmed by limited access to digital tools and financial services, according to Johari.

"This is even more apparent among underserved segments, micro and small businesses who face the most challenges in accessing financial services and digital innovations that are necessary to elevate their lives and livelihoods," said Johari. "We believe this partnership is a timely intervention to effectively address these challenges and help local businesses seize the opportunities of the digital economy."

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About the Author(s)

Gigi Onag

Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading

Gigi Onag is Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading. She has been a technology journalist for more than 15 years, covering various aspects of enterprise IT across Asia Pacific.

She started with regional IT publications under CMP Asia (now Informa), including Asia Computer Weekly, Intelligent Enterprise Asia and Network Computing Asia and Teledotcom Asia. This was followed by stints with Computerworld Hong Kong and sister publications FutureIoT and FutureCIO. She had contributed articles to South China Morning Post, TechTarget and PC Market among others.

She interspersed her career as a technology editor with a brief sojourn into public relations before returning to journalism joining the editorial team of Mix Magazine, a MICE publication and its sister publication Business Traveller Asia Pacific.

Gigi is based in Hong Kong and is keen to delve deeper into the region’s wide wild world of telecoms.

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