Axiata Group, the Malaysian multinational telecommunications conglomerate, remains on track to launch its digital bank. A consortium of Boost, Axiata’s fintech unit and RHB Bank was one of five successful applicants to obtain a digital bank licence from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysia’s central bank, last April.

Recent highlights include the launch of its Merchant B2B Wallet. This gives business owners a wallet limit of up to MYR500,000 ($108,500), operating under its e-money license from BNM. The Merchant B2B Wallet is integrated into the existing Boost Biz app with a QR code payment functionality.

This enables merchants to further digitalise their businesses along with simplified transactions. Boost says that it has already done around 1.5 billion loans to small businesses within its existing business, Boost Credit.

Boost also launched a closed-loop ecosystem buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) product within the Boost Life mobile application.

In addition, it has also rolled out Boost Kedai, a B2B e-commerce platform. It has surpassed targets with successful merchants. Meantime, Boost Indonesia rolled out Boost Tempo to capture market share in the lending industry.

Boost targets digital bank profitability within four years

Revenue at Boost grew in fiscal 2022 by 87.5%. This is driven mainly by an increase in consumers for its all-in-one fintech app and growing AI-based lending business. Gross Transaction Value (GTV) rose 21.2% to MYR6.1bn, while Boost’s all-in-one fintech app consumers grew 7.4% y-o-y to 10.4 million and Malaysian merchant touchpoints grew 26.4% to 555,000.

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At its AGM on 26 May, Axiata said it was targeting digital bank profitability within three to four years. Potential products include deposits, credit and insurance products.

Sheyantha Abeykoon CEO of Boost said it aims to close the gap on financial inclusion, while driving innovation and accelerating Malaysia’s digital transformation ambitions.

Boost – future plans

Future investments will be targeted towards building a strong digital bank in Malaysia and a credit portfolio in Indonesia. The firm refreshed the Boost brand last September. The refresh aims to strengthen its proposition as a leading regional full spectrum fintech brand.

SME lending will continue to be strengthened by relying on ecosystem-linked merchant partners and improving scalability. It also aims to scale its lending business sustainably for retail and MSMEs by developing a product and technology roadmap. And it will expand its lending portfolio in Malaysia, Indonesia and other markets. This includes Boost Connect launching lending solutions in Cambodia.