CIMB and Axiata Digital Capital lend money to 700,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) via digital platform Aspirasi.

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group entered into a partnership with Axiata Digital Capital (ADC), a fintech services provider under Axiata Digital, to provide financing solutions to potentially 700,000 small and medium enterprise (SME) customers in Malaysia and Indonesia through ADC’s Micro lending platform, Aspirasi.

Both parties said the partnership marks a significant milestone for both entities as this represents the first regional collaboration between a bank and a digital services provider that is focused on fueling the growth of SMEs.

The partnership was signed by CIMB group commercial banking chief executive officer (CEO) Victor Lee Meng Teck and Axiata Digital chief financial officer and ADC director Sheyantha Abeykoon.

“Customers are at the heart of all our initiatives. To that end, we are pleased to partner ADC to strengthen our digital proposition to potentially 700,000 SMEs in Malaysia and Indonesia enabling them to gain access to financing solutions seamlessly and speedily to support their growth.

“Through this collaboration, we aim to fulfill SMEs’ unique needs based on their different business life stages. Further, CIMB will also extend end-to-end support for SMEs to expand their businesses both within their home market and off-shore, by leveraging on our strong regional footprint and network,” said Lee.

Since 2014, Axiata Digital has been focused on accelerating digital adoption by offering innovative financial solutions such as e-wallets, micro financing and remittance to narrow the digital divide for Axiata Group Bhd’s over 300 million customers across South and Southeast Asia.

“We are excited to collaborate with CIMB, an organisation which shares in our vision of empowering small-time businesses through digitally inclusive technologies.

“Our new digital financing platform, Aspirasi, offers a novel digital loan application journey with instant underwriting and fast disbursement, offering customers an unparalleled experience from any offered in the market today,” said Sheyantha.

Additionally, by leveraging its deep expertise in digital technology, Axiata Digital aims to ensure a future-ready and financially inclusive society for the underserved, while showcasing the business benefits of ICT for success and growth for micro and SMEs.

In March this year, CIMB announced its commitment to disburse RM15 billion to 100,000 SMEs in 2019-2020.

To this end, the bank recently partnered with Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd (CGC) to lend out RM2 billion to SMEs via CGC’s Portfolio Guarantee-i scheme.

CIMB has also committed to invest RM300 million in tech and data for its commercial banking business over the next five years, to support the rapid growth of the SME sector which, in 2018, grew by 6.2 per cent in Malaysia, and 10 per cent in Indonesia.