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Over the past decade digital banking in Malaysia has advanced rapidly due to the growth in internet penetration and unprecedented access to a wide range of smart devices, according to the new Asian Institute of Finance research launched recently.

Furthermore the research reveals that, while online banking via PCs remains the most common channel, consumers are increasingly using mobile phones. It also highlights that mobile and internet banking is now experiencing high adoption rates in Malaysia with only a small segment of consumers (12.5% on average) not having tried digital banking at least once.

Entitled “Digital Banking: Measuring the Consumer Pulse in Malaysia”, the report, launched at AIF’s annual symposium recently, presents the results of surveys conducted in participation with a total of 2,000 respondents aged 18 and above in Malaysia

Dr Raymond Madden, Chief Executive Officer of AIF, said, “Digital banking is particularly dominant among Gen Ys and Gen Xs. However, our findings suggest that the move to digital banking is likely to be multi-generational, given the receptive attitude and relatively positive self-reported IT-literacy rates across different generational groups.”

“Although future digital users are still likely to be predominantly Gen Ys and Gen Xs, our extensive research suggests that with improving security and enhanced features making digital banking increasingly convenient – even the less tech-proficient Baby Boomers are becoming more interested in digital banking,” continued Madden.

The study reveals that unlocking business value through proactive, relevant and user-friendly digital financial solutions is crucial, as consumer expectations are rapidly evolving beyond current offerings.  Malaysian retail banking consumers expect tailored digital financial services built around their spending, usage habits and preferences. There is also a pressing need to ensure the highest standards of customer data protection and privacy, ensuring customers feel safe at all times when banking online.

When probed on the most important security and privacy concerns, the study by AIF highlights a significant majority (58%) of surveyed consumers indicated that potential lack of privacy is what concerns them most, followed by the possibility of others gaining access to their personal data (53%). Consequently, it is important to ensure the application and enforcement of strong data protection legislation to the digital banking environment.

“We hope our study will encourage banks and other financial services organisations to continue to take a proactive approach to delivering an enhanced digital banking experience to consumers, as well as provide new business opportunities and enable companies to respond fully to the digital transformation agenda. These are among the issues that we are exploring at the AIF Symposium this year,” Madden added.

The digitalisation of financial services is one of the key themes being explored at the AIF International Symposium 2016 entitled “Talent, Technology and Tomorrow’s Workplace”. The Symposium held at Sasana Kijang and featuring speakers comprising business leaders and HR experts from financial services and other key sectors, is examining the factors and trends driving future changes in the workplace and what this means for managing talent and HR more generally.