(Yicai Global) Sept. 22 -- Bank of China Ltd.'s [SHA:601988;HKG:3988] Malaysia office has unveiled the Southeast Asian country's most advanced intelligent banking network by rolling out mobile banking services in the northwest state of Penang and planning to ramp up retail banking for local customers, China's state-owned news agency Xinhua reported yesterday.
The lender has decided to make its Penang branch a model for other banks in the region, and will introduce a range of new services, including mobile payment, WeChat banking and 'smart counters,' said Wang Hongwei, chief executive at Bank of China Malaysia.
Malaysians visiting China and Chinese tourists in Malaysia are the bank's main two customer groups, said Wang Qin, general manager of sales channels. Malaysians are used to paying by check and struggle to adapt to China's cashless payment systems, while Chinese heading to Malaysia often complain about the hassle involved in opening accounts there. In order to resolve these concerns, the bank is pushing partnerships with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s [NYSE:BABA] payment platform Alipay, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s [HKG:0700] WeChat Pay to tackle the problems, he added.
The intelligent banking network features paperless workflow solutions covering the entire store service process, from queue management to transaction processing, and significantly reduces service times. Mobile banking is available for more than 80 percent of counter operations, and customers can use it to process most routine transactions without going into a branch.
China is a global leader in financial technology, said Lim Guan Eng, chief minister of Penang. By deploying the latest fintech systems in the state, the Bank of China will improve the user-friendliness of its services for local customers and facilitate the development of local banks.