The entrepreneurship journey for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia can be daunting as market increasingly demands greater agility and speed from these businesses.
Understanding their challenges, Hong Leong Bank Berhad (‘HLB’ or ‘the Bank’) has launched an innovative and comprehensive suite of digital business and financing solutions that will serve the need of SMEs from cash management, advertising and promotion (A&P) solutions as well as property financing and working capital scheme to support SMEs for their day-to-day business operations.
In addition to HLB’s own platform, HL ConnectFirst Lite, the Bank also collaborates with reputable, best-in-class partners Biztory, Kakitangan, SimpleTax and Digital Advert to put together a holistic, total Digital Business Solutions to empower the SMEs of today.
“As automation and digitisation rapidly change the way businesses operate, HLB strives to help our customers step up and futureproof their businesses by providing them with a comprehensive digital business and financial solutions that will enable them to be competitive in the market. We believe in empowering them with the right functional tools under a one-stop Digital Business Solutions that will help them to be more agile and efficient, so that they are able to focus on pursuing avenues and opportunities for growth,” said Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB.
Understanding the need to leverage on digital platforms to conduct business operations efficiently, the HL ConnectFirst Lite is a user-friendly online banking platform which allows SME customers to conduct online banking transactions easily. This platform offers complimentary cash management solutions of Current Account facilities and Merchant solutions.
Also available in the HLB’s Digital Business Solutions are four e-tools that allow SME customers to conduct key back office administrative and marketing functions easily.
The offerings are Biztory, an e-accounting and invoicing software solution, Kakitangan, an e-HR platform that manages human resource functions such as the payroll system, SimpleTax , an online Sales & Services Tax and Income Tax advisory tool as well as Digital Advert, an industry pioneer service that offers affordable outdoor digital advertising package to an access of 3,500 digital screens in Malaysia.
“Our new digital business solutions are further testaments of our commitment to being ‘Digital at the Core’ where we continuously redefine our offerings to give our customers the ultimate banking experience and supporting the needs of the SME business community segment beyond banking,” said Terrence Teoh, Head of GSME Banking, HLB.
In addition to the HLB’s Digital Business Solutions, HLB also introduces SMElite a property-backed financing scheme which allows SMEs to secure loans for property purchases and working capital financing. This scheme is guaranteed by Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad (CGC) through its Portfolio Guarantee (PG) Scheme.
“We understand the challenges that businesses, including SMEs, may face along the way as they grow. Securing the relevant funding is typically one of the key obstacles in their journey towards business growth and expansion,” said Teoh.
“We are committed to supporting the development of SMEs in Malaysia which is crucial for the country’s economic progress. We have allocated a portfolio size worth RM1billion for the SMElite financing scheme to ensure we give SMEs an avenue of funding for growth,” he said.
The SMElite allows qualified SMEs to secure loans of up to RM5 million for property purchases and refinancing and is bundled with working capital requirements up to 150 percent margin of financing.
“We believe the SMElite scheme will be attractive to our SME customers who are looking to expand their businesses physically and are looking at real estate solutions. Through this scheme, customers will not only be able to acquire the relevant property for expansion purposes, but they will also have access to working capital to kickstart their expansion expenses such as relocation and renovation costs, as well as other related costs.,” said Teoh.