C.C. Puan: “Getting the digital bank licence will enable us to provide life-improving digital innovations and unlock more financial services forthe masses especially the underserved.”
TWO months after returning to the helm of GREEN PACKET BHD, technology whiz C.C. Puan laid out his vision for the group – to become a digital financial institution of some reckoning.
The idea was also to make Malaysia the gold standard for financial inclusion in the Asean region.
Some employees were skeptical. Could a telco like Green Packet really play in the financial space in such a big way?
That was back in September 2019. Fast forward to today, and Puan’s single-minded and dogged approach has given Green Packet the confidence that it can secure a digital banking licence in Malaysia.
Here are some reasons why Green Packet may just pull it off.
Last week, Green Packed announced a venture with China Internet giant Tencent as its local partner for an AI-enabled e-KYC product.
This may sound like a lot of tech garble to the uninitiated, but there are two key takeaways from this deal.
One is that Tencent owns WeBank, the top digital bank in China which since its formation in 2014 has led the space in terms of its asset quality, profitability and return on equity.
WeBank is also a success story in the usage of technology in banking; its chat box handles 98% of customer enquiries and its eKYC facial recognition solution has fulfilled over 640 million identity verification requests.
KipleLive provides for thermal scanning, facial ID with masks on, visitor registration to assist with contact tracing, and software to manage employee rosters, schedule disinfection activities and supplement communication needs.
Secondly, KYC or “know your customer” is a fundamental block in banking today, more so with new entrants into the market who need to prove to banking regulators that their systems are using the latest technology to weed out illegal monies entering the banking system.
Green Packet has done more towards this digital banking dream.
It is the first local tech firm to be licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia to build “white-labelled” ewallet solutions for Malaysian enterprises. This service already powers brands like Petronas’ Setel, a fuel epayment solution available at more than 700 Petronas petrol stations nationwide.
More impressive is that Green Packet has deeply entrenched itself in one significant under-banked group in Malaysia – the student market.
It powers payment systems in two large public universities, enabling students to make digital payments from their ewallet for food and books.
Digitising student loan disbursement and zakat payment is also being tackled. Green Packet works with Bank Islam, the country’s largest Islamic bank, in this venture, another sign of the group’s inroads into the local banking scene.
The student market focus is not the only niche Green Packet has focused on. Green Packet has become the fintech partner to facilitate fund disbursement under some state welfare programmes.
More recently, Green Packet built a digital platform for the Coalition of Malay Small Traders to enable its 20,000 merchants and bazaar traders to resume business during the pandemic.
For Puan, the journey to digital financial institution is a natural progression from what the company set out to do on day one.
“If you follow our journey, you will see that our ethos have been to get life-improving digital innovations into the hands of the masses.
“We have built an ecosystem for this under our Kiple brand. Getting the digital bank licence will enable us to unlock more financial services for our user base, ” said Puan, who is Green Packet group managing director and chief executive officer.