UOB Malaysia and SAP tie-up to help SMEs digitise

United Overseas Bank Malaysia will offer its small and medium-sized (SME) consumers with a cloud-based integrated digital business solution known as UOB SmartBusiness, in partnership with business software provider SAP.

The new business solution will enable SMEs carry out cost savings and improve operating efficiency. SMEs can also streamline and digitise their back office processes, including business management and payroll.

According to UOB Malaysia's executive director and business banking country head Raymond Chui, managing a "larger and more complex" businesses bring about new challenges for SMEs, as they continue to grow. As such, the bank aims to offer SMEs a "scalable and affordable" digital solution.

“SMEs can ‘up their game’ further by digitising their core business processes to help them achieve success with instant access to information and streamline everything from finance to talent management. UOB SmartBusiness can help SME business owners make the transition to digital and take away the hassle of managing complicated operational tasks manually, empowering them to focus on their core business models and driving business outcomes,” Brad Gray, head of general business for Southeast Asia, SAP, said.

Malaysia is the third country that UOB has established a partnership with SAP in, having launched the business solution in Thailand this April and in Singapore last year.

Meanwhile, to encourage more small businesses to digitalise, UOB is also launching the Tech My Biz competition on 11 June 2018. Three small businesses from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will win a a two-year subscription to UOB SmartBusiness and other digital solutions from the SAP Business One suite.

In a recent survey conducted by UOB, EY and Dun & Bradstreet titled "ASEAN SME Transformation Survey", almost seven out of 10 Malaysian SMEs thought automating and digitising their business processes was the best way to raise productivity levels and to reduce overall operating costs in the long run.

About 69% of Malaysian SMEs surveyed said that raising productivity through automation, greater use of technology and business process simplification would be important or very important to driving productivity. Also, 65% of companies surveyed said they intend to invest in technology infrastructure, while 71% indicated that they would welcome funding assistance to help them adopt digital technology faster.

Meanwhile, 77% of survey respondents said they would invest in strengthening their information, communications and technology hardware and network systems, while 78% said they would invest in digital marketing and mobile application solutions to help deliver strong business performance.

UOB's Chui said that from the survey, the bank knows the managing costs while raising productivity is a challenge and concern for Malaysian SMEs. As such, UOB is committed to building small business solutions that will help prepare businesses for the digital age, and enable them to progress through different stages of growth more effectively.