UOB Malaysia and The FinLab launch JomX to help SMEs navigate the recovery phases of COVID-19 pandemic through digitalisation
Bank to offer 200 SMEs free monthly subscriptions to JomX digital solutions
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 24 August 2021 –UOB Malaysia and The FinLab1 today announced the launch of JomX, an initiative to help the Bank’s small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers access a host of digital solutions to accelerate their digitalisation efforts amid COVID-19 challenges.
According to the ASEAN SME Transformation Study 2020 by UOB, Accenture and Dun & Bradstreet2, small businesses across ASEAN are counting on technology to help them overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations. Technology was ranked the top investment priority for 2020 by two in three (64 per cent) small businesses, including those who currently have cash flow concerns.
JomX has been built based on top digital pain points and priorities highlighted by SMEs from the first cohort of the Jom3 Transform Programme (JTP)4 2021. Under JomX, UOB Malaysia and The FinLab are partnering seven JTP digital solution providers that specialise in digital solutions ranging from business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer e-commerce platforms, cloud accounting systems, artificial intelligence and data analytics solutions to robotic process automation, creative technology and marketing technology solutions. These partners are Auto Count, Dattel, Designs.AI, Dropee, Exabytes, OrangeFIN Asia and Otomate Me.
Access to the digital solution partners will also be extended to the SME participants of the JTP 2021 on The FinLab Online platform5. The Bank will offer its SME customers and JTP participants 200 free monthly subscription packages of up to 13 months6. The packages are available to a range of JomX digital solutions, aimed at helping SMEs allay the costs of their digital transformation journey.
Mr Yap Kok Tee, Executive Director and Country Head of Channels and Digitalisation, UOB Malaysia, said, “The pandemic has highlighted the advantages of digital business models and that many SMEs need support on their digitalisation journey to ensure their business viability. SMEs that are equipped with the right digital strategy and tools will be better able to demonstrate their resilience and competitiveness.
“It is also essential for SMEs to have greater access to the right digital solutions in helping them adapt to the shift in consumer behaviours and to navigate the operational challenges brought about by the pandemic. The subsidies that we are offering on their solutions of choice will help SMEs save on their initial digital investment costs,” Mr Yap said.
JomX addresses top three pain points of JTP participants
The first JTP, which commenced on 7 June 2021, saw 132 SMEs completing the programme on 6 July 2021. They comprised businesses from various industries including wholesale and retail trade, professional services, technology, manufacturing, information and communications, as well as construction. During a preliminary digital needs assessment, these SMEs highlighted that e-commerce (19 per cent), social media marketing (15 per cent) and branding (14 per cent) are among their top three pain points when embarking on digitalisation initiatives.
Ms Janet Young, Managing Director and Head of Group Channels and Digitalisation, UOB, said, “Digital sales channels are still essential for business planning and growth, especially for B2B transactions. Even as some states in Malaysia move into the next recovery phase, digital sales will continue as many customers who have gone online value the benefits of convenience and accessibility.
“As such, through the JTP we are giving a much-needed boost to help SMEs capitalise on various digital platforms and to grow their own digital sales channels. Subsidies under the JomX campaign will further help these SMEs prepare to adjust to the new normal of doing business. We reaffirm UOB’s commitment to helping ensure the viability of our SME customers and will continue to support them during these challenging times.”
The second cohort of JTP will begin in September 2021. SMEs interested to participate in the programme are encouraged to register their interest at https://thefinlab.com/malaysiajomtransform/.
1 The FinLab is UOB’s innovation accelerator
2 The survey was conducted among 1,000 small businesses with annual turnover of S$20 million (RM61 million) and below before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the third quarter of 2019 and May 2020 respectively. Small businesses across five ASEAN markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – were surveyed.
3 “Jom” is a colloquial term for ‘Let’s go’ in Bahasa Malaysia.
4 JTP is an annual digital transformation accelerator programme for SMEs organised by UOB Malaysia and the Finlab.
5 The FinLab Online is a regional digital platform launched on 17 July 2020 to help SMEs and start-ups tap the expertise of industry mentors from UOB and its regional ecosystem partners virtually.
6 Subject to eligible criteria and assessment by the JTP organising committee