Over 75pc Bruneians engage in e-commerce

|   Hakim Hayat   |

A RECENT survey estimates that over 75 per cent of survey respondents engage in e-commerce while over 60 per cent regularly carry out online banking transactions in this country, according to a Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) press release, marking a positive development for digital economic growth in the country.

This development is supported by statistics which show that over 75 per cent of households possess an Internet connection, with 99 per cent of homes owning at least one mobile phone.

The digitisation of the economy creates benefits and efficiencies as digital technologies drive innovation and fuel job opportunities and economic growth. The digital economy also permeates all aspects of society, influencing the way people interact and live.

Infinity of Possibilities in the Digital Economy

As part of BIBD’s efforts to support the digitisation of the economy which includes the de-cashing of payments complemented by convenient, secure and seamless transactions, BIBD last year launched its digital banking proposition: BIBD NEXGEN.

The BIBD NEXGEN platform encapsulates all digital services offered by BIBD, paving the way for increasing interconnectivity through strategic alliances with institutions from different industries, further spearheading the drive for financial inclusion for the unbanked and underserved.

BIBD has always been a pioneer in introducing new and innovative technologies, and these have been well-received and utilised by local users; the BIBD NEXGEN platform has become the primary option for transactions compared to any other channels (ie over the counter, ATM’s, etc) with a 49 per cent share of all transactions across the bank.

BIBD NEXGEN Wallet

The recent addition of BIBD Wave signifies the culmination of all the various digital payment solutions available, thus defining the BIBD NEXGEN Wallet.

The full suite of these features, which exist within the BIBD Mobile application, can now serve customers by providing added convenience with many different options for digital payments. This will truly be an appeal to those who wish to be within the digitised economy.

BIBD Wave, which was officially released to the public recently, allows users to store their debit and virtual card information in the mobile wallet and make payments using their NFC-enabled mobile phones at any NFC-enabled card terminals. BIBD currently has 1,500 NFC-enabled card terminals locally, with millions more terminals available worldwide.

BIBD QuickPay, a QR code payment platform, caters to the needs of businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups by providing a cost-friendly service for seamless digital transactions without the need for physical terminals. Since its introduction in August last year, QuickPay now caters to over 250 merchants ranging from dining outlets, fashion and clothing stores, household goods stores as well as personal health and beauty brands.

The BIBD Virtual Prepaid MasterCard (vCard) is also a popular person-to-person (p2p) feature within the BIBD NEXGEN Wallet. Since 2014, over BND220 million worth of internal cash transfers (including transfers using phone numbers) have been done via the Virtual Prepaid Mastercard. Those seeking to manage and secure their finances better have also been utilising the feature for online purchases, with transactions for this purpose totalling over BND20 million as of 2019.

BIBD’s Head of Retail Banking Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Md Jaafar highlighted BIBD’s commitment towards its customers by saying that, “BIBD has always been focussed on introducing digital innovations that can enrich the lives of our customers, providing our customers with an experience that is second to none.

“We are also keen to partner with local institutions to create strategic alliances in order to provide a more comprehensive ecosystem and extend our banking services to the unbanked – for example, BIBD has provided the digital platform that powers Progresif Pay, Progresif’s digital payment solution.”

At the same time, BIBD is keen on exploring features and partnerships that transcend borders. Hajah Nurul added, “this will create more opportunities and convenience for both business and consumers and is part of our efforts to go beyond our borders to become the Best Islamic Bank in the Asia-Pacific”.

Supporting Brunei Vision 2035

The BIBD NEXGEN Wallet, along with all the mobile-led digital services provided by BIBD NEXGEN, supports national initiatives to create a cashless society that is more tech-savvy and cost-friendly to businesses, further promoting the ease of doing business whilst creating a more progressive and pro-business economy.

Aligned with Brunei Vision 2035, BIBD NEXGEN showcases the bank’s intent to transform traditional banking to the fintech age. At the same time, BIBD NEXGEN promotes key alliances among different industries, going beyond our shores with its local, regional and international partnerships to create synergies through inter-operability and open infrastructures.

Not only will it support national priorities to make Bruneians highly skilled in the digital space, it will also benefit the entire ecosystem with higher digital adoption among the society for better interconnectivity to progress the economy towards a documented, secured, and digitised nation.