A dedicated corporate account is necessary for all Sdn Bhds and LLPs in Malaysia, and partnering with the right bank can be the difference between a productive long-term relationship and frustratingly long delays.
This post provides key considerations for SME owners to filter through the many options and find their ideal banking partner.
Here’s how we’ll break it down:
- Four criteria that make a bank SME-friendly
- Four suggestions for banks in Malaysia that meet these criteria
4 criteria that make a bank SME-friendly
The constraints of the average SME and SME owner can be described with three words: limited time and resources, and here are four indicators that a particular financial insituton caters to their needs.
1. Doorstep service
Banks that offer doorstep services send a relationship manager directly to the business owner’s location to assist with opening their first bank account. This removes the need to travel to the bank and deal with potentially long queues.
We’re sure you appreciate how valuable this is, and in our estimate, is the strongest signal that a bank is committed to properly serving SMEs
2. Bulk-transaction streamlining
Bulk transactions like payroll and vendor payments are part and parcel of SME operations, and SME-friendly banks facilitate this through easy upload of txt or csv files, while others provide multiple approval tiers for transactions.
The real key is that some banks enable multiple transactions to be approved simultaneously, while others require individual approval, which means waiting for the Transaction Authentication Code (TAC) for every transaction.
Also, some banks only offer payroll transactions as a paid add-on, while others provide it for free.
3. Manageable minimum start up & deposit requirements
As mentioned before, SMEs rarely have unlimited funds at their disposal, and SME-friendly banks offer manageable minimum startup funds and deposit requirements to lower barriers to entry and support aspiring entrepreneurs in realizing their business aspirations.
For reference, an SME-friendly minimum deposit might start around the RM500 range.
4. Speed of account opening
No SME has ever complained their bank account was opened too quickly, and as of 2024 any bank that takes over a week to create an account would be considered below average.
For those who value speed, especially locally-owned Malaysian companies, consider a straight-through bank account opening where you open a business bank account online and enjoy:
- Zero document submission (not even bank resolutions or SSM documents)
- Swift Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures
- Bank account opening within 24 hours or less
In fact, in a best-case scenario, your business bank account could be opened almost immediately!
Open your OCBC eBiz account in 15 minutes or less!
For locally-owned Malaysian sole proprietorships, Sdn Bhds, and LLPs, OCBC eBIZ Account allows you to open a business bank account 100% online through a simple but thorough KYC form.
If that sounds good, click on this link or the photo below to complete the form and register your business bank account in 15 mintues.
Meanwhile, lets go to our recommendations for SME-friendly banks you can get in touch with.
Top 4 banks for a business bank account
In the interest of full transparency, the banks on this list are partnered with MISHU to help SME owners seamlessly get their businesses up and running. We have experienced firsthand the outstanding service delivered by each of them to our clients.
In no particular order, here they are.
1. Alliance Bank
Alliance Bank, established in 1958, has a strong reputation for being SME-friendly, offering tailored business solutions and personalised support to Malaysian SMEs with its range of business banking products and services, including business accounts, loans, and cash management solutions.
OCBC is committed to supporting Smes in Malaysia through its range of business banking solutions and dedicated relationship managers. With a focus on fostering long-term partnerships, OCBC offers SMEs access to exellent financing options and cash management services.
With a deep understanding of the challenges faced by SMEs, UOB offers flexible financing options, cash management solutions, and advisory services to support their growth journey. Its commitment to innovation and sustainability makes UOB a trusted partner for SMEs across Malaysia’s many industries.
Established in 1975, Ambank is the youngest financial institution on our list but no less committed to providing SMEs with innovative banking solutions and personalised support, with particular focus on accessibility, efficiency, and amazing customer service.
If you’d like to know more about specific banking plans from any of these banks, get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to share more!
Let MISHU help set up your business bank account
The MISHU team is here to help you find the ideal banking partner for your business bank account. Get in touch with us today for SME-friendly recommendations.