Malaysian lender Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) has announced its strategic partnership with American multinational financial services corporation Visa to kick-start a collaboration focusing on enabling e-Commerce for micro, small-and-medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Through this partnership, BSN and Visa have committed to nurturing micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a digital commerce training program called ‘Accelerate My Business’ (AMB), the duo said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the statement, the training is intended to drive the adoption of digital disbursement solutions which will provide micro SMEs with better financial literacy to explore more significant financing to boost their businesses.

The training program will be divided into two module workshops aimed to digitize the knowledge of 750 selected BSN micro-SMEs, empowering them for the next phase of their business journey.

This comprehensive initiative comprises a total of 27 sessions conducted across 13 different locations nationwide, encompassing both Sabah and Sarawak regions in Malaysia.

During these workshops, micro-SMEs will be equipped with essential entrepreneurial skills, covering diverse areas such as business management, financial literacy, operational efficiency, and digitalization strategies.

To cater to the diverse needs and challenges of participants, the program will be categorized based on their entrepreneurial expertise – beginner and seasoned stages.

Additionally, the AMB learning platform will play a crucial role in providing practical guidance to the participants, offering various resources.

This includes interactive activities, worksheets, self-assessment tools, glossaries, and supplementary materials to support them throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

BSN Chief Executive Jay Khairil said that the firm has always been mindful of the community’s needs by diversifying its product and service offerings tailored to various segments.

“We have also integrated financial education resources and programs within our services to ensure our customers can access vital financial insights and practical advice,

“Hence, the strategic partnership with Visa is timely and coincides with our aim to drive digital transformation among micro-SMEs for enhanced operational efficiency and competitive advantage in today’s dynamic business landscape,” he added.

Visa Country Manager for Malaysia Ng Kong Boon said that the firm sees micro and small businesses as the backbone of Malaysian economy.

He said the firm shares a common goal with BSN in empowering these enterprises with resources and tools to uplift their businesses and livelihoods, ultimately creating a ripple effect throughout their communities.

“By continuing to build on this foundation with greater financial and business knowledge, we can help them find new growth and thrive,” he said.

Cited Visa’s recent Back to Business study, the statement said 90 percent of small businesses are optimistic about their future.

In addition, of small businesses surveyed with an online presence, nine in ten agreed their survival through the pandemic was due to increased efforts to sell via e-commerce.

The training will commence from August 2023 until March 2024.

Incorporated in 1974, BSN currently has 7,504 employees, supported by 389 branches in Malaysia.

The bank has over 9 million customers in the coutnry with retail deposits amounting to MYR 19.90 billion ($4.37 billion) as of June 2023.

BSN offers a wide range of conventional and Islamic products including savings, financial asset management, business and personal financing and credit cards products.

Visa is the world’s leader in digital payments. Its advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second.

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