MasterCard is eyeing Asia to expand its commercial card services, and in its most recent effort to do so has partnered with CIMB Bank in Malaysia.
Together, the corporations are launching a suite of commercial cards linked to automated business processing and reporting for corporate clients, they said in an announcement Tuesday (May 31).
In what CIMB Group Chief Executive Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz said was “an important milestone,” the partnership will provide purchasing cards and a virtual card solution for corporate customers, a move that enhances the bank’s digital offering to businesses, the executive said.
He added that the partnership is aligned with Malaysia‘s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, which has called for a reduction in the dependence on paper checks in the country. The central bank reportedly set a goal of its current 207 million checks a year to be more than halved, down to 100 million by the end of the decade.
In a separate statement, CIMB transaction banking head Thomas Tan said the venture is breaking new ground for the bank and for the country.
“We are very excited about this launch because the corporate segment has been a domain of the consumer segment in the past,” he said. “This is a very new solution, for us and for the market as well. A lot of banks now do not do this business.”
The partnership with MasterCard will offer corporate spenders its keystone product, the CIMB Corporate Card, used to monitor and manage employee spend. The card is linked to automated, real-time spend data, the bank explained. The FI will also provide the CIMB Purchasing Card, which automated procurement processes in real-time for businesses to streamline reconciliation.
The virtual card allows companies to use a randomly generated 16-digit virtual card number designated for a specific purchase. The solution captures data in real-time as well, reports said, which is later used for spend analysis.
“In today’s business environment where cost management is a high priority, it is our aspiration to help organizations to significantly improve their operational and cost efficiency by automating their transactional flows,” Tan added.
Reports added that the bank aims to “address and potentially replace” cash and paper checks for companies through this commercial card venture with MasterCard.