HSBC Malaysia: Exemplifying sustainable banking that makes a difference

Many high-flying organisations recognise that economic growth must be sustainable to achieve long-term success. Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. It is a core strategy to attain financial performance while making a positive impact on society and the environment. HSBC Malaysia’s new ESG charity feature makes a strong case for this argument.

In December 2020, HSBC Amanah became the first Islamic international bank in Malaysia to link a charity feature with credit cards made from 85% recycled plastic.

With the ESG charity feature, for every donation made by cardholders on their HSBC Amanah credit cards, HSBC will donate 1 per cent of the charity spend to selected local charities or non-profit organisations. The ESG charity credit card feature currently benefits four local charitable organisations namely, Global Environment Centre, Yayasan Chow Kit, Pintar Foundation and Pertiwi Soup Kitchen.

On top of its ESG initiatives, HSBC Malaysia has also embarked on a meaningful transformation of its customer contact support infrastructure by introducing its Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology that aims to make phone banking safer, easier, and simpler for its customers. This came at a time when Movement Control Order (MCO) was in place in Malaysia and staying connected with its customers becomes more imperative.


HSBC Amanah is the first Islamic international bank in Malaysia to link a charity feature with credit cards made from 85% recycled plastic.


These seemingly simple, yet important initiatives make HSBC Malaysia deserving of the awards, Outstanding Innovation in Digital CX in Product or Service – Islamic Banking and Highly Acclaimed, Outstanding Customer Experience – Contact Centre” at the Digital CX Awards 2021 organised by The Digital Banker.

“HSBC Malaysia is committed to its ongoing journey to enhance its digital innovation and features to provide a more convenient and seamless banking experience to its customers. The international bank’s vision to create a safe and convenient bank in a pocket for its customers that can be accessed any-time, anywhere is further advanced by HSBC Malaysia’s strong commitment to the values of sustainability and charity,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

Charity as a Credit Card Proposition

In  addition to the Amanah credit card’s new ESG feature, HSBC Malaysia partnered with Incitement, a social enterprise in corporate sustainability, to customise a dedicated online platform to promote local charities supported by the Bank.

The platform  provides  these charity partners to promote the various causes that need support. To ensure transparency, an impact report showing the complete breakdown of donations is shared among customers to keep them well-informed about their contributions. With this, it effectively turns charity into a strong credit card proposition.

On top of that, HSBC Malaysia expects to reduce carbon emissions from its credit card production in 2021 and beyond. HSBC Amanah was also the first within the HSBC Group to launch credit cards made from 85% recycled plastic (rPVC) in January 2021 with plans for all cards to be made from 100% rPVC by end of 2021. The HSBC ESG charity feature, recycled plastic credit cards and reduction of carbon emissions are all part of HSBC Amanah’s efforts to be HSBC Group’s first sustainable banking entity by the end of 2022.

Safer, Easier, Simpler Banking

Contact centre customers identification and verification (ID&V) is a crucial part of the inbound and outbound customer contacts as it helps the Bank achieve a fine balance between fraud prevention and customer support through virtual manned channels. Currently, the preferred inbound telephone verification method is telephone PIN (TPIN) on IVRs.

The problem is when a customer does not have a TPIN, and cannot verify on IVR, verification can only be done by having the customer answer an agreed set of questions, referred to as a verbal quiz or memorable security questions. This leads to undesirable customer experience as well as inefficiencies in contact centre operations.

To address this challenge, the Bank has implemented SMS OTP and Voice ID with Voice Biometrics:

SMS OTP for Identification and Verification

The SMS OTP functionality on the IVR allows customers to trigger OTP directly to their registered mobile number. As such, customers can now connect to the contact centre very easily and fulfil their requirements mostly through IVR. The result is a significant improvement in ASA (Average Speed to Answer) and AHT (Average Handling Time).

Voice ID with Voice Biometrics

Voice ID is a voice biometrics technology that enables customers to skip TPINs or security questions. Instead, access to phone banking is done using a customer’s voice signature. HSBC Malaysia’s Voice ID is the first in Malaysia to introduce a two-tier verification in a single solution, they are: a) Vocal Password – a text-dependent passphrase and b) Free Speech – a text-independent passphrase.

These technologies have been instrumental in enhancing customer experience, especially at a time when movement restrictions are in place all over Malaysia. The ID&V on IVR has increased to 32%, a significant jump from its previous levels of 17% before the new technologies were introduced.


Voice ID is a voice biometrics technology that enables customers to skip TPINs or security questions.


In addition, only 20% of customers who reach agents previously were ID&V verified. Now, this number has jumped to 51%, which means more than half of customers who speak to agents do not need to go through manual verification for most of their service requests, a nod to HSBC Malaysia’s vision of safer, easier, simpler banking.

scroll to top