KUALA LUMPUR – A survey conducted by Maybank involving its small and medium enterprise (SME) customers has revealed that 67% of the respondents have leveraged digital technology into its sales platform during the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0.
The survey was undertaken in September and October 2021 and made up 84% of Maybank’s borrowing SME customers.
In a statement on November 17, the bank said the various MCOs and social distancing measures have steered SMEs to reorganise their business models, moving their operations online and adopting various social media platforms to remain in business and overcome disruptions.
However, despite opportunities offered by digital technologies, the survey shows that the remaining 33% of SMEs were unable to adopt digital technology due to factors such as the nature of their businesses not being suitable for online platforms, lack of technical knowledge, and high cost of implementation.
“The survey also revealed that during MCO 3.0, SMEs experienced diverse business challenges as a result of the large-scale economic disruptions,” it said.
The bank said the challenges include a drop in demand (34%), a delay in receivables (31%), a shortage or delay in obtaining supplies (18%), adapting to new operations and processes (11%), and insufficient workforce (6%).
In terms of impact to sales during MCO 3.0, it said 61% of respondents experienced a decrease in sales, 25% saw sales remain unchanged while 14% reported better sales due to their agility in business strategy and quick response to market needs.
“The survey also found 99.6% of the respondents were still operating, although 21.2% had to temporarily close during MCO 3.0, while only 0.4% had permanently ceased operations,” it said.
The main respondents of the survey were from sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, real estate, manufacturing, and construction.
“The bank continues to assist SME customers by extending additional loans to support their growth momentum and providing fast access to loans by Credit Guarantee Corporation schemes and also Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan guarantees as well as by offering digital solutions,” said Maybank group chief executive officer of community financial services Datuk John Chong.