Hong Leong Bank: Optimizing credit card PIN delivery


increase in process efficiency


cost savings compared to traditional channels


Improving the PIN delivery process for debit and credit cards

In Malaysia, personal identification numbers (PINs) for the newly issued debit and credit cards are usually delivered to clients in securely printed envelopes sent through regular postal services. This process is not without its challenges. Typically it will take from 2 to 7 days for the letter with PIN to reach the client who has already been given the new payment card.

While waiting for the PIN envelope to arrive, the card is in a deactivated mode, which could have a negative impact on both customer card usage and Hong Leong Bank’s card activation quota. There are also security concerns that are sometimes overlooked.

Once the envelope with the PIN is sent out, the bank may not be able to track its status effectively, and if it was delivered to the cardholder. In case the PIN mailer was not delivered, the bank would have delays in reaching the customers to suggest an alternative PIN delivery option.


SMS-powered PIN delivery

Instead of printing PIN Mailers and sending them over postal services, Infobip suggested to implement PIN delivery over a secured SMS channel. It is a PIN delivery solution based on the highly secure and PCI DSS compliant flow, in which the temporary PIN numbers cannot be read or intercepted. It reduces the number of people and steps involved in the PIN generation and delivery process.

Now, instead of managing complex process of PIN delivery over postal services, SMS is being used. Considering the fact that HLB has branches in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Singapore, China it benefited from partnership with Infobip because it can deliver the service anywhere in the world.


Streamlined process for greater insight and improved delivery

For Hong Leong Bank, SMS implementation had numerous advantages. HLB clients received their PIN numbers faster, due to newly implemented process that bypasses many touchpoints of standard, letter-based process, and due to the fact that an SMS is delivered much faster than an envelope. Accordingly, customers were able to activate and start using their cards right away.

Secondly, the bank obtained additional insights into the delivery flow, which it didn’t have before. It was able to track if the message was delivered or not. If the message with a PIN was not delivered, they were able to offer an alternative way of providing it.

SMS solution proved to be much more cost-effective than the earlier solution. As a result of SMS implementation, HLB project management experienced around a 30% increase in internal process efficiency, having reduced the printing and letter sending process. They also recognized that the cost of delivering PINs over SMS is around 50% less than with a traditional letter approach.

With Number Lookup, validation of the numbers is made so SMS is never sent to an invalid number. In addition, Infobip proved to be an excellent provider even in the time of high network congestion. The IB platform is able to deliver messages even during the holidays, when the MNOs infrastructure is congested. While other banks are struggling to deliver their messages, HLB clients get theirs timely. All the traffic is followed by real time reporting, that previous SMS providers of the bank could not support.

We’ve been using Infobip as a messaging provider since 2011. Their longstanding presence on the international market proved that their platform can serve corporations which deal with huge databases and deliver solutions that comply with highest security standards. One of the challenges the HLB bank was facing was sending PINs to clients through regular postal service. The process was long (2-7 days) and considering the fact that many people were involved in the process of printing and delivering the envelopes it increased cost and time needed for delivery. Deploying Infobip’s SMS solution based on the highly secure and PCI DSS compliant flow helped us to obtain additional insights into the delivery flow and decrease costs of delivering PINs for around 50%. As a result of new solution implementation, HLB project management experienced a 30% increase in process efficiency. Consequently, the improvement not only affected HLB staff but also HLB clients who received their PIN numbers faster and thus were able to activate and start using their cards right away.

Albert Tho

Project Manager, Hong Leong Bank

Company Profile

Hong Leong Bank

Hong Leong Bank Berhad, a public listed company on BursaMalaysia, is a member of the Hong Leong Group Malaysia. Headquartered in Malaysia, the Group has been in the financial services industry since 1968 through Hong Leong Finance Berhad and since 1982 through Dao Heng Bank Ltd. in Hong Kong. It is the 3rd largest bank in the country by asset size. The bank has around 300 branches and over 8000 employees in Malaysia only. HLB actively monitors its business processes and new technologies, as it is on a constant lookout for optimization in efficiency and client satisfaction.