KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Bank Bhd has embarked on a collaboration with Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd dubbed Project Cashless Kampung to transform Sekinchan, Selangor, into the first cashless small town in the country.
In a statement, the group said the project will ensure all 24,000 Sekinchan residents have access to full-fledged banking facilities and services and, empowering 800 small business owners to digitalise their businesses through the acceptance of cashless and contactless payments
According to Hong Leong Bank group managing director and CEO Domenic Fuda, the project is in line with the bank’s Digital at the Core strategy and ESG values to drive both digital and financial inclusion in the communities the bank operates in
"While there is a clear shift towards digital and cashless payment methods in Malaysia, there is still a lower rate of adoption in rural areas which this initiative aims to address as part of the bank’s effort to drive financial inclusion in the country.
"We also believe that financial inclusion does not simply stop at cashless penetration and adoption.,
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"It also involves increasing access to fair banking opportunities as well as financial education for young digital natives to nurture money-and digital-smart future generations so that no one is left behind in this digital economy," he said.
Fuda added that Project Cashless Kampung aims to empower the business community across paddy and fruit farming to fisheries and tourism in capturing more business growth opportunities by accepting cashless payments.
The initial phase will see the bank facilitating the opening of bank accounts and debit cards issuance for the Sekinchan community, without them needing to visit a bank branch.
For the business community, the bank will be equipping all 800 businesses with an HLB DuitNow starter kit which includes a DuitNow QR for businesses to accept contactless QR payments from mobile banking apps and eWallets, as well as the All-in-One Payment Terminal that accepts both card and QR payments.
The bank will first focus on pasar, hawker and flea market traders before equipping other local businesses in the area that are yet to be cashless enabled including schools.