16th January 2023 - 3 min read
Hong Leong Bank has partnered with Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet) to launch the Visit Sekinchan 2023 campaign, in an effort to promote Sekinchan as the first cashless kampung in Malaysia. This continues from an earlier effort by the two entities to enable all Sekinchan residents and businesses with access to full-fledged banking and cashless payment facilities.
The Visit Sekinchan 2023 campaign will see local businesses in Sekinchan ready to now serve urban and digitally savvy tourists with the convenience of cashless payments, making good use of the facilities that they have been empowered with in the past months. Aside from public markets, restaurants, and accommodations, places of worship in Sekinchan – such as the famous Pantai Redang Datuk Kong Temple – too, have adopted cashless payment methods to provide visitors with a more convenient and discreet method of donating.
Visitors to Sekinchan during the campaign period can also take part in a digital treasure hunt called SekinGo, which is set to run until 30 April 2023. Tourists will need to visit 20 locations across the village to earn SekinCoins by scanning QR codes, which in turn allows them to win up to RM15,000 worth of prizes.
“The Visit Sekinchan 2023 campaign is an important milestone for us, not only in recognising the significance of going digital in our financial management and payment transactions, but the value it brings to the socio-economic growth of the town. It will also spur local development as our small businesses can now explore other digital business options, such as e-commerce and expand their products further afield,” said the Selangor assemblyman for Sekinchan, Ng Suee Lim.
Meanwhile, group managing director and chief executive officer of Hong Leong, Domenic Fuda said that the bank’s efforts in helping to advance Sekinchan is in line with its role as a community bank. “Part of our ESG commitments is our dedication to closing the digital gap between urban and non-urban areas, and ensuring all communities benefit from digital and financial inclusivity, which is key to fostering progress and development for the country,” he said.
Prior to this campaign, Hong Leong has worked with PayNet since July 2022 to transform Sekinchan into a cashless kampung in phases. Among other things, the bank facilitated the opening of bank accounts and issuance of debit cards for the Sekinchan community without having to visit a bank branch. Additionally, business owners received an HLB DuitNow starter kit, consisting of a DuitNow QR and a payment terminal that accepts card and QR payments.
During the process of rolling out these initiatives, HLB staff members also made it a point to visit participating vendors and businesses to address their concerns and assist them in gaining confidence when using the digital tools. This is as Sekinchan’s merchants indicated that they understood the importance of providing cashless options, especially for visitors, but lacked the confidence to utilise the tools as they were less tech-savvy.
“We have seen how cashless payments can increase the value of sales for vendors as customers are likely to spend a little bit more without worrying about looking for an ATM in case they’ve run out of cash in hand. We hope that now, with the added convenience of being cashless-enabled, it will rejuvenate domestic tourism, entice foreigners to visit, as well as provide an opportunity to expand the business via e-commerce,” said Fuda.
Aside from Sekinchan, PayNet is also working with several other financial institutions to transform more rural areas as part of its ongoing Cashless Kampung project. These include Bario in Sarawak (with RHB Bank) and Changlun in Kedah (with TNG eWallet).
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