15th July 2022 - 2 min read
Hong Leong Bank (HLB) has partnered with Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet) to launch its pioneer Project Cashless Kampung, which aims to enable all Sekinchan residents and businesses with access to full-fledged banking and cashless payment facilities. This will transform the non-urban area into the first cashless kampung in Malaysia.
In a statement, HLB said that the process will be carried out in phases. The initial phase will see HLB facilitating the opening of bank accounts and the issuance of debit cards for the Sekinchan community without requiring them to visit a bank branch. Meanwhile, all 800 businesses in Sekinchan will receive an HLB DuitNow starter kit, consisting of a DuitNow QR and a payment terminal that accepts both card and QR payments. HLB said it will prioritise pasar, hawker, and flea market traders before focusing on other local businesses in the area, including schools.
The chief executive officer and group managing director of HLB, Domenic Fuda explained that the bank decided to pursue this project because although there is a clear shift towards digital and cashless payment methods in Malaysia, rural areas continue to suffer from a lower rate of adoption.
“Through this Project Cashless Kampung, HLB looks forward to empowering the business community across paddy and fruit farming to fisheries and tourism in capturing more opportunities to grow their business by accepting cashless payments, especially now as Malaysian consumers are increasingly preferring cashless and contactless. We hope this will help further build Sekinchan’s thriving community and increase its popularity as a tourist destination offering cashless convenience for visitors,” said Fuda.
Similarly, the group chief executive officer of PayNet, Farhan Ahmad also highlighted the urban-rural divide in the adoption of cashless payments. “Our Digital Payments Insights Study released earlier this year noted the urban-rural divide in cashless adoption still exists, with nearly two-thirds of Malaysians in non-urban areas still preferring cash to pay for daily expenses whereas only 36.2% in urban areas still pay cash for their daily spending,” he said, adding that Project Cashless Kampung is aimed at closing that gap.
Finally, Farhan said that they intend to expand Project Cashless Kampung to other non-urban areas in the future, with hopes that it will bring a greater impact.
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