Kuala Lumpur, 07 December 2020 – Hong Leong Bank (“HLB” or the “Bank”) today introduced a new initiative, ‘Earth Hero’ that encourages children to be environmentally conscious while practicing good money habits. This new digital forward banking initiative that combines financial and environmental literacy leverages on the HLB Pocket Connect, a first-in-market interactive and personalised banking platform launched in August 2020. It was designed for young digital natives who demand hyper-personalisation, real-time gratification and highly interactive content and experiences.
According to Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB, ‘Earth Hero’ is a result of the Bank’s effort in expanding its sustainability initiatives in community investment with the promotion of financial inclusion and literacy through the Bank’s products and services.
“We are cognizant of our role as a financial institution in creating and sustaining a vibrant ecosystem of communities and the environment. We are very proud to be the first bank in Malaysia and the region to steer the younger generation towards being financially savvy and environmentally conscious through our HLB Pocket Connect mobile banking platform. We have seen good traction in the uptake of this app and view this platform as a good opportunity to gamify financial education with tangible rewards that benefits the environment, with the guidance of parents and in partnership with an eco-social enterprise,” said Fuda.
Under ‘Earth Hero’, the HLB Pocket Connect app has embedded a new fun and engaging ‘Task’ section that is linked to an eco-friendly mission aimed at reforestation in Borneo. The goal here is to show and teach children how their choices can have an impact on the planet. Every task completed will earn the child the opportunity to plant virtual trees, and for every 20 virtual trees achieved by tasks completed, HLB will in turn plant one tree on behalf of the child. The child will even receive a certificate with GPS coordinates of the real tree planted in their name. For the tree planting aspect, the Bank is partnering social enterprise Animal Projects & Environmental Education Sdn. Bhd. (“APE Malaysia”) in a reforestation project in Borneo with a target to plant 2,500 trees.
Galvin Yeo, General Manager of Personal Financial Services for Deposits & Digital of Hong Leong Bank shared, “As our children are truly native digital and technology users, they are likely to be more interested to learn through an interactive mobile platform that has engaging activities and tasks with a gamification aspect to it. Through HLB Pocket Connect, we are able to seamlessly incorporate an environmental literacy element where young savers can be taught to cultivate the understanding and responsibility of their role in taking care of the environment and the value of money in a fun and engaging way, with the help of their parents. More importantly, we are proud to be thinking outside the financial institution box in delivering a digital banking platform that’s truly innovative, fun and relevant for their lifestyle. Overtime we will add more engaging features that are built around the needs of our customers and our collective sustainability responsibility as consumers.”
Mark Louis Benedict of APE Malaysia said, “People are fundamental for the conservation of the environment we live in. We are excited to partner with Hong Leong Bank to take a novel approach in bringing together the values of financial and environmental literacy to nurture and inspire an environmentally engaged future generation who will become stewards of our planet and sustainability.”
The steps to be an Earth Hero is simple. Firstly, open a 3-in-1 Junior account, then download the HLB Pocket Connect App and complete tasks to grow virtual and eventually real trees. Currently, the HLB Pocket Connect app has three proprietary features, namely Earn, Save and Spend where the mobile banking platform enables children to learn to be financially responsible with the help of their parents, who are able to guide, manage and monitor their children’s pocket money and savings.
For more information on HLB Pocket Connect and ‘Earth Hero’, please visit www.hlb.com.my/earth