Leading local bank, Hong Leong Bank (HLB) today officially launches the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card, offering a brand new payment system which is the first of its kind in the world.
HLB has teamed up with a Malaysian company, Mobile Money International Sdn Bhd (Mobile Money International), to bring to its customers this innovative payment system.
“The launch of this new product is particularly important to us, as it relates to the cards and payments business, a major growth sector, and one of the Bank’s traditional areas of strength,” says Ms Yvonne Chia, Group Managing Director, HLB, in her speech for the launching ceremony. “In offering this new payment solution, we also take particular satisfaction, as we are the first bank to work with our partner to commercialise the new concept, and put in operation the Mobile Money Payment Gateway into a workable payment solution, to complement our existing plastic card business.”
The Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card leverages off the power of wireless, mobile technology. It unlocks the power of the mobile phone to make payments, allowing cardmembers to pay for goods and services using only a mobile phone, with a security PIN (Personal Identification Number) via SMS (Short Messaging Service).
“This is truly a milestone event that will change the way in which we make payments. It is indeed the world’s first,” says Mr Tham Kah Fook, General Manager, Card Services, HLB. “The Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card is the single most important product innovation in payment and consumer financing in the last 2 to 3 decades, since the advent of plastic credit cards. The world has not seen a major breakthrough that provides a quantum leap in convenience and efficiency and yet, operates at a fraction of the cost.“
This unique method of payment, known as “Mobile Money” is speedy, convenient and cost effective. It provides convenience by de-coupling the point of payment from the point of sales. Using only the mobile phone for approval of transactions and payments, there is no longer a need for the physical plastic card, merchant terminals or Internet terminals. Payment requests are delivered via SMS and therefore, there is no need for cardmembers to be present at the point of sales or at the merchant outlets.
“Payments are made via sending SMS, at whichever place where there are mobile phone signals. Payments can therefore be made from wherever you are. It is truly a convenient, time saving method to support our modern lifestyle,” adds Mr Tham.
As the mobile phone is linked to the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card account, and the security PIN is set by the customer and used for approval of each payment similar to the ATM PIN concept, the system is therefore secure.
“Extensive studies, operational and IT related audits have been done on the new payment gateway, and we are confident of its security features and control. Our auditors have confirmed that this payment gateway, although new, has the necessary control features to ensure the interests of our cardmembers, merchants, Mobile Money and the Bank are protected. Bank Negara Malaysia has also approved this new payment system and the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card. And in this regard, I wish to thank and commend Bank Negara Malaysia for their readiness to support the application of new technology for innovative new products,” says Ms Yvonne Chia.
Using the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card is also rewarding as well. Each transaction will be rewarded with instant cash rebate and the cash rebates accumulated can be used to make purchases at any “Mobile Money” retail outlet.
At the same time, “Mobile Money” offers a whole new world of opportunities to merchants because they can also run their own loyalty programmes and offer bonus points to their customers who are “Mobile Money” members, further enhancing the benefits of paying via this mobile payment system.
“As a pioneering Bank in offering this solution, Hong Leong Bank intends to offer it to all our existing credit card members and other domestic credit card holders who are not yet Hong Leong Bank card members. We will be offering various incentives over the next few months to encourage the adoption of this new and exciting payment method. Later in the year, we intend to offer the Hong Leong Mobile Debit Card, which will allow cardmembers to make payments from their savings and current account,” says Mr Tham.
Performing at the launching ceremony are newly crowned Malaysian idol, Mr Daniel Lee, and winner of Mentor, Pija, adding to the excitement of the momentous event.
“Daniel and Pija symbolize self-believing, hard working, persistent, and successful role models. They are indeed unique Malaysian talents. Likewise, the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card epitomizes the same spirit of always seeking for ways to simplify the busy lifestyles of our cardmembers; it symbolizes innovation, hard work, tenacity, and a commitment to excellence in Hong Leong Bank’s products and services,” adds Mr Tham.
While the credit card industry remains competitive and challenging with rapid growth both in the number of cards in circulation and in spending, HLB has continued to keep pace with the growth trend in the plastic card market and has innovated to be the leader in this new age non-plastic card market.
With the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card, another dimension is added to the Bank’s track record of innovation. Some of HLB’s breakthrough achievements include the Bank being the first issuer of the Touch ‘n Go Credit Card in 1997, issuer of the MTV co-branded card for the youth segment, and more recently, being the first issuer of the Hong Leong Touch ‘n Go Zing MasterCard that provides payment convenience for its card members.
The Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card will place HLB as the industry leader in credit card and payment solution in the world of mobile technology. It has created an excellent opportunity for HLB to foster a stronger relationship with its customers and generate new business at the same time. It is a new and wonderful option for HLB customers because of its many benefits and this is in line with the Bank’s brand promise of building relationships and adding value by providing clarity in financial decisions.
Press Release - 24/10/2005