The Launch of Visit Sekinchan 2023 with 'Project Cashless Kampung' to Appeal to Digital-Savy Tourist

I was invited by Hong Leong Bank (“HLB” or the “Bank”) to the official launch of 'Visit Sekinchan 2023' at SMJK Yoke Kuan, Sekinchan on the 14th of January 2023 and I departed from Menara Hong Leong at Damansara City at 8.30am with the rest of members of the media together on a shuttle bus. We arrived the venue at about 10am plus and we were greeted warmly by the staff from HLB and also the PR agency.

Aside from the launch event, we were being told that there will be a fun-filled digital Treasure Hunt which showcases some of the 28 popular locations for tourists to truly experience what Sekinchan has to offer.

For those who may about know this but Sekinchan is the very first cashless kampung (or village) in Malaysia. The cashless convenience are readily provided to urban and digitally-savvy tourists with the launch of the ‘Visit Sekinchan 2023’ campaign, thanks to the support and effort of residents and businesses who have started using the digital payment tools rolled out by HLB in partnership with Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (“PayNet”).

At the launch event, the campaign was officiated by Yang Berhormat Ng Suee Lim, Selangor State Assemblyman of Sekinchan; Domenic Fuda, HLB Group Managing Director and CEO; and Farhan Ahmad, Group CEO of PayNet at SMJK Yoke Kuan. 

From left: Farhan Ahmad, Group CEO of PayNet, YB Tuan Ng Suee Lim, ADUN of Sekinchan and Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB.

HLB has been supporting the 24,000 residents and businesses in Sekinchan by helping them open bank accounts, issue debit cards and connect with the bank digitally without them needing to visit a bank branch. The Bank has been progressively equipping the 800 businesses in Sekinchan with a HLB DuitNow starter kit for the business community as well as schools. The kit includes a DuitNow QR Code 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.

Farhan Ahmad, Group CEO of PayNet

Yang Berhormat Ng Suee Lim, Selangor Assemblyman for Sekinchan, said that while the scenic fishing town was already an alluring spot for visitors, its popularity is set to rise even more, with digital payment convenience establishing it as a full-fledged holiday destination for locals and foreigners alike.

YB Ng Suee Lim, Selangor Assemblyman for Sekinchan

“The ‘Visit Sekinchan 2023’ campaign is an important milestone for us, not only in recognizing 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 Ng.

One of the key observations noted by HLB during the rolling-out of the initiatives was that while vendors and businesses did understand the importance and convenience of providing cashless options, especially for visitors, they were not confident that they could handle the tools and transactions as they believed they were not “tech-savvy”. On this end, HLB has deployed staff to “turun padang” to observe and listen to the challenges faced by the vendors and businesses and build solutions and services to address their concerns and boost their confidence when using digital tools.

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB, said, “As a community bank, we see ourselves as the catalyst for positive change whether it’s in digital payments, online banking or sustainability in general. 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. Beyond providing the digital tools and hardware, our team has been on ground assisting the Sekinchan community to cope with the technological learning curve as well as helping them realize the potential that comes with having digital and cashless payment options in our HLB Connect App. We believe that when the community is confident with the ease of use and the value of digitalization, they will be able to accept and advocate for others to do the same.”

YB Tuan Ng Suee Lim, ADUN of Sekinchan and Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB at the official launch of Visit Sekinchan 2023.

Sekinchan becomes first cashless kampung in Malaysia and launches Visit Sekinchan 2023 through collective efforts by Hong Leong Bank and PayNet.

For shops owners and stall vendors around Sekinchan, this effort could easily saved them a daily trip to the bank just to get small change or even the hassle to deposit cash into their bank account. Now everything is digitalized for them and this too will benefit to tourist.

After the launch, we had a quick lunch and then headed to Ah Ma House which is located at Jalan Tali Air 5, Pekan Sekinchan. The windmill is definitely one of the landmark.

This is how the QR code stand looks like.

To showcase the best of Sekinchan and support local businesses, they are running a fun-filled digital Treasure Hunt called “SekinGo”, so the public and tourists can truly experience the small town firsthand across 20 locations. If you're thinking where to go for your next holiday or just a day trip, you can consider heading to Sekinchan. At each ‘SekinStop’, visitors can earn ‘SekinCoins’ by scanning the QR code, and win up to RM15,000 worth of prizes. The “SekinGo” Treasure Hunt will run until 30 April 2023. So don't miss out!

This is how it looks like when you successfully redeemed the SekinCoins.

There are also other missions within the same location to earn more SekinCoins.

You can buy snacks and items with very nostalgic feel and I really like the old school vintage vibe in Ah Ma House. The old TV and grandfather clock reminds me of my uncle's place back in Labuan many years ago.

After that we headed to Mango King to check out some fresh and delicious mango along with other fruits as well.

Mango King is located at 248, Lorong Empat, 45400 Sekinchan.

These mangoes are as big as my head and they are unassumingly sweet and juicy!

They also recommended that we try their original pure mango juice! 

Not sugar and ice added! It's just frozen mango fruit! Super yummy!

One of the mission is to find and harvest the crop at Mango King.

Other than businesses, places of worship have also adopted cashless payment, including the famous Pantai Redang Datuk Kong Temple, well-known for its wishing tree adorned with red ribbons with wishes from temple visitors. That's our final destination before returning to KL.

Pantai Redang Sekinchan

Pantai Redang is filled with F&B, dried seafood and souvenirs vendors. 
So don't worry if you didn't bring enough cash, just DuitNow je!

As mentioned by the temple management, temple visitors are delighted to be able to make their donations via DuitNow QR code, not only for its convenience but also the discretion it provides. For the temple, it saves them the hassle of managing the donation box and preventing theft. That's a really good effort and I believe the temple management would feel relieved to have found a good solution!

You're not really in Sekinchan unless you visit the famous wishing tree next to Pantai Redang Datuk Kong Temple.

A mandatory selfie at the wishing tree! Hehe

Don't forget to claim the coins when you're at the temple!

Head on to their Visit Sekinchan's website here to start planning your trip, discover new places to go, awesome food to eat, accommodation and transportation in Sekinchan! Last but not least, check out the event launch video below:-

.: Peace Out :.