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Raising Money Savvy Kids with Digital Banking Technology

With HLB Pocket Connect, parents can start introducing financial management and education and imparting the value of money to the children from a young age

The topic of financial literacy and education has long been a challenging proposition and perhaps even a difficult topic to broach for many Malaysians. The Malaysian Insolvency Department reported a startling data that youth bankruptcy - involving those aged below 35 - made up 25.2% of bankruptcy cases from 2017 to 2019 in the country. This shows an urgent need to make financial literacy and education a key life skill to be taught to all Malaysians.

Just like charity begins at home, forming a life-long healthy relationship with money should begin at home, as early as possible. In the age of everything digital, parents can now leverage on digital tools to help them educate and engage their digital native children effectively to be financially-conscious and responsible.

Speaking at Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Islamic Bank’s (“HLB” or the “Bank”) webinar entitled ‘Raising DuitSmart Kids in a Digital Age’, Zalman Zainal, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of HLB said, “We understand the challenges in teaching our children the lifelong skill and habit to be financially savvy. Just like how we teach our children to read, write or count, it needs to start from young and be cultivated throughout their lives. We can do it at home leveraging digital financial and banking tools such as the HLB Pocket Connect, the first mobile banking platform for young savers in Malaysia.”

HLB Pocket Connect is an interactive and personalised banking platform built for digital natives who are well acquainted with and demand hyper-personalisation, real-time gratification and highly interactive content and experiences. Available to all HLB 3-in-1 Junior Account holders, it has three proprietary features namely Earn, Save and Spend, which enable children to learn to be financially responsible under the watchful eyes of their parents, who are able to guide, manage and monitor their children’s pocket money and savings.

Under the Earn feature, parents can set tasks or goals and reward their children with extra pocket money when they complete them. Not only does this teach children the value of hard work and earned money, it also gives them sense of achievement when they are able to meet their goals.

As the account comes with reloadable Junior Debit Card for children to Spend, parents can have peace of mind knowing that they can monitor and control their children’s pocket-money spending. Not only can they top-up the pocket money through seamless transfer from their HLB Connect, they can set spending limits, control where and what their children can spend on as well as monitor real-time spending of their children.

Parents can also block or freeze the Junior Debit Card instantly if they suspect any fraudulent or improper spend, all done through their HLB Connect. To inculcate a savings habit, HLB Pocket Connect will soon have a customizable Save feature which allows children to set their savings goals for things that they want and allowing them to track their savings through progress reports.

“We have developed HLB Pocket Connect to be simple, seamless and fun for both parents and their children to go through the journey of responsible money management in an open and transparent way. We hope this will empower our young savers to make better life and financial choices as well as build a healthy relationship and appreciation for money for their own sustainable future”, added Zalman.

The webinar hosted by Sheahnee Iman Lee, mother-of-three, featured guests who shared their diverse experiences as parents, educators and young entrepreneurs. Among the opinions shared, all panelists agreed on one thing - financial literacy has to be taught early. This is so children can form life-long healthy relationships with money, which will enable them to make better life decisions down the road.

Kyle Tan, co-founder of Little Tauke, a startup that provides financial literacy education for children explains, “As young as two years old, children begin to grasp basic financial concepts starting with barter through trading things with you. They are also quick to pick up your spending patterns. My 2-year-old used to play with the ringgit notes in my wallet, but after a while he started playing with credit cards instead. Teaching your children about money as early as possible is about giving them a head start and time to practice their financial abilities before they become adults. Hence, we always encourage parents to be intentional and open about finances at home. This will help your children build consistent habits and attitudes to save and spend wisely, which is a great advantage they will carry throughout their lifetime”

Lolitta Suffian, who uses HLB Pocket Connect with her two children aged 12 and 9 shared the most important money lesson she teaches her kids is that you have to earn it by setting goals and working towards them. She also explained this is the same lesson her parents imparted to her.

“As parents, we are the most influential people in our children’s lives as, they observe and learn from all that we do. I practice a rewards system with my children where they earn money from good grades, chores, good behaviour and deeds. We review this every Sunday using the HLB Pocket Connect app, and I transfer the amounts they earned to their accounts. The app helps my children understand the amount they have earned and how to be wise in spending it. Building on that understanding, they are able to inculcate smarter money management at a young age.”

Claudia Tan, 23-year-old co-founder of Revive Vintage Store and a successful young entrepreneur shared that her father instilled the idea of saving money and seizing opportunities to make money work for you when she was young. “My father always encouraged me to save 20% of my ang pow money or any income rather than spend or splurge it all. He also taught me to always look for financial opportunities to make my money grow, be it parking it in a Fixed Deposit or other banking options. I am grateful he instilled these good money habits and financial management in me from a young age. Over time, I learnt that saving is part of me investing in myself and my future. Today, it has allowed me to pursue my passions in writing and sustainable fashion, which helps diversify my income sources”, said Tan.

Another successful young entrepreneur Chai Chuan Fook, CEO of Newave Products Sdn. Bhd., on the other hand, learnt the value of money as a primary school boy through his mini enterprise venture. He obtained rare toys from the capsule vending machines found at convenience stores and sold them to classmates who were unable to visit those stores. “From this venture, I learnt that money can grow with good planning and relying on the right financial experts. This is a lesson I have carried forward through to adulthood and his businesses”, explained Chai. He also highly encourages parents to teach their children the importance planning your finances and its value from a young age.

HLB has made it very easy to open a bank account. Parents interested to open a 3-in-1 Junior Account can conveniently do so by vising the Bank’s official store on Shopee (www.shopee.com.my/hongleongbank.os) anytime, anywhere. Upon “purchasing” the account, a HLB representative will be in touch and come to the customer, assisting with the account opening process without the customer needing to visit any physical branches.

For a recap of the webinar, watch the full video here https://www.facebook.com/HLBMalaysia/videos/735735070446514

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