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Why You Need to Build a Relationship with Your Bank Before You Graduate

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Millennials have already left their mark in the way financial services operate. In responding to the needs and wants of this cohort, the FinTech revolution is in full swing. Even at the consumer-level, it is possible to perform your day-to-day financial services and transactions without setting foot into a bank branch for extended periods of time.

This, of course, creates a challenge for the industry. Their key market is demanding tools and services that make it more difficult for them to engage with these customers.

The End of an Era?

Is this, then, the end of the age of personal relationships between banks and their clientele? We believe there’s a middle ground that hasn’t been fully utilised.

Time poor, and with attention spans that reflect it, this generation does not have the time or patience to sit with a bank and/or account manager to optimise their banking presence.

For the most part, we’re looking at a generation that does not value the idea of saving for the sake of saving the way their parents’ generation did.

This often results in a situation where the younger millennial may not be as savvy as previous generations with regards to certain financial services products. It may even result in viewing these services as boring or unnecessary to their lifestyles. Therefore, it is unsurprising that this demographic is often under served in one way or another by the industry.

The Way Forward

This paradoxically creates a huge opportunity for the industry to engage and capture the attention of these consumers. One of the key products that will empower this strategy is the Debit Card.

No longer used just to access cash via ATM machines, this essential piece of plastic is usually the first step towards financial independence from their parents. Not to mention mandatory for experiencing the digital and real world economy. 

Linked to a savings account, this product can be considered the gateway for both the consumer and the financial service provider to begin a mutually beneficial relationship.

Why a Debit Card?

Debit cards are largely misunderstood. They are the training wheels for building a good understanding of your finances. Psychologically, when we pay for something without handing over cash, our brain doesn’t weigh up our finances correctly. This takes training to overcome.

Enter: The Debit Card.

By allowing you to only spend what’s available in your account, it limits the financial hole you can dig for yourself. It also teaches you to run through your bills regularly to see where your money goes. Unfortunately, when you’ve purchased products in cash, the evidence can be hidden at the back of your closet.

More importantly, it builds the platform for you to understand the value of certain benefits. There are cashbacks, rewards, and other perks your card may confer, such as point accumulation.

RHB x Brickfields Asia College Debit Card

In a bid to capture this market, RHB has embarked on their third partnership with a college. The Visa RHB x BAC Debit Card is just one method through which Mr. Raja Singham, Managing Director of Brickfields Asia College provides financial education for his students.

It’s also another small step towards the cashless society that Bank Negara (Malaysia’s Central Bank) envisions for the future of Malaysia.

The card will serve students for the duration of their education with BAC, and encourage a culture of automatic savings. This occurs through rounding off expenses to the nearest 50 sen (USD0.12) and saving that figure. Additionally, RHB will be meeting this contribution to the savings cent for cent.

It may not sound like much, but if you switch all your expenses to your debit card, it adds up. The main purpose of this exercise, though, is to promote a culture of saving. This, by demonstrating how easy it can be, and that you don’t need to put away a large chunk of money you don’t have.

If you’re a college student and you’re keen on such a scheme, stay tuned. RHB plans to roll this model through more partnerships. – The Binge

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"Warlord" by day, father by night, Nicholas enjoys a career with Games Workshop which allows him to feed into his addiction for strategy games. Having won multiple X-Wing Tournaments, he strongly believes he will rule the world some day.


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