Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Hong Leong Bank (HLB) has launched a new digital banking initiative that encourages children to be conscious about the environment, while practicing money saving tips.

The initiative, aptly called ‘Earth Hero’, teaches children how their choices can have an impact on the planet. With tasks completed, children earn opportunities to plant virtual trees. For every 20 virtual trees achieved, HLB will plant one real tree. The child will receive a certificate with GPS coordinates of the real tree planted in their name. 

Furthermore, the newest initiative falls under the umbrella of mobile banking platform HLB Pocket Connect, a child-friendly mobile banking app which was launched last August. The new initiative is also linked to an eco-friendly reforestation mission targeting to plant 2,500 trees in Borneo in partnership with social enterprise APE Malaysia.

“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 HLB Pocket Connect. There is good traction in this app’s uptake and view it as a good opportunity to gamify financial education with tangible rewards that benefits the environment, with parental guidance and in partnership with an eco-social enterprise,” said Domenic Fuda, group managing director and CEO of HLB.

On the other hand, Galvin Yeo, HLB’s general manager for personal financial services for deposits and digital said, “Children are true native digital and technology users, and are interested to learn through an interactive mobile platform that gamifies engaging activities and tasks. Through HLB Pocket Connect, we are able to seamlessly incorporate an environmental literacy element, teaching children to cultivate the understanding and responsibility in taking care of the environment and the value of money, with parents’ help. More importantly, we are proud to think outside the financial institution box in delivering a truly innovative, fun and relevant digital banking platform for their lifestyle.”

Australia – Bastion Brands, a local integrated marketing agency dedicated to healthcare brands, has launched a “shark tank” style program for healthcare startups, where the “deserving” business gets free branding and marketing support. 

Bastion Brands joins firms who have been giving free assistance to businesses at the time of economic downturn amid the pandemic, where others have offered free SEO and consumer insight packages.  

Called the “Boost Initiative”, the support by Bastion Brands is worth AU$‎25,000 of marketing upgrade, counsel, design, and creativity initiatives, and will be offered to one winner twice a year.

Bastion Brands was launched in 2012 with the brand promise of a marketing and communications service that interlaces science and emotion. Offering services on brand strategy, creatives, production, and medical education, the agency has worked with both local and international healthcare brands such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Mayne Pharma, and Gilead sciences.

The agency is confident to administer the program having “understood the health market.” 

“We know how to help brands and businesses persuade and influence. We also want to do our best to help Australia’s recovery, health, and well-being, by using our communications expertise to support smart healthcare start-ups accelerate towards success,” the firm said.

Bastion Brands also believes that rather than a hindrance to ingenuity, the limitations induced by the pandemic are all the more reason to nurture great ideas. 

“We believe that not even a global pandemic can stop creativity, ingenuity, innovation, and genius! In fact, it’s more vital than ever that new ideas get the support they need to get-to-market, faster. So to help Australia’s business recovery, and to improve health and wellness in our community, Bastion Brands are proud to launch the Boost Initiative,” it said. 

Those interested can acquire their application forms from the Boost Initiative website, where submission is until February 15, 2021. Once chosen, final choices will be making their pitches, where the winner will be announced on March 31, 2021. 

Bastion Brands said what it looks for the deserving business is one that has a compelling case on why it can be a potential catalyst to its chosen market, an idea that will add a valuable new solution in healthcare, and a marketing and communications imperative that will benefit most from the skills and expertise Bastion Brands will offer.