KUCHING: The state government has delivered on its pledge to provide mobile banking services in rural areas.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said four local banks — Bank Simpanan Nasional, RHB Bank, AgroBank and Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia — have been appointed to operate the services.
“Bank Simpanan Nasional will provide services in Sebauh and Sungai Asap while RHB Bank will provide services in Asajaya and Sadong Jaya.
“AgroBank will provide services in Padawan, Tebedu, Asajaya, Sadong Jaya and Sebuyau; and Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia will provide services in Sebauh, Tatau, Sungai Asap and Belaga,” he said.
He assured that the area of coverage would be expanded from time to time to ensure that people from every corner of the state enjoy the convenience of mobile banking.
“The participating banks are ready to operate once the conditions are safe. The service will also be expanded to other areas in the future,” he said after the launch of the mobile banking services here today.
Abang Johari said the state government had allocated a total of RM1.6 million to fund the mobile banking services as part of the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) announced in May last year.
“Banking services are important services that are needed by all levels of society. We are concerned with the needs of the citizens to gain access to it and it is our intention to expand banking services to every corner of Sarawak,” he said.
He explained that to physically open bank branches in more than 6,000 scattered settlements in Sarawak was extremely difficult.
“Apart from the physical challenges, we also face constraints in terms of economies of scale for banks to deliver their services commercially in every settlement throughout Sarawak.
“Realising the importance of these banking services, it has sparked my idea to pursue a mobile banking services initiative. This is important as it can expand banking services especially in remote rural areas,” he said.
Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing and Federal Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.