These two startups are bringing back the Simpan Challenge to help Malaysians save RM 1,000 in 30 days

Local FinTech startups HeyAlfred and Pod are collaborating in launching a campaign titled ‘Simpan Challenge’ to encourage better financial habits among Malaysians by challenging them to save RM 1,000 in 30 days, in time for Hari Raya. 

HeyAlfred is a start-up that was developed in early 2019 in response to the low financial literacy rate in Malaysia, and the need for a modern solution. The  personal finance app includes an AI-driven chatbot and expense tracking features.

Pod on the other hand, is a goal-based savings app that helps you track and achieve saving goals through convenience. Users who reach their saving targets are given cash bonuses as a reward. Most recently, Pod teamed up with Bank Islam and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to provide accessible banking to gig workers and the B40 community. 

According to a joint statement released by the startups, while personal finance experts have long touted the importance of keeping an emergency fund worth at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses, according to a 2019 study by Bank Negara, 75% of Malaysians don’t even have RM1,000 saved. 

The 2019 World Bank Group’s Malaysian Economic Monitor report revealed that Malaysian millennials or Gen Y – the generation born between 1981 to 1996 – spent well beyond their means due to “impulse-buying behaviour, easy access to personal loans and credit card financing, the want for instant gratification and seamless online purchasing”. The report also stated that about 40% of those surveyed also admitted to spending beyond their means. 

However, a global survey by Standard Chartered recently found that Malaysian millennials are taking a step in the right direction in the wake of Covid-19, and are the most likely generation to actively pursue long-term financial goals. 28% of millennials have started using a money management or budgeting app since the beginning of the pandemic while another 62% plan to do so in the next 3 years. 

The Simpan Challenge aims to foster the habit of savings amongst the average Malaysian. It was first introduced in 2009 by well-known financial literacy advocate, Abuayubul Al-Ansari affectionately known as “Abang Abu, Mekanik Wang ”. Past participants would receive daily tips via email over the course of 30 days.

How does the Simpan Challenge work?

The “Simpan Challenge”, supported by Agensi Kaunseling & Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK), Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) returns this year via a mobile experience powered by HeyAlfred & Pod Savings. 

The campaign takes place exclusively on the HeyAlfred app which participants must download and then sign up for the challenge before 7 April 2021. For 30 days, participants must collect the required number of points which translates into saving RM1,000 or more and more points can be earned by completing in-app tasks.

“We launched The Simpan Challenge in an effort to support millennials in their financial growth journey,” said Tengku Muhammad Shah, CEO and co-founder of HeyAlfred. “The pandemic has made people more cautious with their spending – we’re here to guide you with actionable, achievable steps you can take to make the most out of your savings.” 

The incentive provided in this challenge is a cash pool prize which will increased by RM10 for every new participant. Participant(s) who manage to collect the required number of points will win a share of the cash pool prize. 

Happening between 7 April to 7 May 2021, the challenge is open to all Malaysian citizens/PR and participants will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of RM20 to join.

Those who succeed in completing this ‘Simpan Challenge’ will not only have an extra RM1,000 in their savings but also a share of the cash pool prize.  

For more information on how to join the Simpan Challenge, visit the official website here.

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