Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) has just launched its latest corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, Community for Brunei, a virtual market place designed to help small local businesses while highlighting different social and charitable causes at the same time.
According to BIBD’s Chief Marketing Officer, Hjh Nurul Akmar Hj Mohd Jaafar the platform www.CommunityforBrunei.com leverages technology to bring the community together by providing an online ecosystem with an integrated digital payment gateway.
It is in part with the financial institution’s efforts to nurture a digitalised society in Brunei powered by a cashless economy, she added.
“We hope Community for Brunei will become the premier destination for local businesses, enabling them to scale and grow while at the same time, allowing a place for the public to give back to the community,” she said.
Helping run the operations of the Community for Brunei platform is The Collective, one of BIBD’s partners for this CSR initiative.
Shinny Chia of The Collective said that the online virtual market place was designed to be a safe and secure platform, which will support MSMEs in digitizing their businesses in line with the Digital Economy goals for Brunei.
Two main projects have been outlined under the new virtual platform; Community for COVID and Community for Ramadhan, with Community for Brunei being the overarching program housing the two.
Community for COVID
Community for COVID is a way for small businesses in Brunei to expand their ability to earn, and also help support front-liners through an accessible online market platform.
Customers will be able to purchase food and beverage, care packages as well as services from the platform, which will be delivered directly to front-liners at various hospitals across the country.
Uniquely, one of the features of the virtual platform is an online tally which informs members of the public of the exact needs of frontliners at medical centres and hospitals.
This supply and demand approach is hoped to ensure more effective distribution of contributions as well as to reduce any wastages.
Community for Ramadhan
This project is aimed to be a virtual ‘Gerai Ramadhan’ that enables members of the public to purchase food and drinks from vendors who typically participate in the yearly Ramadhan stalls.
The public can start ordering for their Ramadhan break of fast once the moon sighting is announced, however, there will be a cut off time at 10 am on the actual day. The cut-off time is to allow vendors and food dispatchers adequate time for preparations.
So far, 50 vendors have already registered with the online platform, however, BIBD is expecting about 200 to 250 vendors to come onboard Community for Ramadhan.
When asked whether the site is able to handle the expected surge of orders, the platform’s web developer, Rahmat Yoonus, Co-Founder of Think Access said that the website is designed to “meet the scale of the demand”.
He revealed that the website received about 23 thousand unique visitors after the announcement was made by the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, who is also the Chairman of BIBD.
“This morning we did an overall tally again and in the span of 24 hours, we had about close to 56 thousand visitors, which goes to show the scale we are expecting,” he said.
Onboarding for vendors who are interested to participate in the Community for Ramadhan will begin on Monday, April 20 and the closing date will be on Wednesday, April 22.
Interested vendors are required to register their businesses with the Registrar of Companies, sign-up for a BIBD MSME account which would require a $50 minimum opening deposit and register as a BIBD Quickpay merchant.
Payments made through the Community for Brunei website will actually be done via debit or credit card, however, the Quickpay requirement is to enable vendors to use the digital payment platform for their offline or day to day business activities.
No charges will be imposed on the vendors that are engaged with the virtual market place for the first three months, therefore vendors will be able to keep 100 per cent of their sales.
Registration fees, commission fees as well as the merchant discount rate for the Quickpay access are all waived for the time being.
Vendors who wish to be onboarded can reach out to BIBD for registration after fulfilling the requirements mentioned above.
Vendors registered under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports that have met the requirements are then encouraged to go through their respective ministries.
The ministries will then pass the list to BIBD for onboarding purposes. Alternatively, vendors can also send an email to BIBD complete with their contact details at firstname.lastname@example.org
The public can visit the website at www.CommunityforBrunei.com and for more information, they can also visit the social media page @communityforBrunei.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN