Borrow books with new debit card

At the launch of the BOC Chinese Cultural Debit Card were: (from left) Ms Ren Dong Yan, general manager of China Construction Bank Singapore; Dr Liu Thai Ker, chairman of Singapore's Centre for Liveable Cities; Mr James Ow Chin Seng, president of Sin
At the launch of the BOC Chinese Cultural Debit Card were: (from left) Ms Ren Dong Yan, general manager of China Construction Bank Singapore; Dr Liu Thai Ker, chairman of Singapore's Centre for Liveable Cities; Mr James Ow Chin Seng, president of Singapore-China Business Association; Madam Ma Hong Ying, director of Singapore China Cultural Centre; Mr Qiu Zhikun, general manager of Bank of China Singapore; Mr Zheng Chao, minister counsellor, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Singapore; Mr Que Xiaohua, cultural counsellor, from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Singapore; Mr Meng Fanqiu, president of China Enterprises Association (Singapore); Mr Anthony Tan, deputy chief executive of Singapore Press Holdings; Ms Low Sin Leng, chairman of the board of directors of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.PHOTO: BANK OF CHINA SINGAPORE BRANCH

A debit card issued by the Bank of China Singapore yesterday doubles as a library card for use at the Singapore China Cultural Centre.

The BOC Chinese Cultural Debit Card can be used to borrow books from the centre's collection of more than 17,000 volumes.

Card holders will also be able to enjoy discounts of up to 10 per cent on performances and workshops at the centre, which is under the purview of the Chinese government.

Mr Qiu Zhikun, the bank's general manager and country head here, said he hopes the initiative will deepen people-to-people relations between China and Singapore, while also building on last month's One Belt, One Road summit in Beijing.

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"This small card offers services in various aspects of people's lives, while the magnificent Chinese culture brings people from both countries together," Mr Qiu said in Mandarin at the launch event, held at the cultural centre in Queen Street.

Centre director Ma Hongying said: "Our next step is to work (with the bank) on business services and further refine our implementation to ensure that value-added services are in place."

Customers can apply for the card at bank branches from July 7.

While the new plastic is the bank's first arts and culture-themed card, it is not the only foreign bank initiative to tie together financial services and cultural perks.

The State Bank of India Singapore has promotions for its debit card holders, such as discounts at Indian jewellers and eateries here.

Annabeth Leow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'Borrow books with new debit card'. Print Edition | Subscribe