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DBS to nudge more customers online with revamped website

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 05:50
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DBS has about 4.6 million retail customers in Singapore. Of these, about half - or over two million customers - use Internet banking, and the bulk of them are wealthy clients.

Singapore

WITH its new Internet banking interface launched on Wednesday, Singapore's largest retail bank DBS wants to get more people to complete simple transactions online, freeing up branches for sales linked to investment products.

It also aims to create targeted advertising by screening users' frequent transactions and highlighting relevant promotions or services. And this comes at a time when banks and retailers are dealing with stricter rules over the use of consumer data for marketing purposes. "Think Amazon," said Louis Foo, head of the consumer banking group's eBusiness division at DBS at a press briefing on Tuesday. For example, if the bank sees that a customer is making frequent payments for utilities, it can recommend a credit card that offers cash rebates for such transactions, he said.

On the new website, users will be able to customise quick links, and browse through graphs that detail their assets, investments and borrowings. Its private-banking clients can also use a LiveChat to make enquiries, and check their portfolio allocation against that of the bank's chief investment officer. DBS declined to disclose how much it spent on the revamp.

DBS has about 4.6 million retail customers in Singapore. Of these, about half - or over two million customers - use Internet banking, and the bulk of them are wealthy clients. The bank expects to add another 10 per cent - or more than 200,000 users - as Internet banking users this year, said Mr Foo.

DBS is registering over one million transactions per day made on its online platforms, and two-thirds of these transactions are made through its website. Of all the transactions, though, just 30 per cent are linked to financial transactions, such as taking up a loan, or buying a unit trust.

Still, Mr Foo said that the bank was comfortable with that because it wants customers to move towards self-service. As it is, many customers still queue at branches, or call up the bank, to check on account balances.

This comes amid research showing that banks need to engage with their customers via all available channels. A recent Bain & Company report said that customers who use both physical and digital channels to interact with their banks tend to be more loyal to their primary lender than those who are engaged via one channel.

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