Despite digital bank push, Singaporeans may stick to existing accounts, report says
While digital banks are set to be established in Singapore, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 67% of the Singaporeans they surveyed would still choose to use their existing bank accounts as their primary account.
The PwC report revealed that out of 1,500 Singaporeans, 40% said that they would only consider opening a bank account with a digital bank once it is already popular and successful. Only 30% would make it their primary bank.
Among the barriers for customers in the city-state were data security and financial stability. Although 55% of respondents were willing to share their personal data with digital banks – a figure that’s already lower compared to their peers in Malaysia – 34% indicated that they did not trust their personal data in the hands of such entities.
In addition, human touchpoints were still crucial for customers in complex situations, such as transactions related to emergencies (64%), wealth management (63%), mortgage (58%), and insurance (56%).
However, the PwC report also showed that many customers do face frustrations with their existing banks, including long queue times (42%), long wait times on hotlines (23%), and the inability to perform banking functions online (13%).
For the 70% of interviewees who had three or more pain points with their existing banks, digital banks’ financial features were attractive. Top features included better rates on deposit and lending (49%), quick and easy online customer service (42%), and a better mobile or digital experience (40%).
Apart from financial features, 66% of Singaporeans were “interested” or “very interested” in having their digital bank offer non-financial features in categories like ecommerce, travel concierge, financial education, and personal life coaching services.
“It is critical for digital banks to have a strong proposition that goes beyond offering traditional financial services but also engages with their customers on a more holistic level,” said Sam Kok Weng, Singapore financial services leader at PwC. “This will be particularly important as customers are increasingly calling for integrated platforms that offer a full suite of lifestyle services.”