Singapore's best digital bank 2018: DBS
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Singapore's best digital bank 2018: DBS


DBS’s digital prowess has been remarkable since it decided to focus on reinventing itself over the last three years. But the rewards it has reaped from that journey only became clear in November 2017, when DBS decided to quantify the financial benefits of digitalization.

According to the bank, a digital customer brings in twice the income, 1.5 times the deposits, twice the loan and 3.6 times the investment balances when compared with a traditional customer. A digital customer also costs 57% less on average to acquire, and is more engaged, with 16 times more self-initiated transactions.

What does all this mean? It means that DBS has shown that being truly digital involves a complete revamp of the bank’s infrastructure, from the front to the back end; that being digital is key to delivering simple, fast and contextual banking to customers; and that having a culture and mind-set inspired by startups allows a firm to learn by doing and by partnering with third parties.

By the end of last year, a chunky 85% of DBS’s technology, hardware, data centres, network management and app development, were sourced internally, demonstrating that revamp and change in mind-set.

Through its digital strategy, DBS has managed to deepen its wallet share of consumer and institutional customers in its main markets of Singapore and Hong Kong. In Singapore, this approach has propelled it to top positions in mortgages, auto loans, cards and bancassurance. The digital focus has helped bump up income from this segment from S$4.1 billion ($3 billion) in 2015 to S$5.22 billion today.

DBS offers its clients a plethora of products, including DBS PayLah!, a personal mobile wallet that boasts more than 785,000 users, DBS iWealth for its wealth management customers, and POSB Smart Buddy, the world’s first in-school wearable tech savings and payments programme.

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