Singapore's best digital bank 2020: DBS
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Singapore's best digital bank 2020: DBS


DBS is an incredibly difficult bank to beat in Singapore’s digital space because it benefits from years of investment and a widespread commitment to bringing technology into every part of its business. The coronavirus has made digital more crucial than ever – and DBS bankers were readier than others.

DBS’s approach under CEO Piyush Gupta is straightforward: it creates a strategy and it delivers. That is often easier said than done but things seem to go a little more smoothly at DBS.

The bank has invested in the cash management sector and in applied programming interfaces (API), characteristics more readily associated with the large international banks. As a result of its efforts, deposits have grown across consumer banking, SME and larger corporations. The bank’s digital customers in the consumer and SME businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong increased by 400,000 to 3.3 million last year.

For its retail clients, DBS launched digiPortfolio, a low-fee platform that allows users to start investing with as little as S$1,000 ($732), in September. DBS has long been known for its wealth management business, but this hybrid human-robo adviser helps to apply the bank’s skills to clients outside the high net worth tier.

Likewise, the bank’s PayLah! mobile wallet makes banking easy for its customers. Last year DBS had an increase of S$1 billion in total transactions through PayLah! as it expanded the number of partners that accept the app.

The bank’s efforts are backed by a strong in-house team. DBS went from having 85% of its technology outsourced in 2014 to 90% insourced in 2019.

It has also deployed staff to take on new tech-related positions, including content creators and customer experience designers, to further its efforts.