Singapore banks raise their digital game
When the Monetary Authority of Singapore estimated that financial institutions could see a 5% fall in income if they are slow to adopt new technologies, it served as yet another deterrent for banks to remain a digital laggard. Singapore banks are listening to the dire warnings, with executives revealing their digital initiatives this year to stay relevant to their customers.
For DBS, staying one step ahead of fintech challengers meant establishing the world’s largest banking application programme service (API) developer platform delivered by a bank in 2017. The bank said the API platform, which includes more than 150 APIS, will boost its ability to innovate digital solutions for clients, from fund transfers and rewards to real-time payments.“banks will continue to innovate and get closer to the customers through their mobile devices as well as digitalise banking services wherever possible,” said Patrick Yap, CIO, Maybank Singapore, noting that one of Maybank’s latest innovations is launching the industry-wide mobile peer-to-peer fund transfer service Paynow. Meanwhile, the Association of Banks in Singapore is expected to extend Paynow to corporates and businesses in 2018, allowing customers to link their bank accounts to one mobile number and one NRIC number and transfer funds to anyone. “Peer-to-peer funds transfer is now conducted in real time with Paynow and this has levelled the playing field between the banks in Singapore, regardless of size or branch distribution outreach,” said Maybank’s Yap.
QR code and social media
The QR code and social media payments will also be in the spotlight in the coming year, increasing their traction in the digital space. According to Dennis Khoo, regional head, digital banking, UOB, the QR code will take off in 2018 due to Singapore’s high digital penetration rates. He added that social media payments will see more innovation with the likes of Paykey where customers can basically pay from any social media site or any site at all using a keyboard.
Tek Yew Chia, head, financial advisory services practice, KPMG Singapore, said that chief information officers, or CIOS, need to be in an “act fast mode” and create an environment to test new services and digital technology outside of the core banking system. According to Chia, this provides the freedom to iterate quickly and prove the effectiveness of a new service or system, before bringing that service into the main banking business.
The QR code and social media payments will also be in the spotlight in the coming year, increasing their traction in the digital space.
Paynow has levelled the playing field between banks in Singapore