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Two in five of Singapore banks' customers willing to try neobanks: survey

Singapore Business Review logo Singapore Business Review 6 days ago Staff Reporter
A DBS (top) and Standard Chartered bank logo (C) are seen on the building at Marina Bay financial district in Singapore on July 21, 2016. 
Singapore revealed on July 21 it had seized nearly 180 million USD in assets through its investigations into suspected fraud and money-laundering related to scandal-tainted Malaysian state fund 1MDB. The Singapore authorities also said investigations found Singapore-based DBS Bank, Standard Chartered Bank's Singapore Branch and Swiss-based UBS had exhibited "undue delay in detecting and reporting suspicious transactions."  / AFP / ROSLAN RAHMAN        (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images) A DBS (top) and Standard Chartered bank logo (C) are seen on the building at Marina Bay financial district in Singapore on July 21, 2016. Singapore revealed on July 21 it had seized nearly 180 million USD in assets through its investigations into suspected fraud and money-laundering related to scandal-tainted Malaysian state fund 1MDB. The Singapore authorities also said investigations found Singapore-based DBS Bank, Standard Chartered Bank's Singapore Branch and Swiss-based UBS had exhibited "undue delay in detecting and reporting suspicious transactions." / AFP / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 40% of Singapore lenders' current retail banking customers who showed relatively higher levels of priority to incumbent banks have indicated their willingness to try out the upcoming digital-only banks, a survey by the Singapore Management University Institute of Service Excellence (SMU ISE) revealed.

With digital bank licenses due to be awarded, ISE researchers also looked into the potential profile of new customers and asked respondents about their willingness to apply for the products to be offered by the neobanks.

Whilst the customer base of the younger, middle-income group was expected, Lachmandas highlighted the high number of retail banking customers keen to try out digital-banking services.

"On the other hand, the incumbent banks should take heed that this same segment of customers, who have significantly higher loyalty levels, are going to be more willing to give the new competition an opportunity," she remarked.

The results are part of the full-year results of Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore (CSISG) for 2019, which saw the customer satisfaction rate of the financial & insurance sector improve by 0.9% YoY to 75.3 out of 100 points.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Two in five of Singapore banks' customers willing to try neobanks: survey © Provided by Singapore Business Review Two in five of Singapore banks' customers willing to try neobanks: survey

Citibank remains the retail bank with the highest customer satisfaction rating at 75.7 points, 0.5% higher than the 75.3 points recorded a year earlier. However, DBS is fast closing the gap with its score of 75.6.

OCBC (75.1), UOB (74.3), and HSBC (74.2) rounded up the top five. Other banks in the list include Maybank (74) and Standard Chartered (73.6). Banks excluding the ones listed posted a combined customer satisfaction score of 72.5.

For credit card services, Citibank and DBS remained neck-to-neck with satisfaction ratings of 73.5 and 73.4, respectively. American Express followed with a 73.2 rating; whilst Maybank and HSBC rounded the top five with scores of 72.9 and 72.8, respectively.

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