Top 3 Trends Financial Brands in Singapore Can Bank on

Katherine Unson, Ronnie Lee Kay Tseng / May 2016

The world is shifting under our financial feet. Singaporeans today rely on their smartphones to do everything from researching and choosing a credit card to depositing a check. Read on to find out what your brand needs to know about this change.

As consumer behaviors shift, our brands need to shift with them. Here are three trends to be on the lookout for and ways your brands can meet the needs of savvy Singaporean smartphone users.

1. Advertisers and providers can plan for the growth of cashless payments

In the past five years, the number of annual card payment transactions in Singapore has risen from 195M to almost 300M with a transaction value of $42.5B.1 The growing popularity of contactless payments has contributed significantly to this increase in card transactions. More than half of all financial cards in circulation in 2015 were enabled with contactless payment options.1 The stage is set for cashless transactions to continue growing with the introduction of mobile payment avenues globally. It’s only a matter of time before it takes off in Singapore, the country with the second highest smartphone penetration (88%) globally.

The speed and convenience of mobile payments is also likely to accelerate e-commerce and bridge current gaps in online marketing and offline fulfillment. Marketers who are able to crack the true value of mobile will lead the way in understanding how mobile impacts the path to purchase.

"Singaporeans typically perform 5.1 searches before deciding which product to purchase."

The challenge will become how to provide true utility once mobile payments become the norm. How do both providers and advertisers win the day? We say if the users win, you win.

2. Online financial aggregators can provide simple solutions for searchers

Singaporeans own an average of 3.3 internet-connected devices per person. This increased access to information inevitably leads to more choices for the consumer. Financial services companies are building online presences to keep up with where their consumers are, but many are struggling to be truly relevant.

Online financial aggregators (OFAs), like goBear and Singsaver, are one step ahead as they meet a key consumer need amidst all this choice: simplicity. Their websites provide helpful user tools like card-to-card comparisons, user reviews, and ratings. Easily digestible information like this is crucial to Singaporeans, who typically perform 5.1 searches before deciding which product to purchase.2

Consumer banks and OFAs need to be nimble, precise, and constantly adapt their online tools and value adds to meet consumer needs. Answering a consumer’s question with accurate, reliable data will help banks establish authority and relevance.

 3. Banks should keep an eye on omni-channel customers

While security advancements like one-time password (OTP) have paved the way for more secure remote banking, regulatory barriers make it difficult for Singaporean banks to create a cohesive banking experience for their customers.

"To the customer, your bank is one bank across all channels."

The always-on mobile age means that consumers have higher expectations than ever. But it also presents banks with more opportunities than ever to connect with consumers and meet them in their moments of need.

To the customer, your bank is one bank across all channels. Are you creating a single, frictionless banking experience across every single touch point today?

Below is an overview of the trends and insights we've drawn on banking in Singapore.

Omni-Channel Banking: Improving the Customer Experience in the Lion City