81% of Singapore banking customers use mobile apps to access banking services: Survey

The new Asia-Pacific-focused Bank of the Future survey by Capco, the global technology and management consultancy, has found that the vast majority (81%) of Singaporeans now use mobile apps to access banking services alongside other channels. However, 77% say they “definitely” want a better online experience from their banking provider.

Capco surveyed 1,000 Singapore consumers to gauge their attitudes towards banking at a time of rapid change in the retail banking industry. The findings are part of a larger survey of nearly 5,000 consumers across five markets in the Asia-Pacific region, which also covered Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area (formerly Hong Kong), Thailand and Malaysia.

The survey also found that 80% of respondents in Singapore said they would now trust a “Big Tech” firm at least as much as a bank to carry out their banking services – with 42% saying they would trust a “Big Tech” company more than a bank.

When it comes to online customer experiences, Singapore’s mobile-oriented consumers ranked the top three improvements they would most like to see as follows: simple and clear navigation (59%), mobile applications (51%), and Face ID and fingerprint logins (46%).

Currently, bank customers typically have a relatively fragmented view of financial products such as bank accounts, insurance, pensions and investments. A majority (56%) of respondents in Singapore say they would consider an app that gave them better visibility across all their financial products and also provided personalized insights to be “extremely” or “very” attractive – with most of the remaining respondents (38%) see this proposal as “somewhat attractive”.

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Other key themes emerging from Capco’s Singapore survey include:

1. Willingness to share different types of data – More than half of consumers are happy to share data to unlock personalization, or are willing to consider doing so. Where customers are willing to share data, there is a relatively even spread in the types of data they choose to share, which includes location services (38%), life events, wearables and health tests (all at 37%), with enthusiasm waning when it comes to social media (31%) and data from other bank accounts (22%).

2. Sustainability credentials are of increasing importance to customers – Almost one in four (23%) Singaporean respondents consider the sustainability credentials of their banking services “extremely important”, with a further 43% attaching a more limited degree of importance.

3. Crypto volatility and fraud are not a deterrent – ​​One in five respondents (21%) said it would be ‘very interesting’ if their bank offered the ability to trade cryptocurrencies, with just over half (53%) indicating at least some degree of interest. This level of positive sentiment is at odds with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s concerns that crypto trading is too risky for the general public, and the subsequent published October consultation on reducing potential consumer harm in this area.

Hayley Haupt, partner and APAC Head of Strategy & Consulting, said: “Our research suggests that the emerging digital banking landscape is seeing a shift in trust patterns among consumers. Our Singapore respondents’ willingness to view ‘Big Tech’ firms as attractive future suppliers of banking services indicates that the competitive landscape could evolve in some exciting directions as Singapore’s financial sector continues to evolve.

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“We also identified a strong appetite for banking innovation among Singapore consumers. When it comes to more personalized customer offerings and experiences, they are focused on greater personalization, in line with our findings in other regional markets. There is clear demand for a more unified view of financial information. To improve customers’ digital journeys, banks should continue to explore how best to educate consumers and provide clear insights around products and services.”

James Arnett, APAC Managing Partner at Capco, said: “Retail banking across the Asia-Pacific region is undergoing a seismic transformation. Digitally savvy, mobile-oriented consumers are playing a key role in reshaping banks’ priorities and the wider banking ecosystem. New technologies are giving consumers unprecedented freedom of choice and change how they communicate with their bank(s), access more personalized services and see a more complete view of all finances.As established banks and their competitors aim to support consumers’ personal and lifestyle aspirations, our findings shed The survey sheds new light on the priorities that will define the Bank of the Future.”

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