Thursday, November 2, 2017

Bank of the Future?

[Media Invite]

I don't really like going to the bank because of the long queues just to get simple transactions done. The last time I went to the bank was actually to change some commemorative notes. These days though, at least some of the banks started notifying customer via SMSes when their queue numbers are about to be called and that allowed customers to run errands prior to being served. Definitely helps in reducing unhappy customers if you ask me!

DBS Bank took it one step further this time round, with the launch of its latest "cafe and branch" at Plaza Singapura last night. I would have totally walked pass the outlet if not for the launch event setup and the fact that I knew it was there previously. One no longer feels that irritation of walking into a conventional branch and having to take a queue number as well as jostle with the masses.

The Plaza Singapura branch had a complete makeover and it is now has the look of a lifestyle place more than anything, with a cafe fronting the outlet and the banking facilities a couple of steps further in. The banking staff need not have to learn to how to brew coffee because the cafe is operated by Bettr Barista, a social enterprise supported by the DBS Foundation. We had some sandwiches and pastries during the event and if they were prepared by the cafe as I have assumed, this place is definitely worth paying a second visit for their delicious food.

Some of the notable services would be the Cash Services Machines that allow notes changing, cash deposits and withdrawals above the customers' ATM card limits. With their new 24hr Video Teller Machines (VTM), customers can also get card or banking tokens issued or replaced almost instantly! And the video component actually refers to the instant "face-to-face" assistance via live video if customer requires. There are 13 such machines across the island now, with the plan to install another 20 by end of 2017.

All these changes were made to cater to the changing lifestyles of digital generation and with that in mind, DBS also launched an online initiative, Twenty Thirty ( with contents on a wide variety of topics touching on lifestyle, career and financial literacy targeting young adults. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. The bank even set up an industry-first VR corner for retirement planning at the branch, giving us a glimpse into our future, and how banking or retail will be like in the days to come.

To further cater to the aspirations of young working adults in Singapore, the bank had also launched the enhanced DBS Multiplier Account with a lowered transaction threshold of SGD$2000 instead of SGD$7,000 previously, thus enabling more to be able to enjoy higher interest in their account balances. The interest rates comes in different tiers, meaning the more salary you credit and the more spending in your credit cards, home loan, insurance or event investments, the more interest you will get, up to 3.5% (first $50,000)! To earn an interest rate of 1.55%, the bare minimum you need will be salary crediting and 1 transaction in any other categories amounting to $2,000 month in total. This is surely worth a comparison with other similar products by other banks (but comes with a myriad of conditions)! I am no financial planner, so you better check out their official website for more information.

Go pop by the branch at Plaza Singapura if you are around the corner. I assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised at the difference in the look and feel of the place, and have a cuppa!

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