Singapore shows us the future of banking

Last updated: 31 March 2015

Singapore has long been one of the most technologically advanced nations on earth, with more people owning mobile phones and computers here than any other place on earth. Our Generation mBanking research supports this, showing that 97% of young Singaporeans own a phone and a greater percentage of the population here uses mobile banking services than in any other country (71% ) we spoke to (US, UK, Mexico and Brazil).

Seeing as the country is so forward-thinking, what can the rest of us learn from their attitudes to banking?

  1. Bank branches are on their way out – A third (32%) of young adults in Singapore have never visited a bank branch. While this might seem shocking to many of us, big banks around the world can verify this trend. Visits to branches have become so unpopular that a net total of 1,487 were closed in the US last year alone. Just a few months ago, HSBC earmarked 19 more branches for closure in the UK, in addition to the 47 shut last year.
  1. Security is a big concern – Over three quarters (77%) of young Singaporeans are concerned about the security risks of using a smartphone or tablet for banking, with more than half (50.3%) prepared to switch their bank if its app isn’t secure. Banks should ensure that they embrace best security practice when developing mBanking apps, make it a cornerstone of marketing and educate customers on best security practice.
  1. Banking apps must be easy to use – If a banking app is hard to use, 80% of Singaporeans would use it less, whilst globally over a third (37%) said they would change bank entirely. Today’s young adults have high expectations. Apps need to be thoroughly tested, regularly reviewed and benchmarked against competing services to make sure that the customer experience is the best it can be. Going above and beyond to impress and investing in good design is everything.

singapore mbanking

In summary, it’s not long before the rest of the world’s young consumers grow up and catch-up with Singapore. Financial institutions should think-ahead, read the Generation mBanking report and act now to ensure they’re ready for the mBanking revolution.