Did you know that 92% of global money is digital?
If you didn’t, now you do.
Trust Bank, a digital bank under Standard Chartered and FairPrice Group, has just announced its official launch in Singapore, as well as the rolling out of a savings account and a “numberless” credit card which allows customers to pick their own repayment date.
The most enticing factor about the new digital bank would be the interest on deposits, which can reach 1.4%. It is, unfortunately, one of the highest base rates for saving accounts.
The base rate starts at 1% on the first $50,000 of deposits.
For NTUC Union members that make five eligible purchases with Trust Bank’s credit card, they can enjoy a bonus of 0.4%. Non-members can enjoy a bonus interest of 0.2% on the same purchases.
So this is probably a sign you should become an NTUC Union member.
Although the digital bank will be reviewing its ranks on either a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the market conditions, it will not be making adjustments soon.
It should be noted that digital banks will not have a physical branch or ATM; all transactions will be carried out online.
Credit Cards and Benefits
One of the perks of the “numberless” card is that it can act as a debit and credit card.
There will be no annual fees or foreign transactions fees, and customers can select their own repayment date.
As part of its promotional launch, which lasts till December, the digital bank is giving up to 21% NTUC Link Points rebate on its credit cards for Union members, so long as it is used at FairPrice Group’s touch points across NTUC FairPrice, Kopitiam, Cheers, and Unity.
Non-members will be given 15% savings.
FairPrice Group’s chairman Kee Teck Koon asserted that customers will be able to enjoy savings and rebates for their groceries and everyday spendings through the “seamless integration” of FairPrice Group’s Link Rewards programme.
In this period where costs are rising rapidly, being able to save more money is always a good thing.
Developed by Income, Trust Bank will also be offering a family personal accident insurance at a premium of $0.50 per month. For the first two months after signing up for a Trust Bank credit card, there will be no premium charged.
There is also no limit on the number of dependents covered as well, which means that everyone can rest easily.
It is incredibly easy to sign up for Trust Bank too— all customers need to do is log into their SingPass accounts.
More Diversity in the Digital Economy
Speaking at the Thursday launch (1 September), Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong stated that Trust Bank will expand the diversity of the local banking system and further strengthen Singapore’s digital economy.
(Just ignore the fact that NTUC has a 40% stake in this bank and Standard Chartered has 60%, because hello, government intervention.)
The launch of Trust Bank is well-timed; it is right in the middle of society’s accelerating adoption of digital services, especially after it has proven invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Wong believes that digital banking services can broaden the perspectives of the banking sector on how things can be done differently, and it can also reach out to under-served segments through the usage of data and technology.
Moreover, the new virtual bank can better protect customers from scams and ensure a high level of data security.
Hopefully, digital banks will have lesser loopholes to exploit with the benefit of hindsight, after witnessing the mistakes and pitfalls that traditional banks made as they transitioned to digital services.
Just this year, new banking rules were imposed to prevent scams after the whole OCBC phishing scams. Watch this video to the end to know more:
Customer Experience Centre
In the coming weeks, a customer experience centre will be set up outside of VivoCity’s FairPrice outlet.
However, the location is not a bank branch.
Please do not bring your cash or cheques or try to make banking transactions.
You will probably be turned away.
As the name states, it will only take the customer through the digital journey: its main purpose is to teach customers how to sign up, use their digital banks in a safe and secure manner, and to answer any pressing questions that a customer may have about digital banking
Other Banks with “Digital Full Bank” License
Besides Trust Bank, a few old hands in the digital economy have received a “digital full bank” license as well.
Having a Digital Full Bank (DFB) license means that the business or financial entity is permitted to conduct all banking businesses, have no restrictions on deposits, and it can offer all types of products to customers through online platforms.
The launch of Trust Bank comes a day after Grab and Singtel revealed their digital bank GXS.
The technology firm SEA received their license two years ago, after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced it will be issuing the licenses, in recognition of the fact that the banking landscape was going through a fundamental transformation due to pervasive mobile internet access, rise of big data, and the growth of platform ecosystems.
Two digital wholesale banks—which have restrictions on permissible business activities and highest amount of deposits—were also issued.
Ant ANEXT Bank and Green Link Digital Bank were launched earlier this June.
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Image: Trust Bank
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