08-Oct-18, Nikkei Asian Review

Just a few years ago, starting a retail banking operation in Indonesia, a nation teeming with islands stretched across an area as wide as the US, would require investing in thousands of physical branches and on an army of bank tellers.

Asian banks tear down brick and mortar expansion model (c) Nikkei Asian Review

Image: Nikkei Asian Review

But Singapore's largest banking group DBS Group is attempting to disrupt that business expansion model by wielding its own branchless smartphone banking platform, Digibank, launched in Aug-17. The biggest selling point being accounts that can be opened without visiting a bank branch. The accounts check fingerprints through e-KTP, the Indonesian electronic identification card.

Although other banks offer similar digital services, almost all of them require customers to open accounts at physical locations. After DBS rolled out Digibank in India in 2016, it captured over 2 mn customers, yet only 60 to 70 people run that operation. "In the last five years since 2013, the whole world has changed," said Pearlyn Phau of the consumer banking group at DBS.

 Read the full article 

 Financial & Business Services insights