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“Mom went to the bank during her lunch time break to open a new savings account for me today.”
In the past, this would be a common statement. These days, we don’t hear it often. In all likelihood, we will open a savings account online, rather than to be visiting a bank branch.
If you asked someone what banks were 30 years ago, the likely answer you will get is that they are places people go to deposit and withdraw savings, or to take a loan.
If you ask them the same question today – in 2021 – you will rarely hear this answer. While most people recognise that banks continue to provide similar financial services for their customers, they are no longer just places that people go to.
From making a payment via our credit card and transferring money to our friends to buying shares on the stock market and securing a property loan, banks can be seen as entities that support us in financial decisions we make each day, both big and small. They are no longer limited to the physical premises that they operate from.
Omnipresent Banking In The Digital World
Gone are the days when a bank’s reach is limited to the working hours at the physical premises that they operate from or the number of ATMs that they have. In the digital world that we live in, banks are with us wherever we go at any time we need, whether it’s on our laptops or mobile phones.
For example, we can sign up for most new products and services offered by banks via their websites. This can be done anytime, anywhere, on a device connected to the internet. Queuing up at a bank branch during opening hours is no longer necessary.
Digital adoption isn’t just limited to what banks can offer consumers looking to sign up for a product or service. As consumers, we can also choose to (or not to) adopt digital solutions for ourselves to experience greater convenience.
By adopting Google Pay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay, we can make purchases or pay for rides without taking out our cards. We only need to add our credit cards to the mobile payment solution that we are using and tap using our phone to authorise transactions. This is also more secure since these mobile payments typically would require you to authenticate the transaction using Face ID or for you to enter your passcode.
Mobile banking apps that we use, such as the Standard Chartered Mobile App that we can download on the App Store or Google Play, allow us to easily transfer funds to our friends via various cash transfer solutions such as PayNow, remit money overseas at competitive international transfer rates or to make a service request with the bank.
The Standard Chartered Mobile App also allows us to make a cash withdrawal from our Standard Chartered bank account with participating merchants via SoCash – which means we no longer need to worry about where to find a nearby ATM.
If we see an excellent Standard Chartered credit card promotion just before we pay, we can sign up for a digital credit card instantly*, without having to wait 5-7 days for a physical card to arrive before using it.
Banks Also Help Us Make Better Financial Decisions To Achieve Our Wealth Goals
While having a mobile app or internet banking access provides us with 24/7 access to traditional banking products and services, we are not fully maximising the tools that are made available to us as consumers if that’s all we are using our banks for.
By leveraging on data, banks can now provide us with valuable insights on how we manage our money. For example, the Standard Chartered Money Manager, which is part of the Standard Chartered Mobile App, can tell us how much we spend each month, which categories we spend on so that we are aware of what we tend to spend our money on and to track and view our income and spending. We can also set automated alerts in the Standard Chartered Money Manager so that we are notified when we get close to hitting our pre-set limit, helping us to avoid spending beyond our budget.
The Standard Chartered Locate (SC Locate) function on Standard Chartered Money Manager can even tell us where we are spending our money at so that we can identify the various places where we are making each transaction. So if you tend to spend money on places like McDonald’s, you will not only know how much you spend each month, but also the outlets that you are spending at.
Using these insights from the bank, we can better understand our spending habits and identify areas that we may be overspending on and to find effective ways to curb these spending.
Besides giving you insights into your spending habits, banks today also double up as educators when it comes to investment solutions. Whether you are a self-directed investor or prefer a hands-off approach, it’s essential to stay on top of what’s happening in the investment world so that you can make informed investment decisions.
Most banks, including Standard Chartered Singapore, provide information for investors to help them make better investment decisions. Standard Chartered Singapore has a Wealth Library that provides extensive content on wealth accumulation and wealth protection.
If you are looking to invest, various investment solutions, including those that allow you to invest in stocks and unit trusts are available (digitally of course!) for you at a low cost. For investors who wish to speak with a wealth expert, SC Wealth Connect is a platform that allows them to be connected to Relationship Managers and Wealth Management Specialists so that they can receive wealth management advice from the comfort of their homes.
As Singapore continues to embrace digital transformation in all industries, we can continue to look forward to banks offering us more value-added digital solutions beyond just traditional banking products and services – and for us to embrace these solutions.