DBS launches online marketplace for cars

The DBS Car Marketplace has been set up in partnership with established names such as sgCarMart and Carro.
The DBS Car Marketplace has been set up in partnership with established names such as sgCarMart and Carro. PHOTO: ZAOBAO

Move follows proposed rule tweak to allow banks to invest in non-banking businesses

DBS Bank has launched an online marketplace for cars, the first of its kind in Singapore to be helmed by a bank.

It is a one-stop solution for those looking to purchase or sell cars, and DBS is looking to offer car loans to buyers using the site.

The launch comes after a proposal by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to relax certain rules on "anti-commingling", which restrict banks from operating businesses other than banking.

The relaxation will allow banks to invest their funds in certain non- financial businesses - more particularly, to operate digital platforms that match buyers and sellers of consumer goods and services.

The DBS Car Marketplace has been set up in partnership with established names such as sgCarMart and Carro, and will be the largest direct marketplace in Singapore. It has nearly 3,500 direct-owner car listings, and will provide several exclusive benefits for consumers.

sgCarMart offers the largest database of new and used cars for sale here, and attracts 40 million views and 2.6 million visitors a month.

Car marketplace start-up Carro guarantees that its customers' cars will be sold in 30 days and also offers a six-month warranty on customers' cars to the buyer.

"DBS Car Marketplace exemplifies how we are re-imagining banking, using digital technology and innovation to extend our reach. Our insights indicate that consumers increasingly value transparency and simplicity, particularly in large purchases such as cars," said Mr Jeremy Soo, DBS' head of consumer banking in Singapore.

The marketplace will also provide relevant financial and product information. Buyers and sellers will have "full control and transparency over every stage of the process", Mr Soo added.

Sellers can list on both sgCarMart and Carro in one go for free for a certain period, while buyers will enjoy DBS' attractive online interest rate of 1.99 per cent a year on a DBS car loan when buying a car using the site until Aug 31.

"We see a huge opportunity to tap this growing market given this trend, and help speed the growth ," said sgCarMart general manager Vincent Tan. "In 2016, 79 per cent of all direct-owner car transactions were completed on sgCarMart."

Mr Aaron Tan, chief executive of Carro, added: "We believe that the trend to democratise the buying and selling of vehicles will continue and will become the preferred choice for consumers looking to get better returns and more assurance for their sale and purchases."

DBS Car Marketplace began its pilot in December last year, when the bank tied up with Carro to launch a platform drawing on DBS' website traffic to connect potential car buyers and sellers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'DBS partners sgCarMart, Carro in online marketplace'. Print Edition | Subscribe