DBS to offer digibank service in Indonesia

Mr Gupta, speaking at the Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit on Wednesday, said the digibank offering is targeted at young, tech-savvy Indonesians.
Mr Gupta, speaking at the Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit on Wednesday, said the digibank offering is targeted at young, tech-savvy Indonesians.ST PHOTO: GERALDINE GOH

DBS Bank plans to launch a mobile-only banking service in Indonesia by the end of the year.

DBS Group chief executive Piyush Gupta told the Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit on Wednesday that the bank is targeting Indonesia to capitalise on the young, tech-savvy consumers among its 260 million population.

"Indonesia is an important market with its size and scale, and the economic reforms taking place in the country," he said. "There is great potential for business as we see a pickup in the country's economy under the leadership of President Joko Widodo."

DBS's digibank offering, which includes an e-wallet and a savings account, will be available to customers in addition to its consumer and corporate banking services at its 34 branches in 13 Indonesian cities. DBS opened its first branch in Indonesia - an outlet in Jakarta - in 1989.

DBS hopes to replicate the success it is seeing in India since it started its digibank service there in April - the first mobile-only banking facility in the sub-continent, said a DBS spokesman.

The service has attracted more than 250,000 new clients in the first four months of its operation.

A digibank account can be opened in India with just a 12-digit Aadhaar number, which provides a unique biometric identification for all resident Indian citizens.

More than a billion Indians have been issued with Aadhaar cards by the government. With over 200 million smartphone users in the country, the market for digibank is huge.

The service's e-wallet can be used for making payments, including telephone and electricity bills. Customers can also use a Visa virtual debit card to shop at over 100,000 online merchants.

"While we continue to invest in growing our existing network in India, we also believe that with the digital revolution, the future of banking will be very different," said the spokesman.

"Increasingly, many customers want to be able to do their banking digitally and on the go. A successful digital banking strategy will meet changing customer needs, while enabling us to accelerate our reach in large geographies without the need for a large brick-and-mortar footprint."

Indonesian clients will be able to use their biometric national identity card to open digibank accounts.

DBS said it intends to launch digibank in other markets after its introduction in Indonesia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2016, with the headline 'DBS to offer digibank service in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe