StanChart-NTUC digital bank launches savings account, credit card and personal insurance

DPM Lawrence Wong (second from left) at the launch of Trust Bank on Sept 1. With him are (from left) FairPrice Group chairman Kee Teck Koon, Standard Chartered CEO of Consumer, Private and Business Banking Judy Hsu, and CEO of Trust Bank Dwaipayan Sadhu. BT PHOTO: YENG MEN JIN
For its credit card, the digital bank is giving up to 21 per cent rebates on its credit card for NTUC members. PHOTOS: TRUST BANK SG/GOOGLE PLAYSTORE

SINGAPORE - The new digital bank by Standard Chartered Bank and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) opened its virtual doors on Thursday to customers, offering a savings account, credit card and family personal accident insurance.

Trust Bank, 60 per cent owned by StanChart and 40 per cent by NTUC Enterprise and Fairprice Group, is offering an interest rate of 1.4 per cent per annum for the first $50,000 deposit.

The savings account comes with a debit card that offers up to 11 per cent Linkpoints rebates for NTUC members and a maximum of 5 per cent rebates for others.

The account has no minimum balance, lock-in period or fees.

The digital bank is giving up to 21 per cent Linkpoints rebates on its credit card for NTUC members and 15 per cent rebates for other people.

Its credit card will not have an annual fee, foreign transaction fee and cash advance fee, among other benefits.

Trust Bank is also offering a family personal accident insurance scheme developed by Income, at a premium of 50 cents a month. This will be available with no premiums for the first two months, upon signing up for the Trust credit card.

Chief executive Dwaipayan Sadhu said the bank’s core audience is the NTUC ecosystem.

One in three people in Singapore has an interaction with FairPrice or the larger NTUC ecosystem, he noted.

The bank's reach is also wide as the Linkpoints rewards system is one of the largest in the city, while insurer Income is known, he told the media at the launch at VivoCity.

Said Mr Sadhu: “The clients will bank with us because they are going to see real value at each interaction. How will that help? When they do that, over time, there will be loyalty and they build deep relationships with us.”

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, speaking at the launch, said Trust Bank plans to cater to older Singaporeans and the less tech-savvy by simplifying banking.

Noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the embrace of digital services, Mr Wong said seniors in Singapore, traditionally seen as less tech-savvy, have started using digital banking.

He cited a Singapore Management University study, which found that 80 per cent of bank customers aged 60 and above used digital banking in 2021. This was up from just 20 per cent in 2019.

Mr Wong, who is also Finance Minister, said that Trust Bank also intends to launch innovative products to better meet the needs of customers. For example, the bank is offering Singapore’s first credit card that lets customers choose their repayment dates.

He also urged the digital bank to protect consumers from bank scams and maintain a high level of data security.

“I understand that you have designed your tech infrastructure with this in mind. But beyond digital infrastructure, consumer education will be very important,” he added.

This will require collective efforts from the Government, banks and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as well as every individual, to ensure that everyone adopts good online banking hygiene practices, he said.

The official launch to the public on Thursday comes hot on the heels of GXS Bank's announcement on Wednesday that its savings account app will be available for download from Sept 5.

GXS Bank is the digital bank backed by Grab and Singtel that was granted a digital full bank licence in December 2020, along with tech giant Sea, which has Maribank.

Trust Bank, which has a full banking licence and nearly 200 staff, can have its customers withdraw cash from 20 ATMs islandwide, including one at FairPrice Xtra at Vivocity, and 19 StanChart ATMs.

Those with a digital full bank licence, such as GXS Bank and Maribank, will not have ATMs or cash deposit machines, among other requirements.

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