DBS goes 'invisible' in new branding drive

DBS chief Piyush Gupta (middle of last row); Ms Tan Su Shan, group head of consumer banking and wealth management (centre, in red); chief financial officer Chng Sok Hui (to Ms Tan's left); and Ms Karen Ngui, head of group strategic marketing and comm
DBS chief Piyush Gupta (middle of last row); Ms Tan Su Shan, group head of consumer banking and wealth management (centre, in red); chief financial officer Chng Sok Hui (to Ms Tan's left); and Ms Karen Ngui, head of group strategic marketing and communications (in front of Mr Gupta) with other staff at the launch of the branding campaign.PHOTO: DBS

Aim is to highlight how bank has become an integral part of customers' way of life

DBS Bank is rolling out a new $30 million branding campaign across six markets with the catchline "live more, bank less".

Chief executive Piyush Gupta said at a briefing yesterday that he wants the lender to now focus on being an "invisible" bank.

He added that urging people to bank less with it seems a little odd at first glance, but the aim is to have DBS become integral to its customers' way of life.

Mr Gupta said DBS, now in its 50th year, has found inspiration from its past. Among other things, it was the first bank here to offer electronic share applications through ATMs. He added that the bank was set up to challenge the status quo.

DBS has launched car, property, and electricity marketplaces in the last nine months - all accessible through its website. It also announced this week that it has joined a US$85 million (S$114 million) Series C fund-raising round for online classifieds site Carousell.

DBS is the first in the world to offer an online treasury and cash management simulation tool. This allows chief financial officers and corporate treasurers to easily manage and project their cash positions.

The bank plans to further help social entrepreneurs through grants, banking services, mentorships and a platform for fund pitching.

Mr Gupta noted that the future of banking will not be in the pipeline business, where banks push services "from us to the customers". The future is in embedding their services into "ecosystems".

While digital innovation has allowed banks to move beyond borders, DBS continues to be focused on Asia, given the attractive growth rates of about 6 per cent in the region, said Mr Gupta.

"While we remain rooted to Asia, Asia is rapidly changing, like the rest of the world. With the ubiquity of the smartphone, the explosion of data and the rising of the sharing economy... customers want a new kind of banking. Having made re-imagining banking a priority in the last few years, we believe we are well placed to personify and embody banking of the future."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2018, with the headline 'DBS goes 'invisible' in new branding drive'. Print Edition | Subscribe