Digital banks

Actual experience has not matched the hype

Recent news coverage on digital banks as well as my experience with them have led me to question the purpose of these banks (Making digital banks more inclusive, Sept 16).

My digital banking experience thus far with Trust Bank has been a step down.

The novelty of having a nice uncluttered interface and friendly messages displayed on screen wore off quickly.

As a customer, I get a basic savings account and credit card services that most other banks can provide.

Customer service, relying mainly on chat rooms, is hard to access. Calling the help lines involves a long wait.

To pay for my Trust Bank credit card bill, I was instructed to do a fund transfer using another bank's digital service. It is ironic for a new digital bank to ask its customers to use another bank's digital app. A simple deduction from my Trust Bank savings account or payment via a third-party channel like AXS or 7-11 would make more business sense.

After the digital bank licences were announced, it was thought that incumbent banks would be motivated to improve their services and invest in digital transformation. That has been largely successful in spurring competition, with consumers benefiting the most.

Now that the digital banks are here, the actual experience does not quite match the hype - at least not yet.

Chen Wencong

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2022, with the headline Actual experience has not matched the hype. Subscribe