Digital Banking: Senior Citizens in Singapore are Increasingly Using Online-only Banks Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

An increasing number of consumers are now staying indoors and working from their homes, due to the deadly and highly contagious Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

There’s reportedly been a steady growth in digital wealth and online banking solutions and services are increasingly being used, even by people who are between the ages 60 of 80.

The closure of nearly half of all brick-and-mortar bank locations in Singapore has led to a significant growth in the adoption of digital platforms, including those offering innovative  financial services, particularly among senior citizens.

The Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Limited (OCBC) Bank (SGX: O39), a multinational banking and financial services corporation, reports that there’s been a considerable increase in the adoption of all-digital services, which includes people creating new accounts, performing day-to-day transactions via online portals, and making investments via virtual service providers.

Notably, there’s been a 20% year-on-year increase in the nationwide adoption of digital services among Singaporean consumers between 60 to 80 years old. Other residents have also been using digital services, however, there was just a 7% increase in the number of customers from other age groups.

Digital or internet-based investments grew steadily as more investors continue to work from home.

OBCB revealed that there was a 150% quarter-on-quarter increase in the value of unit trusts bought via  digital platforms, which is about 60% of its total. Investments made via Robo-advisory services also grew by 60% during the same time period.

OCBC aims to encourage people to continue to stay at home during the pandemic in order to prevent the further spread of the virus. Pranav Seth, head of digital and innovation, OCBC Bank, said the institution will launch a campaign to help consumers with adopting the latest digital solutions.

OCBC is enhancing its Chinese language option on its mobile-based banking app, in order to accommodate more users.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has requested the public to take care of their banking and everyday needs from home (as much as possible). The city-state is currently on a partial lockdown, which will be enforced until June 1, 2020 (for now).

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