Singapore - The Business Times (BT) and GET.com on Monday launched GETxBT Compare (pronounced Get x BT), a tool that lets Singapore consumers compare and apply for home loans, credit cards and personal loans online - as digital banking continues to gain popularity and become the norm here.
Powered by GET.com's proprietary comparison technology, the tool - which is hosted on BT's website - is designed to be "intuitive" and "promote personal financial management", said both partners.
Consumers will be able to see, at a glance, the latest and most attractive fixed and floating home loan interest rates in the market, as well as personal loan interest rates and credit card offers from GET.com's product partners - major banks and financial institutions in Singapore, such as UOB, DBS and American Express.
A Singapore-based lifestyle and personal finance website, GET.com first found success in the United States - its first market - with over 200,000 Americans signed up for just credit cards via its platform since 2011. It launched here in February 2015 and recently expanded its editorial offerings to include articles on travel, property and entertainment.
GETxBT Compare is the first personal finance comparison tool that GET.com has jointly created with a major media outlet, co-founder Pedro Pla told BT. "We see a synergy in our partnership with BT on enabling a credible and totally transparent personal finance comparison platform for consumers to make informed judgement for themselves."
The Singapore startup - one of at least six active financial comparison sites here that usually earn from partnerships with financial institutions, successful referral sign-ups for credit cards or home loans, or advertising - prides itself on transparency.
Said Mr Pla: "We always strive to show the most comprehensive list of home loans, credit cards and personal loans available in Singapore regardless of partner or non-partner products, and keep the products shown on our comparison platform updated with any latest features or offers from our product partners."
GET.com is also upfront about the partners that it works with and will provide an advertiser's disclosure on its partners and how it rates the respective products, Mr Pla shared. "While such disclosure standards are currently not a regulatory requirement in Singapore, we made sure to adopt such best practices when we launched in Singapore, having acquired the knowledge and experience . . . in the US since 2008."
The creation of GETxBT Compare is in line with Singapore consumers' increasing sophistication and openness towards digital banking, said both partners, citing a March 2015 McKinsey report which shows Singapore leading the digital banking penetration levels in South-east Asia with 94 per cent of banking consumers conducting Internet banking via personal computers or smartphones.
According to the same report, three out of four Singapore consumers preferred to use digital channels to compare rates on banking products to branches or call centres.
Alvin Tay, editor of BT, said: "We look forward to a long-term partnership with GET.com to enhance the array of personal finance tools and resources available on BT to cater to the needs of individual consumers."
The official launch of GETxBT Compare on Monday coincides with GET.com's first anniversary in Singapore; it is also the first of several initiatives lined up by BT this year as the paper - published by Singapore Press Holdings and still the only financial daily in Singapore - celebrates its 40th anniversary.
This article was first published on February 16, 2016.
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