Seniors and the well-off turning to Internet banking

Seniors and the well-off turning to Internet banking

It was once the preserve of the the young and tech-savvy but Internet banking is becoming increasingly widely used among seniors and the well-off.

The take-up rate among these customers has been expanding fast over the past two years on the back of growing confidence that personal information is safe.

DBS Bank's head of e-business Louis Foo told The Straits Times: "One might think that these are the groups of customers who would prefer to go to the branches to be served in person, but Internet banking is becoming more common among all groups."

Senior citizens - deemed to be 55 years and older - performed 1.2 million Internet banking transactions last year, an increase of 37 per cent since 2010.

About 53.5 per cent of its high-net-worth clients use Internet banking compared to about 40 per cent of retail customers.

DBS has more than 1.9 million Internet banking customers, who perform 18 million transactions a month.

Its mobile banking platform, which can be downloaded as a phone app, has more than 650,000 users, performing 4.7 million transactions a month.

It offers 13 services on this platform compared to more than 90 through Internet banking.

Enhanced security is seen as the key to wooing more people over to Internet banking, which started at DBS in 1997.

Mobile banking began in 2010.

Mr Foo said the bank is constantly on the lookout for methods to improve safeguards while keeping the site user-friendly.

Its new Internet banking tokens, introduced in 2011, add an extra layer of security.

Instead of simply generating a one-time password, they require customers to enter details such as account numbers and the amount they want to transfer - a process which is called transaction signing.

This is in line with industrywide guidelines requiring transaction signing for high-risk Internet banking transactions.

The old DBS Internet banking tokens will be deactivated on Sunday. Users will need to activate their new transaction signing tokens via Internet banking.

The tokens can be obtained from DBS branches or customer centres.

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