OCBC's mobile app helps expand customer base

AN OCBC Bank mobile app launched six months ago has attracted several thousand new customers.

The app lets people apply for the 360 Account using just their mobile phone or tablet, cutting out the need to visit a branch.

Since the app's April launch, around 8,000 people have used it to open an account - about 15 per cent of the bank's 60,000 new 360 Accounts over the same six-month period.

OCBC said about 80 per cent of those who used the app to open their accounts are new customers.

Most are young professionals, managers, engineers and technicians aged between 23 and 25.

OCBC said this group of tech-savvy adults appreciate the simple process that allows them to lodge their details by taking a photo of their identity card using the camera on their gadget.

They can also submit their signature by signing on an embedded pad within the app.

The bank has noted a growing trend among customers to use the Internet and mobile banking, with the total volume of online activity expanding 89 per cent last year, compared with 2012.

Its active Internet banking customer base grew 19 per cent, while that for mobile banking was up 44 per cent over the same period.

Customers are going online to pay bills and check their account balances, among other things.

The number of credit card applications done via Internet banking has also doubled over the past year, helping the bank record a significant revenue increase.

Mr Aditya Gupta, OCBC's head of e-business, said online banking has not only provided convenience for customers but is also serving as an important revenue generator.

"We found the sweet spot - offer digital-savvy customers a compelling, simple and secured solution to start a relationship with us using devices like smartphones and tablets, which are ubiquitous in their lifestyle.

"The initial customer response and sales volume on the app validate our belief and approach," he said.

Other banks, too, have been quick to ride the wave of digital banking for a new breed of customers who want quick financial services on the go.

DBS conducted 7.4 million fund transfers via its mBanking service last year.

It also launched DBS PayLah!, a new mobile wallet service, that has garnered more than 100,000 users less than two months after its launch in late May.

United Overseas Bank had an average of some 1.2 million transactions per month last year for a mobile app that offers cardless ATM cash withdrawals.

This article was first published on Sep 29, 2014.
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