DBS banks on digital-savvy youths

Singapore bank launches youth-styled branch to tap youths through digital technology and social media in era where being digital savvy is key, says company exec.

SINGAPORE--DBS Bank has launched a new branch that targets local youths through digital technology and social media, with the aim to educate the younger generation on financial planning, say company executives.

Operational since Aug. 13 and named DBS Remix, the new site functions as an "evolving branch" that will alter according to "how digital trends move in the future", said Jeremy Soo, managing director and head of consumer banking at DBS Singapore, at a media briefing here Monday.

"Youths today are born in the digital era, exposed to technology even as young as toddlers. [The world is] moving toward a future group of customers that are digitally savvy [and] we want to earn trust from customers at the early stages. [Students] today will be the managers of tomorrow," Soo said.

He added that youths do not have deep pockets but DBS is keen to "engage them with the message that they do not have to wait until they earn a lot before a bank treats them well".

DBS Remix was established to help youths in Singapore attain their aspirations, Soo said, noting that the branch functions like any other full-fledged DBS outlet but aims to attract younger generations, in particular. It does so by offering additional capabilities such as touchscreen tablets to inform customers of upcoming DBS events, consultants to provide advice on financial planning and workshops in which industry leaders will share their experiences, he said.

Soo added that the DBS Remix Facebook page which, to date, has garnered over 36,000 "Likes", serves to engage youths further through other means such as information on shopping discounts and "Faces of the future" photo contests which took place in August.

Another local bank, OCBC Bank, earlier this year also launched a banking programme targeted at tertiary and university students and young adults to aid them in improving their savings.