StanChart-NTUC Digital Bank Launches Savings Account and Credit Card

SINGAPORE — The new digital bank of Standard Chartered Bank and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) opened its virtual doors to customers on Thursday, offering a savings account, credit card and family personal accident insurance.

Trust Bank, owned 60% by StanChart and 40% by NTUC Enterprise, offers an interest rate of 1.4% per annum for the first deposit of $50,000.

The savings account comes with a debit card that offers up to 11% Linkpoints rebate for NTUC members and up to 5% rebate for others.

The account has no minimum balance, lock-up period or fees.

The digital bank is offering up to 21% Linkpoints rebates on its credit card for NTUC members and 15% rebates for others.

His credit card will not have annual fees, foreign transaction fees and cash advance fees, among others.

Trust Bank also offers a family personal accident insurance plan developed by Income, at a premium of 50 cents per month. This will be available free of charge for the first two months when signing up for the Trust credit card.

Managing Director Dwaipaya Sadhu said the bank’s target audience is the NTUC ecosystem.

One in three people in Singapore interact with Fairprice or the wider NTUC ecosystem, he noted.

The bank’s reach is also broad as the Linkpoints rewards system is one of the largest in town, while the Income insurer is well known, he told media at the launch at Vivocity.

Mr. Sadhu said, “The customer will do business with us because they will see real value in every interaction. How will this help? When they do this, over time there will be loyalty and they will build deep relationships with us.

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, speaking at its launch, said Trust Bank planned to meet the needs of older and less tech-savvy Singaporeans by simplifying banking.

Noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital services, Wong said senior citizens in Singapore, traditionally considered less tech-savvy, have started using digital banking services.

He cited a Singapore Management University study, which found that 80% of bank customers aged 60 and over were using digital banking services in 2021. This figure was up from just 20% in 2019.

Wong, who is also finance minister, said Trust Bank also intends to launch innovative products to better meet customer needs. For example, the bank offers Singapore’s first credit card that allows customers to choose their repayment dates.

He also urged the digital bank to protect consumers from banking scams and maintain a high level of data security.

“I understand that you have designed your technology infrastructure with this in mind. But beyond digital infrastructure, consumer education will be very important,” he added.

This will require collective efforts by the government, banks and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as well as every individual, to ensure that everyone adopts good online banking hygiene practices, he said.

The official public launch on Thursday follows GXS Bank’s announcement on Wednesday that its savings account app will be available for download from September 5.

GXS Bank is the Grab and Singtel-backed digital bank that secured a full digital banking license in December 2020, along with tech giant Sea, which owns Maribank.

Trust Bank, which has a full banking license and nearly 200 employees, can instruct its customers to withdraw cash from 20 ATMs across the island, including one at Fairprice Xtra in Vivocity and 19 Stanchart ATMs.

Those with a full digital banking license, such as GXS Bank and MariBank, will not have ATMs or cash machines, among other requirements.