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OCBC is the first Singapore bank to enable fully digital account opening for foreigners

OCBC is the first Singapore bank to enable fully digital account opening for foreigners

  • 22 Jun 2023

Consumers from OCBC’s key markets who are relocating to Singapore can open an account remotely via the OCBC Digital app.

Singapore, 22 June 2023 – OCBC has launched a fully digital account opening service for consumers in its key markets who are relocating to Singapore. These individuals from Malaysia, Indonesia, mainland China and Hong Kong SAR will be able to open Singapore dollar and multi-currency accounts on the OCBC Digital app remotely, within minutes. This expedites the entire relocation process as a bank account facilitates two other key administrative arrangements – salary crediting and securing of accommodation.

Currently, it typically takes days or even weeks to open a bank account as it entails travelling to Singapore and then walking into a bank branch to produce physical documentation for verification. To fully digitalise this process, OCBC has leveraged artificial intelligence, data analytics, biometrics, blockchain and cloud technologies from OneConnect Financial Technology, an associate company of Ping An Group. These technologies have been integrated with OCBC’s proprietary digital know-your-customer process (e-KYC).

The launch of this service is timely as more foreigners are coming to Singapore to work, study and live. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, from 2021 to 2022, this segment grew by 6.6%. As borders reopen post-pandemic and given Singapore’s strong infrastructure and status as a financial hub, this growth is likely to continue. Consequently, OCBC expects the monthly average of foreigners who open an OCBC Singapore bank account in 2024 to be four-times that of 2022.

Demand on the rise for wealth management services

Opening a Singapore bank account will avail all the features of the OCBC Digital app to foreign customers, including its wealth management services. They will gain access to time deposits, international remittances, unit trusts, equities trading, foreign exchange trading, robo-investment services, blue-chip stocks and precious metals like gold and silver.

Such digital wealth management services are sought after, with OCBC’s foreign customers in Singapore who have started investing through the OCBC Digital app increasing four-fold from 2020. The total amounts invested have increased close to seven times in this same time frame.

Sunny Quek, OCBC’s Head of Global Consumer Financial Services, said: “As more individuals relocate to Singapore to live, work and study, there has been a corresponding increase in demand for banking services. Our digital onboarding capability on the OCBC Digital app brings greater convenience to such consumers as it enables them to set up their Singapore bank accounts remotely, without having to physically visit a bank branch in Singapore. By providing them with a seamless and secure way to open an OCBC account, we hope that they will be able to get settled and integrate into Singapore life more quickly.”

How it works

Malaysia, Indonesia, mainland China and Hong Kong SAR biometric passport holders who plan to relocate to Singapore simply need to download the Singapore version of the OCBC Digital app to begin the account application and onboarding process. The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Step 1: Open OCBC Digital app > Tap on ‘Sign up’ > ‘Foreigner with e-passport’

Step 2: Have passport and ID card ready for digital verification on the app.

Thereafter, the account will be opened in minutes and customers can immediately access the digital, financial and lifestyle services on the OCBC Digital app.

This press release is intended to be disseminated within Singapore and should not be treated as an advertisement or invitation for deposit outside Singapore.


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