Mention a bank, and most people would picture an austere row of counters, manned by busy tellers running to and from the outlet’s backroom vault. But at DBS’s new Takashimaya branch, there is barely a single counter in sight. With most transactions now taking place on self-service banking machines, a single branch can be run by just two or three staff armed with tablets. 

The new branch represents the first step in DBS’s journey to redefine branch banking for the digital age. With 95% of regular DBS banking transactions now done digitally via DBS’s digibank mobile app or digibank online, the bank is now moving towards reconfiguring its physical branches to meet the needs of an increasingly digital-savvy customer base. Branches will now focus on providing assistance in using these online services and providing personal financial planning services. 

“Six years after we launched our digitalisation strategy, we’re seeing an unprecedented boom in digital banking adoption with customers shifting en masse to digital platforms amid Covid-19,” remarks Shee Tse Koon, DBS Singapore Country Head. He observed that monthly average visits per branch fell 15% since Covid-19 while monthly over-the-counter cash deposits and withdrawals per branch fell 22%. 

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