SINGAPORE (Aug 10): DBS Bank today announced the official launch of DBS Car Marketplace, an online consumer marketplace that matches automotive buyers and sellers, in partnership with online startup sgCarMart and used-car marketplace Carro.

This follows the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) recently-announced proposal in June to allow banks to operate digital platforms that match buyers and sellers of consumer goods or services.

See: MAS to loosen regulatory barriers for banks carrying on permissible non-financial businesses

Analysts say DBS' move, among the first so far, should help the financial institution explore alternative sources of revenue in the relatively small, though high-value, market of Singapore.

In a press release on Thursday, DBS says it sees DBS Car Marketplace as a one-stop solution for car buyers and sellers – providing all the relevant services and information customers might require in their car purchase or sales journey.

DBS Car Marketplace began its pilot in Dec 2016 when the bank tied up with Carro to “launch a platform leveraging DBS’ website traffic” to connect potential car buyers and sellers.

The direct-selling platform is Singapore’s first online consumer marketplace to be helmed by a bank, and has some 3,500 direct-owner car listings at present, adds DBS.

See: DBS Car Marketplace

An on-site car budget calculator is available on DBS Car Marketplace to provide the estimated loan amount which individual buyers are eligible for. The site also enables buyers to arrange for test drives directly with sellers via the online platform.

From now until Oct 4, the platform will waive listing fees for sellers to list their automobiles on both sgCarMart and Carro for free. Buyers are also granted a limited-time online interest rate of 1.99% per annum on their car loans when they purchase a car through the DBS Car Marketplace this month, until Aug 31.  

Lastly, both buyers and sellers will be fully guided throughout the transaction process and enjoy free paperwork services for car ownership transfers, according to the bank.

“End consumers are smarter and more technologically savvy now, which means more of them are choosing to deal with buying or selling their cars themselves. The number of direct owners trying to sell their car on sgCarMart has been steadily increasing by at least 10% ever year,” says Vincent Tan, general manager of sgCarMart.

“We see a huge opportunity to tap into this growing market given this trend, and help speed the growth along. Listings on DBS Car Marketplace will also be visible to the 2.6 million visitors that visit sgCarMart each month until the car is sold. In 2016, 79% of all direct owner car transactions were completed on sgCarMart,” he adds.

As at 11:48am, shares of DBS are trading 1% higher at $21.23.