A visit to the websites of popular personal finance like the MoneySmart or the SingSaver shall reveal that the banks of Singapore are offering consumers a vast variety of loans, insurance products, and credit cards to choose from. The easily accessible digital infrastructure of the country has also enabled the traditional banks for deploying sophisticated solutions which are often considered the strength of digital banks elsewhere.
Where the incumbent banks usually have the scale as well as a vast range of offerings, this does not mean that there’s no space for the digital banks, said Shannon Aw who is an associate partner as well as the head of business and innovation and growth in Singapore at Synpulse. She said that she agreed that Singapore was a bit overbanked and that they had no shortage of the local branches or the retail products. Although the range of products is comprehensive, they are a bit homogeneous.
According to the website Valuechampion.com, Validus has been able to offer good and competitive interest rates (i.e. 8.7–26.8 percent per annum) and did not impose any revenue requirements, unlike the traditional lenders. Also, Validus has a lower cash disbursal fee of about 1- 2.5 percent, unlike other platforms that tend to charge almost 3 – 5 percent.
Competition regarding the deposit rates as well as property loans among the banks of Singapore in the past have proven the point that the higher-than-usual deposit rates or the mortgage rates lower-than-peers are not sustainable. Hence, it was not enough for the new entrants to just offer the same products at a lesser price point.