One in three Singaporeans to have digital-only bank accounts by 2025

But locals have one of the slowest adoption rates amongst the 13 countries surveyed.

More than 1.46 million Singaporeans or 30% of the current population are expected to have a digital-only bank account by 2025, according to a study by financial comparison platform Finder.com.

In a survey taken last March, an estimated 980,000 Singaporeans or about 20% of the adult population currently hold digital-only bank accounts. A further 488,000 citizens, or around 10% of the population, have indicated their plans to open an account in the next five5 years.

Young adults are currently the biggest adopters of digital-banking with 25% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 having an online-only account. Women are also slightly more likely to have a digital-only bank account than men, at 24% of women compared to 20% of men.

However, Singapore has one of the slowest rates of digital banking adoption in the 13 countries studied. France and Ireland are the only sovereigns with a slower rate of adoption.

In contrast, countries such as India and Malaysia expect an additional 21% and 16% of their population to adopt online-only accounts. Another neighboring country, Philippines, is forecasted to have an additional 16% of its population adopt neobanks.

Global fintech editor at Finder.com, Elizabeth Barry, says the Coronavirus pandemic will likely act as a catalyst for the digitisation of banking.

“Restricted movement means that what was once forecasted for the next five years could be squeezed into a much shorter time frame,” noted Barry. “What isn’t clear yet is whether this will be a boon for virtual challenger banks or whether productivity issues as a result of the coronavirus could delay operations.”

In the short term, more collaboration between traditional banks and fintechs is expected as banks scramble to service a spike of online customers, she added. 

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