SingPost – BT

DBS takes banking back to its post office roots

Basic banking services at all SingPost branches, cash bag deposits for corporates at 4

The relationship between post offices and banks has come full circle. And for those nostalgic for the Post Office Savings Bank of years gone by, well it’s practically coming your way again as DBS Bank yesterday said that it would offer basic banking services at all SingPost branches.

The move will scoop the competition as DBS extends its network to 140 outlets, a massive 75 per cent jump from the current 80.

And the bank said that the tie-up was not a precursor to closing branches. ‘No, of course not. Our branch network remains very important to us,’ said Fen Peh, a DBS spokeswoman in response to the question of whether the SingPost outlets would lead to shuttering of some branches.

‘Real estate is at a premium now, we have to explore different types of customer touchpoints.’

Under the landmark partnership, DBS and Singapore Post Ltd will offer basic banking services at all SingPost’s 60 outlets from Jan 3, 2012.

‘This first-of-its-kind tie-up in Singapore between a postal service provider and a bank will enable DBS/POSB customers to conduct banking transactions at 140 outlets, up substantially from the bank’s 80 branches today,’ the bank said in a statement.

Banking services available to DBS/POSB customers at post offices include cash withdrawals and cash deposits of up to $5,000.

In addition, customers can also submit a POSB Everyday Savings Account application form at a SingPost outlet.

DBS corporate banking customers will be given the option of depositing cash bags at four SingPost outlets. They are Bukit Batok Central Post Office, Jurong West Post Office, SingPost Centre Post Office and Yishun Central Post Office.

The banking services will be handled by SingPost staff.

On whether DBS will offer more services at the post office, Ms Peh said that it would depend on the take-up and opportunities.

This is not the first time SingPost has handled banking services. Earlier in January, DBS partnered SingPost to offer the new notes exchanges during Chinese New Year at selected post offices.

Jeremy Soo, DBS head of consumer banking, Singapore, said that the bank already has the largest number of banking touchpoints here. It has over 1,300 automated teller machines and cash acceptance machines.

‘This collaboration with SingPost translates into even greater banking convenience for our four million customers when they visit the post office,’ said Mr Soo.

The irony of the deal will not be lost on old-timers. The Post Office Savings Bank used to provide low-cost banking services to Singaporeans, from as far back as 1877. It went on to become a statutory board and was renamed POSBank in 1990 before being acquired by DBS in 1998.

DBS has now returned banking to its post office roots.

SingPost is not new to providing financial products either. Since 2009, 14 post offices have been selling HDB home loans offered by United Overseas Bank under a five-year exclusive agreement.

The post office also sells unsecured credit facilities from ANZ and Standard Chartered Bank. It offers financial planning services from Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Limited and Prudential Asset Management (Singapore) Ltd.

Loh Choo Beng, SingPost executive vice-president, retail & financial services, said that the firm has been transforming to stay relevant and close to customers.

‘This collaboration with DBS/POSB is another effort to provide a higher level of convenience to our customers. By making basic banking services available at our counter, we give our customers a choice to have their banking needs met as they come to us to buy stamps, pay bills, remit money or complete other transactions,’ he said.

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