Waz the point of local banks’ going digital?

In Banks, Internet on 04/02/2020 at 2:36 pm

BS in action and wasted productivity.

“Experts” are asking how the new digital banks can really differentiate themselves. They say market is already well served by big financial institutions who have good digital banking services.

These “experts” don’t know how the local banks work. Yes they have good digital services but only on paper.

I’ll highlight a major failing of the big three local banks and HSBC. (They, StanChart and MayBank dominate retail banking. I don’t know much about the last two’s digital banking services. But i don’t think they willing to go against the grain.)

The fixed deposit (FD) rates that HSBC and the three local banks are offering online are BS. If you use their online systems to put money into FD accounts, you get screwed.

They whisper to customers over the counter that you really must go down to the branch to get the best FD rates. It’s peanuts but the online rates are atom-sized peanuts.

Worse, when want to renew, still got to go down to the branch to get the best rates. WTF.

As I recently asked a bank customer service officer “Why go digital, when the customer has to come down to the branch to get the so-called best rate? Buggeration at work”

She juz giggled.

Whatever, try avoid using FD deposits. Best: Using yr CPF OA as a savings account. But as can withdraw only once a year, so FD deposits still needed.

(Amended to reflect change if CPF rules after I last took out money before my birthday last year. 45 Feb 2020 at 1.30 pm)

Of course one can buy dividend paying shares, or Reits and hope the prices don’t collapse.


  1. CPF “withdraw only once a year” — only if you’re still working & contributing to CPF.

    If above 55 & no more regular CPF contributions …. you can withdraw anytime, anywhere.

    Anytime, anywhere?? Yes, use CPF app + PayNow … you’ll get your CPF funds in your bank a/c in 1 sec.

    I hate using FDs.

    My spare cash & war chest are spread among money mkt funds, short term bond funds, SSBs, and CIMB & Citibank, plus the usual local banks.

    My main factors are relative safety, much better than normal savings interest, good liquidity, no penalty for early withdrawals or liquidation — that means getting paid pro-rated interests!

    Those still working can use the various “jump-thru-hoops-like-circus-animals” higher-yield accounts. Only trouble is the banks change their T&Cs as often as you change underwear, making you jump even harder & faster.

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