Bank partnerships with telcos are not a new concept – but the first such deal in Singapore deserves a positive mention.
OCBC and telco StarHub will each invest S$6 million in research and technology over the next 12 months to drive Singapore’s collaborative economy.
That is just the start. Both outfits have big plans to harness and understand customer needs with the aim of delivering more relevant solutions, experiences and offers to a combined customer base of over 5 million.
OCBC and StarHub will also explore opportunities in Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things to enhance customers’ connected lifestyles at home, at work and on the go.
This looks like a win-win for both outfits – and for customers. A store within a store has been opened at OCBC’s Orchard Gateway branch, flagging up initial and future customer benefits of the deal.
Combining OCBC’s financial services offerings and StarHub’s catalogue of infocommunications and entertainment services, customers can now seamlessly manage their banking and digital lifestyle needs in one store.
This store-in-store concept will be expanded in stages to cover more retail outlets.
In addition, all current and new customers of OCBC and StarHub can sign up at www.innovatingtogether.sg, to receive an additional 3% rebate on their StarHub bills for 12 months. The rebate of up to $5 per month will be credited into customers’ OCBC credit card or bank account.
Notable banking/telco Joint Ventures include:
- Western Union and telco MTN teamed up in the Ivory Coast and Uganda;
- MTN and Diamond Bank partnered to boost the mobile money market in Nigeria;
- China Unicom and China Telecom started selling monetary fund products to their customers through various financial platforms;
- In Nigeria, Etisalat inked a deal with Support Microfinance Bank, offering its KwikCash instant loans;
- Innovative Polish digital bank mBank partnered with Poland’s largest telco Orange Polska, for which it will provide white-label banking services, and
- National Bank of Kenya and Airtel Kenya teamed up to offer each other’s services to their respective customers
Orange Bank France
In France, Orange has taken a different tack; it is launching direct bank Orange Bank in November, created following its acquisition of a 65% stake in Groupama Banque.
That acquisition was made more than 18 months ago amid much funfare. A lot is riding on the initiative and the Orange Bank launch has already missed two deadlines.
According to Orange, the launch of its banking arm represents the biggest IT Project in France in 2017.
The PR material talks of the creation of a new mobile bank but the physical channel is not excluded: Orange is redesigning many of its stores to incorporate banking sections.