Singapore

Single platform to view all bank accounts, investments

Singaporeans with more than one bank account will soon be able to view all their funds and investments in one place online instead of having to visit each bank or its website.

They can consent to share their consolidated personal financial data across seven banks - Citibank, POSB and DBS Bank, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Overseas Bank - and three agencies: the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, Housing Board and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

The Straits Times understands that the Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex), an online platform that takes reference from "open banking" in Europe, will be announced soon. Open banking is the practice of providing third-party financial service providers with access to financial data from banks and non-bank financial institutions.

Users of SGFinDex will be redirected to the SingPass log-in page, after which they can select the financial institutions they would like to be connected to.

Data that can be retrieved include current and savings account balances, unit trust holdings, CPF Investment Scheme and Supplementary Retirement Scheme accounts and holdings, and loan outstanding balances.

CONSENT

After successfully linking their accounts, users are asked for consent to their data one more time. The information is secured with SingPass MyInfo.

SGFinDex can already be accessed from some banks' platforms, such as DBS' NAV Planner.

Associate Professor Lawrence Loh from the National University of Singapore Business School said the take-up rate for SGFinDex, especially at the outset, would depend on how consumers weigh the benefits against the time spent on enabling access.

"The incentive will be stronger if transactions can also be performed beyond the availability of information," he said.

Assistant Professor Aurobindo Ghosh from Singapore Management University's Lee Kong Chian School of Business said: "The main hurdle is to have some uniformity or standardisation of financial services and protocols that are universally adopted, including access to data APIs (application programming interfaces) across different institutions."

Data security would also have to be held to a very high standard for these platforms to be more widely adopted and to carry innovative products such as debt consolidation, he added.

BUSINESS & FINANCE