DBS launches Singapore’s largest car marketplace


DBS Bank, one of Singapore’s ‘big three’ banks, has announced the launch of its DBS Car Marketplace – an online market for private car traders.

Partnering with sgCarMart and Carro, two of Singapore’s leading vehicle classified sites, the DBS-led initiative will become the largest direct seller-to-buyer car marketplace in the country, as well as Singapore’s first online consumer marketplace to be helmed by a bank.

DSB has touted its car marketplace as a one-stop solution for auto buyers and sellers, listing upwards of 3,500 direct-owner motor vehicles – the largest in the country.

Jeremy Soo, Head of Consumer Banking (Singapore) for DBS, said the development of the Car Marketplace shows the critical role of digital technology and innovation in extending the bank’s reach, and, indeed, of reimagining the role of banks in non-financial services industries.

Soo said implicit trust placed in the bank by consumers provides a key drawcard for attracting local vehicle traders.

“Our insights indicate that consumers increasingly value transparency and simplicity, particularly in large purchases such as cars. We’ve therefore designed the marketplace so buyers and sellers are seamlessly guided throughout their purchase or sales journey – from start till completion – and provided relevant financial and product information.”

Not neglecting its core banking objectives, the Car Marketplace site will feature a ‘budget calculator’, providing an estimate loan amount the buyer is eligible for; from there, the site will list cars based on the user’s budget.

Vincent Tan, general manager of sgCarMart, believes that Singapore’s increasingly tech-savvy and independent-minded consumers now prefer to buy and sell their cars themselves, rather than going through dealers.

He said the partnership with DBS provides a “huge opportunity to tap into [a] growing market… and help speed the growth along.”

In 2016, 79 per cent of all direct owner car transactions were completed on sgCarMart, according to Vincent Tan.

Chief executive of Carro, Aaron Tan, agreed, with private seller listings on the platform doubling in the past year alone.

“We believe that the trend to democratise the buying and selling of vehicles will continue and will become the preferred choice for consumers looking to get better returns and more assurance for their sale and purchases.”

The launch of the DBS Car Marketplace follows a proposal in June this year from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to allow banks to operate digital platforms that match buyers and sellers of consumer goods or services.

DBS Car Marketplace began its pilot in December 2016, launching a platform that leveraged DBS’ website traffic to connect potential car buyers and sellers.

Despite an uncertain economic climate, vehicle sales have remained strong in city-state. Year-on-year car sales surged by 20.4 per cent in November 2016, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. However, this is still down on the previous year’s sales boom, which saw a 62.5 per cent rise in vehicle sales, capping off an impressive 19 months of consecutive growth in the auto market.