It is a meeting of minds between two of Singapore’s very best companies, two industry leaders, which could have wide ranging implications for business in the city state. OCBC Bank and StarHub have decided to form a partnership which could bring several benefits to their customers.
OCBC Bank, as the reader would know is the largest bank in Singapore, formed in 1932, which boasts of an Aa1 rating from Moody’s – which is the highest given to any bank in the world. According to Bloomberg Markets OCBC Bank has the strongest financial structure in the global banking industry.
OCBC Bank has over 500 branches in more than 15 countries, including in Singapore, Malaysia, China and Indonesia. They offer a range of specialist financial services including corporate, consumer, insurance, stock broker and asset management services.
StarHub is the biggest information, communications and entertainment company in Singapore. It has a massive mobile network that provides 3G and 4G services. In addition to this, StarHub offers a super fast residential broadband service, multi-channel pay TV service and a rage of voice, data and wholesale services.
OCBC Bank and StarHub are the giants of the corporate sector in Singapore, albeit in completely different, so far unaligned areas, with little in common. OCBC Bank is a part of the old economy and StarHub very much symbolizes the dynamic new economy. Hence, the collaboration or partnership between the two completely dissimilar companies is very interesting.
To begin with, the collaboration will consist of a $6 million investment by the two corporate giants over 12 months in technology and research and development. The focus will be on the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and hiring highly qualified professionals to manage the initiative. Big Data and data analytics are the other important things that the two companies are looking at closely.
How does this help the customers of the two companies? The alliance could provide a range of benefits to customers of both companies. OCBC Bank customers, for example, will now be able to use StarHub phone and pay-TV packages while doing bank work online or at an OCBC branch.
This is already a reality at the Orchard Gateway branch of OCBC Bank, which combines OCBC’s banking and financial services with StarHub’s infotainment, internet and communications services. More outlets like that are expected to be started across Singapore.
Customers of both companies can now opt for extra perks such as an additional rebate on their StarHub bill of up to 3% by signing up at the online platform started by the two companies as a result of the collaboration -www.innovatingtogether.sg. StarHub customers can get a rebate of up to $5/month credited to their account in OCBC Bank.
The most important implication of this teaming up between the two corporate giants is that it is the first concrete step towards the formation of what OCBC group chief executive Samuel Tsien calls the “We Economy”.
In this new We Economy, businesses will break out of their industries and reach out to companies in completely different verticals, forming collective partnerships with a strategic objective in mind. The two companies are already considering teaming up with the leading players in other industries such as real estate, transport and retail.
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