Not Your Father’s Bank Branch

Sometimes, being “agewise” has nothing to do with older people. I had to open a bank account here in Singapore, so I selected one of the local banks, DBS, and then looked online for the nearest branch location. There probably should have been a disclaimer next to the listing for the branch location nearest to where I live that says “Only for people under the age of 30.” It turns out that this particular branch is located  at a mall called “Scape” that is completely devoted to teenagers and  young adults. Every single retail store, entertainment facility, restaurant/food stall and design element at this mall is targeted to young people. And that goes for the DBS bank branch as well. And while I felt conspicuously out of place there waiting to open my account and clearly brought the average age of customers and bank employees up significantly, I thought it was great.

The decor of the bank was all 1960′s modish in red, black and white – even the two bank employees were dressed in male and female bank outfits in these colors. The waiting area had no chairs, just a two level carpeted platform strewn with big pillows that you could stretch out and lean back on while surfing the web on the tablets provided. The other customers in the bank at the time included a young couple whose little toddler was having a great time climbing the platforms and playing with the tablets while waiting for his parents to be served. And there was pop music playing loud enough that you could actually hear it (the original recordings by the actual artists – not muzak).

Another slightly older bank customer enjoying the experience.

Another great thing about this bank branch – everything is electronic so none of those chained up pens that never work and no paper forms or bank slips. Even the account opening transaction itself was completely electronic. The bank rep typed or scanned all my information in from my passport and Singapore employment pass and then showed me the completed form for verification on the giant screen that actually served as the desk at which I sat across from her.

My favorite thing at this branch may have been the huge electronic drawing board at the entrance near the ATMs where I got to leave my mark. This place may have been targeting people much younger than I am, but it really was awesome.




  1. Just want to point out that this post was originally written for my AgeWise blog about age-friendly business practices and the issues and opportunities associated with aging populations. But I thought it might be interesting for readers of this blog as well. I hope it is okay to plagiarize from myself.

  2. Really interesting. I did not realize I was behind in two of your postings, but always look forward to reading them. And to think at my ATM they asked if they could email me my receipt (which I never got!) and I thought that was pretty high tech.

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