HSBC sharpens international customer proposition with new online and mobile-based account opening capabilities

  • New online solution enables International customers to instantly open an account even before they relocate to Singapore
  • New-to-Singapore international customers can start an instant banking relationship using their mobile
  • New HSBC study validates the need for seamless onboarding banking journeys – almost half of International Citizens surveyed in Singapore felt unsettled in a new location as they struggled to set-up essential services like a bank account or credit card

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 8 March 2023 - HSBC has introduced Singapore's first instant new account opening solution which provides International customers with access to banking services even before they relocate here. Powered by EasyID, a global service that performs real-time digital identity verification and authentication, new-to-bank international customers from over 30 countries and markets can securely and easily open a bank account with HSBC Singapore without the need for branch visits.

In addition, since January this year, International customers that have just arrived and have yet to set up a SingPass account in Singapore can apply for and receive access to a HSBC bank account within minutes via their mobile.

Both of these new remote onboarding solutions supports the bank's growing pool of International customers in Singapore as travel resumes1. It also complements a growing suite of digital transactional banking and wealth capabilities that HSBC has rolled out in the past three years to make it easier for these customers to settle in and manage their finances while in Singapore.

Ashmita Acharya, Head of Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC Singapore, said:

"We are increasingly seeing work, investment, education and lifestyle decisions expand beyond borders, and there is need for banking solutions that respond actively to the needs of digital nomads. The market opportunities are tremendous given Singapore is often the destination of choice for global businesses to set up their regional HQs as well as regional and global investors to manage their wealth.

Today's international citizens often struggle with financial uncertainties of relocating and travelling, and we have made it our goal to help customers turn these transitions into opportunities.

To be set up for success, people need to be able to open a bank account before they move overseas and see their bank accounts in one global view. Our new digital onboarding capabilities make setting up an account effortless for international and digitally-savvy customers, and we are excited to add this to our existing suite of solutions that reduces financial frictions that our international customers face when they arrive in a new country."

Doubling down on delivering digital capabilities to support international needs

These new account opening solutions are part of HSBC's focus to accelerate the digitalisation of its banking and investment services and solutions to better support Singapore's position as the International Wealth Hub for the region.

In its move to accelerate growth in the international customer segment and ramp up digital banking and wealth capabilities, HSBC Singapore has rolled out several solutions in the past two years which includes:

International Credit History: Integrated with the credit application journey, HSBC can retrieve customers' overseas credit bureau report to access their past credit performance with permission and assign an equitable credit limit to facilitate quicker access to credit for new-to-country customers moving to Singapore. The feature was introduced in partnership with U.S.-based company, Nova Credit, to deliver Singapore's first frictionless, online access to international customers' overseas credit history. First available in May 2022 to India-based customers, HSBC Singapore has since added connections with Philippines, Australia and UK bureaus early this year.

HSBC Global Money Transfers (GMT): Supports HSBC customers' foreign currencies, overseas remittance and payments needs – be it to remit funds to family and friends or pay bills or tuition fees across the world. This feature enables customers to seamlessly hold, manage and send money2 to over 200 countries and territories, 24/7, via the HSBC Singapore App. Since its launch in August 2021, total cross-border payments via GMT has grown exponentially by almost 3-fold by end of 2022.

Digital Wealth Solutions: HSBC customers can open investment accounts for various asset classes including unit trusts and equities; execute equity trades in key markets such as Hong Kong and the US; get a consolidated view of their investments via Wealth Dashboard; perform risk analysis on their Unit Trust investment portfolio via Wealth Portfolio Intelligence Service3; and gain investment insights, by using their mobile.

Alice Fok, Head of Customer, International & Marketing, HSBC Singapore, added:

"As a key wealth hub in the region, we continue to stay attuned to the changing needs and behaviour of our international customers in Singapore and beyond. Most importantly, we remain focus in delivering propositions and services that place them at the centre, as we achieve our growth ambition."

Concerns and motivations of International citizens validated in new study

HSBC recently commissioned a study4 among International Citizens in Singapore and eight other global locations, to understand how their financial lives are evolving, their motivations for moving and investing abroad, and issues they face as they settle into their new home.

The study comes as HSBC globally relaunches its international products and services - to better support customers across borders, whether they're investing overseas, moving for work, study or to live in a new location.

The bank estimates there are over 90 million5 international customers across just 10 of its key international markets – people already living, working and studying abroad. The research lays their financial challenges bare – the pressures of relocating and the practical impact it can have on their lives.

The study found that almost half of respondents who have relocated to Singapore (47% vs. 53% globally) felt unsettled when they first arrived, because they struggled to set-up important things like a bank account. Finding financial services that can suit their needs was also a key concern amongst those planning a big move to Singapore (68% vs. 62% globally), and for digital nomads4 in Singapore (75% vs. 67% globally).

The study also revealed the following key concerns and motivations of those who have moved or plan to move to Singapore:

  • As inflationary pressures and the rising cost of living affects consumers in some countries and territories, more than a quarter of respondents that plan to move or had moved to Singapore (28% vs. 25% globally) are motivated to do so to earn more money; and over a fifth (22%), across both Singapore and globally, are motivated to move to make their money go further.
  • One in two (51%) respondents who are planning to live, work, or study abroad in Singapore and globally across the nine markets in our survey agreed that nobody has helped them feel financially prepared to relocate.
  • Almost half of respondents (44% vs. 45% globally) who plan to relocate to Singapore agree they have no idea how they will manage their finances between locations when they move. This is an even more prevalent concern among international students in or moving to Singapore (58%) and globally (50%).
  • Half of those who have relocated to Singapore (51% vs. 56% globally across the nine markets), agree that being unable to transfer their credit history led to struggles setting-up essentials, such as a mobile phone contract or credit card. Almost three in five International Citizens surveyed (57% vs. 50% globally) who are planning to move to Singapore also agree that not being able to transfer their credit history is a concern for them.
  • Around three in five of the future relocators who are moving to Singapore (62% vs. 59% globally) are concerned about the implications of paying taxes in a new country.

These findings further validate HSBC's focus in delivering mobile-first digital banking and wealth solutions in Singapore. HSBC has introduced over 70 transactional banking, wealth management and customer servicing features on its mobile app since 2020. These new launches and enhancements are part of HSBC's continuous effort to carve a distinctive integrated offering and new digital capabilities that support the needs of customers anywhere in the world at every stage of their wealth journey.


  1. International passenger traffic dropped by 60 per cent in 2020, reducing air travel totals back to 2003 levels. However, demand for international travel has recently recovered, with air passenger traffic reaching approximately 74% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and expected to make a full recovery in 2023.

    Data sources: (Jan 2021); and (Feb 2023)
  1. HSBC Global Money Transfers supports ten foreign currency accounts in addition to SGD for origination: AUD, CAD, CHF, CNY, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, and USD.
  1. Wealth Portfolio Intelligence Service is available to HSBC Premier customers.
  1. About the survey:
  • Research was conducted by Ipsos UK on behalf of HSBC from 5 December 2022 to 23 January 2023.
  • 7,177 interviews were conducted among adults aged 18+, who took part in the survey are currently living, working or studying abroad; or planning to do so in the next 12 months, or returned from doing so in the last five years. This sample also included parents or guardians of international students; and a sub-set of international investors who own at least one investment product overseas.
  • Interviews were conducted, across nine host locations: Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, UAE, UK, USA and the Channel Islands & Isle of Man. Host location is where they have moved/moving to, not where they were born. (Fieldwork did not take place in Canada, as there is a mergers & acquisitions deal involving HSBC underway).
  • Digital Nomads are a sub-set of our main sample (2,058 interviews), and are classified as adults aged 18+ who moved abroad, or are planning to move abroad to 'take advantage of more flexible remote working rules' or because 'Improved technology means I can now work anywhere'.
  1. Collectively, there is a pool of over 90m international customers in the 10 markets where HSBC's suite of services is relaunching: Australia, Canada, Mainland China, Channel Islands & Isle of Man, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, UAE, UK, USA.

Hashtag: #HSBC

About HSBC Singapore
About HSBC Singapore
HSBC Group's history in Singapore dates back to 1877 when its founding member, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, opened its first branch on the island. A qualifying full bank, HSBC in Singapore offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services including retail banking and wealth management; commercial, investment and private banking; insurance; forfaiting and trustee services; securities and capital markets services. One of the earliest banks to establish in Singapore, HSBC today is a prominent player in Singapore's financial services sector serving the banking needs of multi-national corporations, home-grown businesses, private banking clients, institutional and retail customers. In May 2016, HSBC locally incorporated its retail banking and wealth management business in Singapore and established, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited. HSBC Singapore has a retail network of six dedicated HSBC Premier Centres including an International Wealth Hub as well as many locations across the island providing self-service terminals. HSBC was recognised as the 'Best International Bank –⁠ Singapore' at the Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2022.
About HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,967bn at 31 December 2022, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations.





08 Mar 2023

聯繫 Media OutReach Newswire