DBS rolls out ways for gig workers to boost interest on savings, get more with healthcare plans

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – DBS has rolled out financial and healthcare solutions to help hard-hit gig economy workers better manage their savings and healthcare costs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiatives include enhancements to DBS’s bank-and-earn programme, DBS Multiplier, which makes it easier for those who are self-employed to earn higher interest on their balances, said the lender in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 8).

This comes as only one-third of DBS customers identified as gig economy workers have more than three months’ worth of emergency savings. Only 10 per cent of this segment have purchased any form of insurance – whether via DBS or other financial institutions.

The bank recently lowered the minimum transaction threshold and added DBS PayLah! to the list of transaction modes that can unlock a higher interest rate on Multiplier accounts, enabling customers, including gig workers, to shore up their savings.

This means that customers can earn 0.5 per cent interest on the first $10,000 balance in their Multiplier account, as long as eligible transactions from their income or salary account and DBS PayLah! exceed $500 a month.

DBS also widened the definition of income to include informal sources of income, easing the qualification requirements for the Multiplier accounts, especially for gig workers who have fluctuating income sources.

With the changes, customers get to upsize the interest earned while having the flexibility of paying their bills, ordering meals, taking transport rides, among other things, from over 80,000 merchants and service providers on the DBS PayLah! platform, said the lender.

Previously, customers needed at least $2,000 a month in transactions and were limited to categories such as credit cards, insurance, investments and mortgage loans.

DBS has also boosted its healthcare insurance plans, available on its new healthcare portal, to offer better coverage and benefits to gig economy workers and customers who do not have access to traditional employment benefits or corporate insurance coverage.

The bank said customers can get exclusive member consultation rates and other healthcare benefits via the healthcare portal. They are able to sign up for bundled deals that will give them and their family members instant coverage should they fall ill, get injured or undergo health screenings or vaccinations.

DBS and Parkway Shenton have jointly launched a membership programme with member rates for GP (general practitioner) consultations, health screenings and vaccinations across the medical provider’s over 100 participating clinics or increasingly popular telemedicine services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This programme is available to every new sign-up of MultiGen Protect Personal Accident Plan, a product underwritten by Chubb Insurance Singapore.

From Sept 17, DBS will also partner Alliance Healthcare to offer more healthcare bundles, covering a suite of healthcare services across the medical provider’s over 600 participating clinics.

Mr Jeremy Soo, DBS head of consumer banking group, said: “Covid-19 has disrupted the livelihoods of many in the gig economy, and it is crucial that we at DBS provide accessible solutions to financially vulnerable customers that help safeguard their financial and healthcare interests during these challenging times. We hope that these solutions will be able to help gig economy workers to continue to save, be protected and have greater peace of mind.”

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