Kudos for DBS for launching DBS Places, where Facebook users can check-in to Facebook Places to enjoy special deals at selected partners.

I have tried DBS Places on Facebook mobile and there are some room for improvement for DBS to generate better ROI than just a branding campaign.

One major shortcoming of this “social” campaign is that you can enjoy Facebook check-in deal without the use of DBS cards to make payment for the deal. In fact, you could even use cash or other bank cards, like Citibank, HSBC, etc to pay for the deal.

The more extreme view of DBS Places is that a consumer with a smart phone but without a DBS card can enjoy the special DBS Places deal, but a DBS card holder without a smart phone cannot enjoy the DBS Places deal.

This is indeed a bankers’ nightmare.

In comparison, if you DBS cards at selected venues, you get an exclusive discount.

An exclusive promotion for DBS & POS card holders

Would a bank go on an online branding and advertisement campaign so that other banks can benefit from it, or should the ROI be directed to measuring if there were increase in card usage?

On the other hand, if DBS Bank could link their Facebook Deals promotion with increase usage of their cards and yet get more discounts from the retailers, wouldn’t be a social media success?


  1. Chris Ng  

    August 15, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Hey Aaron, thanks for the mention and for the comments. You've certainly got a point there and without going into specifics, that indeed was a part of our thought process too. In the end, we kept the mechanics simple so that we could involve participants from outside Singapore where we may not have a ready base of credit / debit cardholders. As the first pan-Asia campaign involving Facebook Places, we're looking to reinforce our Asian connectivity by making the campaign accessible to everyone and to build awareness of the DBS brand in those markets. We do envisage more exciting social media initiatives in the future that are more closely tied to product usage.

  2. Aaron Koh  

    August 15, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Hi Chris,

    I actually have a motive for blogging this.

    I am from Taggo and we are able to link DBS Cards without the security issues. Plus our real tests have shown that retailers are willing to give more discounts if a bank can help them with more advertising.

    Besides the need to set up multiple pages, we can create campaigns within the same Facebook Page so the objective is focused on the fanpage.

    In addition, when a fan check-in, we generate a status update that is edited and controlled by the brand.

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