SINGAPORE: Two thirds of Singaporeans have a brand in mind when searching for financial services, a new study shows.

This is according to Google APAC's Financial Dashboard, which details how consumers in ten countries in the Asia-Pacific region have searched for financial products over the last year.

"Financial literacy in Singapore is one of the highest in Asia and consumers like to be well-informed before making any decisions," said Michael Yue, industry head for banking and financial services, Google Singapore, in remarks reported by The Drum.

"Singaporeans care about financial planning and often turn to Search to help them understand financial products and investments."

The study found that mobile search in the city state had enjoyed a year-on-year growth of 28%. In part, this is due to Singaporean's willingness to turn to their mobiles when they need information – 70% of Singaporeans turn to their smartphones when they need information about a local business compared to 43% in the US, according to Yue.

And investment-related mobile searches from Singapore accounted for 13% of the total mobile traffic across the top five financial hubs, Marketing Interactive reported.

Local banks remained top of mind within searches, with market leader DBS claiming the most search volume. However, innovative challenger OCBC saw the highest year-on-year growth in searches.

This growth follows the deployment last year of its Apple Touch ID integration, OCBC OneTouch, which allows customers to sign into mobile banking using only their fingerprints.

"One of the key takeaways for new entrants, establishing your brand, especially in the digital sphere is very important, if you understand that users are looking this way [using search]," said Yue.

Google APAC also noted that search in more mature markets tends to skew towards having a brand in mind. But in a location like India, where the presence of retail banks is "sparse", people are less likely to search with a brand in mind.

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive, OCBC Bank, The Drum; additional content by WARC staff