11/09/2014 Banking Innovation


Improving financial literacy among Singaporean youths through a mobile game based on their lives in Singapore.

Innovation presentation

DBS Bank’s WhyMoolah innovation was developed in answer to two questions: “How much do we understand about the youth segment?” and “Wouldn’t it be great if we could explore a new digital way to engage youth and young working adults in an enriching and rewarding manner?”

The bank partnered with Playmoolah, a local start-up that was committed to developing a mobile app. There were already several experiential mobile gaming apps available, such as SimCity and Game of Life, so the companies wanted to position the app as a simulator, rather than a game. Consequently, WhyMoolah revolves around real scenarios, possible life events, and financial decisions that young people are likely encounter after graduating from university. In essence, players need to balance four key pillars, which include career, health, social and personal finance.

After learning through simulation, players can toggle to the ‘Real Rewards’ section, register via an online form, perform a real action and be rewarded. Through this app, the team aims to establish a connection between what people have learned and actual product/service take-up from the bank.

Uniqueness of the project

WhyMoolah is a digital innovation that supports the youth in achieving their aspirations by expanding on the three core pillars of the DBS Remix solution: co-creation with youth, digital innovation and achieving inspirations. One key differentiator is that the app is easy to use, enabling users to understand the financial impact of future decisions or lifestyle choices, such as marriage, buying a house, budgeting, or careers. It also provides information about regulations such as income tax.

The solution places a fun life simulation app in the hands of the younger generation and has the potential to make classroom-style financial literacy education obsolete. As the high rate of smartphone penetration in Singapore increases among the younger generation, DBS aims to bring mobile engagement to another level.

In-Depth Analysis

The Reason Behind

DBS Bank aims to constantly engage with Singapore’s younger generation and, through this, identified that there was potential to develop an app that would provide financial literature in a fun and engaging way. The bank aimed to:

• Leverage mobile technology by using devices that are familiar to the younger generation

• ‘Gamify’ the financial literacy that is traditionally considered boring by presenting it via an app

• Enable younger Singaporean citizens to simulate their lives and develop financial knowledge in a fun


WhyMoolah was launched on 28 November 2013 and was downloaded 3,800 times in less than four weeks. In the first six months, the bank recorded more than 20,000 app downloads, 800 Real Rewards form response-registrations and collected 150 online forms. The app has also received positive App Store reviews with more than three stars and raised the awareness of the DBS Remix brand among the youth segment.

Key Dates

  • Launch date 1 November 2013

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