Sunday,14 July 2024

What the industry can learn from Swiftonomics

5 min read

By Anna Ross

In his opening address at The Asian Banker Summit, Emmanuel Daniel urged the financial services industry to embrace transformative changes, drawing parallels from the impact of Taylor Swift's concert tour on Singapore’s economy

In a thought-provoking opening speech at The Asian Banker Summit on 23 May in Hong Kong, Emmanuel Daniel, founder of The Asian Banker, asked the audience to embrace the transformational changes sweeping the financial services industry. Drawing parallels from the phenomenon of singer Taylor Swift, Daniel emphasised the need to adapt to the new realities of a network economy driven by digital forces and customer-centric innovations.

Daniel highlighted the singer’s meteoric rise to stardom and her ability to become an economic force through authenticity and direct connection with her fans. “It is possible to become an economic force just by being authentic,” he said, pointing to Swift’s successful transition from a country singer to creating an entirely new pop genre that resonates with millions of followers worldwide. 

She has clocked 283 million followers on Instagram, 32.8 million on TikTok, and 95.2 million on X. The economic influence of the 34-year-old and her impact across sectors even has its own nomenclature—Swiftonomics.

She swept through Singapore on The Eras Tour from 2 March, playing six sold-out nights to 300,000 fans, 70% of whom flew in from overseas and spent some $370 million in the city state. Her agreement with the Singapore government blocked any other concert stops in Southeast Asia, concentrating Swiftonomics gains on the state. 

UOB’s pre-sale tickets hit 66% surge in credit card fees

With its ear clearly on the groundswell of Swift’s fandom, Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) began pre-sale tickets for cardholders in the region in June 2023, reporting a 66% surge in credit card fees to a record SGD 382 million ($284 million) in 2023. 

Daily average credit card applications across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam jumped 45% from 21 to 27 June, while debit card applications in Singapore and Vietnam climbed nearly 130%. The bank had a similar tie up with singer Ed Sheeran for his concert in February this year.

Pointing to this curious blip on the radar, Daniel warned that the traditional foundations of banking are being disrupted. “Those of us who think that banking is built on hard soil—those days are over,” he cautioned, citing examples like the rapid downfall of Silicon Valley Bank due to social media influence and a brutal bank run that led to its crash landing.

Daniel’s speech underscored the importance of embracing new concepts such as digital assets, decentralised finance (DeFi), and the personalisation of finance. He urged the audience to listen to their customers’ conversations and leverage data and artificial intelligence to develop products that meet their evolving needs. 

“If the product doesn’t change, nothing changes in finance,” he asserted, emphasising the need for a fundamental shift in mindset and approach, deftly applied by the Singapore government and UOB to leverage Swift’s widespread appeal.

Daniel also called attention to the rise of social commerce platforms and the transformative impact they are having on supply chains, payments, and customer experiences. He encouraged the industry to learn from these disruptors, lean into failure as a learning opportunity, and brace for the future.

Throughout his speech, Daniel emphasised the importance of understanding and adapting to the transformational changes shaping the industry. “If you don’t understand Taylor Swift, you don’t understand the transformation that is coming to us today,” he remarked, challenging the audience to embrace the same authenticity, innovation, and customer-centricity that have propelled the success of a cultural tour de force like Swift. 


Keywords: Taylor Swift, Network Economy, Digital Forces, Customer-centric Innovations, Authenticity, Direct Connection, Economic Force, Social Media Influence, Bank Run, Digital Assets, Decentralised Finance, Data And Ai, Social Commerce, Supply Chains
Institutions: United Overseas Bank, Silicon Valley Bank
Country: Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia
Region: Southeast Asia, ASEAN
People : Taylor Swift
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