DBS rolls out chatbot on Facebook Messenger for online banking

DBS rolls out chatbot on Facebook Messenger for online banking
PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - South-east Asia's largest bank DBS has rolled out its chatbot called "POSB digibank Virtual Assistant" on Facebook Messenger to let customers chat to bank online.

Since its roll-out last Friday (Jan 13), DBS said that customers have asked about branch locations and foreign exchange rates.

By June this year, the close to 5 million DBS and POSB account holders will also be able to ask for their account balance, transfer funds and make card payments by chatting with the chatbot, a programme that simulate human behaviour.

For instance, to check their balance, customers simply type "How much do I have?".

By simply texting "Can you please pay my mobile bill?", the request will be processed, but not before identifying the correct payee.

The chatbot was developed with United States-based Kasisto, a spin-off from the brains behind Apple's voice assistant Siri.

DBS is the first bank in the region to launch a chatbot, although Japanese insurer Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore also uses a chatbot to supply insurance advisers with the latest relevant articles.

In a statement on Thursday (Jan 19), DBS said all enquiries made to the chatbot so far were answered promptly without them being re-routed to the bank's customer centre.

"We know that our customers are spending time conversing on their favourite mobile messaging apps, and we are immersing ourselves in (their) journey by making it easier and more convenient for them to engage us," said Mr Jeremy Soo, head of DBS Bank's consumer banking group for Singapore.

There are also plans to extend the chatbot service to other mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.

This article was first published on Jan 19, 2017.
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