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DBS launches Facebook Messenger bot for restaurant orders

DBS launches Facebook Messenger bot for restaurant orders

Singapore-based DBS has begun testing a chatbot that allows customers to order and pay for meals at participating restaurants through Facebook Messenger.

Dubbed Foodster, the bot marks DBS's first foray into the 'chat commerce' space, enabling businesses to transact within platforms - such as Messenger - that already have a massive and captive pool of users.

Customers can search for participating outlets in Messenger by entering their name and the 'Foodster' suffix. They will then see a full menu from which they can place an order before paying with a DBS card or the bank's PayLah! mobile wallet.

Foodster, currently being trialled at seven food and beverage places, accepts customised orders, retains the user’s history, and automatically offers eligible customers discounts and promotions. An 'Express' option lets customers, after a one-time authorisation and set-up, pay for all future orders with one tap.

DBS says that Foodster helps merchants counter customer app fatigue by embedding within an already hugely popular platform. One of its trial partners has seen its daily business grow by more than 20% without the need for extra manpower.

Jeremy Soo, head, consumer banking group (Singapore), DBS, says: "We are aware that consumers today are more likely to have ‘app fatigue’ and have become resistant to downloading new mobile apps.

"And so as Singapore’s leader in payments with over four million cards in circulation and the nation’s most popular mobile wallet - DBS PayLah! with over one million users - we saw an opportunity to combine our strengths with Singapore’s most widely used social media platform."

Separately, DBS's Hong Kong arm has moved to simplify the application process for personal loans and credit cards by letting customers simply provide their identity card, rather than a host of documentation on things such as proof of income and address.

The bank is taking advantage of new rules which allows lenders to adopt innovative technology to manage credit risks by using a a sophisticated income estimation model that taps big data and consumer behaviour analytics to assess income.

Ajay Mathur, head, consumer banking group and wealth management, Hong Kong, DBS, says: "We believe this innovation revolutionises the customer experience, not only by eliminating real pain points in the current application process, but by enabling customers to truly live more, bank less, anywhere and anytime."

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