Talk to the app: OCBC gives mobile users a virtual assistant

Talk to the app: OCBC gives mobile users a virtual assistant

OCBC Bank has applied conversational AI and natural language processing to put a virtual assistant into the hands of customers using the latest version of its mobile banking app.

In the first month of operation, the virtual agent has helped with over 20,000 voice-based requests, half of which entailed queries about spending categories and budgets. Another 30% concerned past banking transactions, while locating ATMs, paying bills and changing banking PINs also figured.

Developed in partnership with US-based Clinc, the AI was trained over an 18-month period to handle local Singaporean language tics and integrated into the OCBC banking system - so that bills could be paid and account information provided seamlessly.

OCBC has been active in the area of conversational commerce, launching voice-based services through Apple's Siri and Google Home devices.

“Voice-based conversational banking is one of our high-conviction bets as we shape the bank of the future,” says Aditya Gupta, head of digital business, Singapore and Malaysia, OCBC Bank. “Ordering up and carrying out commonly-used banking services just by talking to their smartphones will make it much easier for our customers to manage, move and multiply their finances on their own terms. We are bullish on the conversational AI and natural language processing technology and will continue to invest in enabling more voice-activated interactions over time.”

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