POSB launches chat banking on FB Messenger
By Digital News Asia January 23, 2017
- Launches artificial intelligence-driven chatbot, “POSB digibank Virtual Assistant”
- First bank in Singapore to enable customers to bank conversationally on social messaging platform
AS PART of POSB’s efforts to make day-to-day banking simpler, smarter and faster for its customers, the bank has officially launched chat banking on Facebook Messenger.
This makes POSB the first bank in Singapore to leverage an artificial intelligence-driven chatbot to enable its customers to bank conversationally on a social messaging platform.
A part of the DBS Group, POSB is the largest and oldest local bank in Singapore with over four million customers.
POSB first announced its plans for customers to use natural language to converse with POSB from a social messaging app in August 2016.
Since then, the bank has been working with US-based Kasisto, a spin-off from SRI International which created the technology behind Siri (Apple's voice assistant), to deliver this service.
Kasisto's conversational AI platform, KAI, powers smart bots and virtual assistants with deep banking knowledge.
Customers simply have to visit the POSB Facebook page and go directly to Facebook Messenger to access this service which is available round-the-clock.
Since the launch of the service on Jan 13, all enquiries made on the social messaging platform were answered promptly without being re-routed to the bank’s customer centre.
The majority of the enquiries centred on the bank’s branch locations and foreign exchange rates.
“As a bank serving close to five million customers in Singapore, we are taking the lead in driving innovation in our digital offerings and providing a seamless customer experience across our platforms.
“We know that our customers are spending time conversing on their favourite mobile messaging apps, and we are immersing ourselves in the customer journey by making it easier and more convenient for them to engage us.
“With ‘POSB digibank Virtual Assistant’, customers can converse with us as easily as they would with their contacts – no more calls and no more waiting in line just to get a response. Customers can also soon look forward to conducting their banking transactions via this service,” said DBS Bank Consumer Banking Group (Singapore) head Jeremy Soo.
Since September 2016, POSB has spent over 11,000 man hours training the virtual assistant, with actual questions and responses taken from the bank’s customer centre. POSB also set up an annotation team to ensure that responses are kept valid and succinct, and most importantly, be able to meet customer needs.
As the “POSB digibank Virtual Assistant” understands natural language, it is able to respond in real-time. The virtual assistant also has learning abilities and over time, as more customer questions are answered, it will be able to respond more accurately to enquiries.
By 2Q 2017, customers can also look forward to conducting banking transactions such as balance enquiries, fund transfers and card payments via the “POSB digibank Virtual Assistant”.
Chat banking will also be launched in DBS’ other key markets, with plans to extend this service to other mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat in the future.
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