Since August, OCBC’s mobile banking app has featured an AI-powered voice-based virtual assistant, which lets users perform banking transactions via voice.
Called the OCBC Banking Assistant, it is developed in partnership with Clinc, a US-based fintech which specialises in conversational AI.
Besides paying bills and tracking expenses, it also allows users to carry out other services such as locating the nearest ATMs and changing banking PINs.
To use the OCBC Banking Assistant, customers logged into the mobile app can access this feature under the ‘Banking Assistant’ icon.
Users simply need to press and hold the microphone icon by speaking conversationally, such as ‘Pay $100 to Titanium card from 360 Account’.
They will then need to confirm the transaction on-screen with a verbal ‘yes’ or ‘confirm’.
Speak Singlish? No Problem
The Assistant has helped with over 20,000 voice requests since August 19, but has since been re-engineered for local context and integration into the OCBC banking system.
It is taught Singlish (Singapore English) so it can talk and ‘understand’ all potential requests from customers.
This means that it can also understand unstructured phrases such as ‘How much I spend on dining?’ and ‘Can pay my bill?’ so it can accurately offer the requested information or launch the right service to complete the transaction.
It is also taught to incorporate logic in its responses. For instance, if the customer wants to pay a bill but does not mention the bank account to debit, the Assistant will prompt him or her accordingly.
According to OCBC Bank, it is the first financial institution in Singapore to enable customers to use their voice for banking in 2018.
From February last year, customers could talk to Apple’s Siri to check their bank balances and credit card information, and to make e-payments.
“Voice-based conversational banking is one of our high-conviction bets as we shape the bank of the future,” said 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.”
Featured Image Credit: OCBC Bank