Fin­tech boom in banks

Sin­ga­pore’s big­gest banks are don­ning their new dig­i­tal weapons through chat­bots, apps, and Ai-pow­ered dig­i­tal bank­ing ser­vices.

Singapore Business Review - - ANALYSIS: FINTECH -

Sin­ga­pore re­mains a top global fin­tech hub, along­side Lon­don, ac­cord­ing to Deloitte. UOB Kay­hian noted that cur­rently, there are more than 400 fin­techs op­er­at­ing in Sin­ga­pore, many whom chose to set up their re­gional HQ here. Mean­while, the MAS has com­mit­ted also com­mit­ted $225m to sup­port the Fi­nan­cial Sec­tor Tech­nol­ogy & In­no­va­tion (FSTI) Scheme over the next five years. Need­less to say, Sin­ga­pore’s bank­ing in­dus­try has ben­e­fit­ted the most in the city’s fin­tech boom.

DBS has launched mo­bile-only Di­gibank in In­dia and In­done­sia. OCBC has ex­per­i­mented with us­ing AI to han­dle home loan en­quiries, wealth man­age­ment ad­vi­sory and reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance.

UOB Kay­hian iden­ti­fied two fin­tech busi­ness models, namely, com­pet­i­tive, which di­rectly chal­lenges in­cum­bent banks, and col­lab­o­ra­tive, which en­hances their po­si­tions.

Those in the lat­ter gath­ered more trac­tion. In­vest­ment in col­lab­o­ra­tive fin­tech com­pa­nies in­creased 138% as fin­techs in­creas­ingly view in­cum­bent banks as po­ten­tial part­ners.

As a re­sult, banks have also seized the op­por­tu­ni­ties by col­lab­o­rat­ing and in­vest­ing in fin­tech com­pa­nies. Amongst fin­tech com­pa­nies, those within the bank­ing & pay­ments sub­sec­tor took the lion’s share at

54%. DBS has re­designed its IT in­fra­struc­ture, lever­ag­ing on big data, bio­met­ric and AI to make bank­ing sim­ple and seam­less for cus­tomers.

Cus­tomers are ser­viced by an Aipow­ered vir­tual as­sis­tant cre­ated in part­ner­ship with Ka­sisto, a spin-off from the cre­ator of Siri. The vir­tual as­sis­tant is able to han­dle 80% of cus­tomer re­quests with­out hu­man in­ter­ven­tion while the balance 20% of cus­tomer re­quests go to live chat ses­sions. UOB Kay Hian said that the up­grade has ac­quired 1.5 mil­lion new cus­tomers and 450,000 sav­ings ac­counts.

Rise of the robo-ad­vi­sors

DBS also de­vel­oped iwealth for its wealth man­age­ment busi­ness. Through this, users con­ducted bank­ing trans­ac­tions, ac­cessed re­searches and anal­y­sis, and man­aged and traded a port­fo­lio of stocks and funds. A mo­bile plat­form was launched in 1H2017.

In Jan­uary, OCBC launched

Emma, an Ai-ca­pa­ble chat­bot.

OCBC re­ported that the bot was able to an­swer ques­tions on home and ren­o­va­tion loans with a to­tal debt ser­vice ra­tio (TDSR) cal­cu­la­tor. OCBC recorded that more than 10% of chat ses­sions have been con­verted to home loan sales prospects. The bank also launched the al­go­rithm­based robo-ad­vi­sor that guides clients in their in­vest­ment jour­ney. Clients first com­plete a ques­tion­naire, which de­ter­mines their risk pro­file and in­vest­ment goals. There­after, clients are ad­vised to in­vest in one of five port­fo­lios of ETFS and a the­matic bas­ket of stocks listed on the NYSE and NAS­DAQ. The plat­form will mon­i­tor the cho­sen port­fo­lio and con­duct reg­u­lar re­bal­anc­ing of an in­vest­ment port­fo­lio.

OCBC also tapped AI and ma­chine learn­ing to com­bat money laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ism fi­nanc­ing. Its soft­ware de­tected sus­pi­cious trans­ac­tions by as­sess­ing broad pa­ram­e­ters.

Mean­while, UOB launched its

UOB Mighty app which al­lows con­tact­less pay­ment for An­droid phones, which was made to Malaysia and Thai­land this year. It also lever­aged so­cial mes­sag­ing apps and in­jected into them its fund trans­fer app called UOB Mykey. From UOB Kay­hian

Amongst fin­tech com­pa­nies, those within the bank­ing & pay­ments sub­sec­tor took the lion’s share at 54%.

Cus­tomers can lo­cate nearby ATMS through a dig­i­tal vir­tual as­sis­tant

Emma has re­sponded to over 39,000 queries

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