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DBS Bank launches India’s first mobile-only virtual bank powered by Artificial Intelligence and Aaadhar

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In an era of hyper competitiveness in the banking sector, DBS Bank has smartly leveraged India’s fast growing smartphone base to launch India’s first mobile-only bank. Breaking away from conventional banking norms with their onerous form-filling and cumbersome processes, digibank is a completely paperless, signature-less and branchless bank.

Account-opening can be done easily and effortlessly at an extensive network of outlets run by DBS’ partners; for a start, this includes over 500 cafes across India. Customer authentication is done purely using the Aadhaar card, a biometrics-enabled ID which has been issued to over 1 billion Indians in what is the world’s largest biometric identification programme.

India was the first country where the bank has launched this initiative, as the bank believes that country has the best digital infrastructure. “No other country in the world offers eKYC. With our mobile-only platform, we can scale up our efficiencies and pass on significant benefits to customers in the form of greater customer value,” said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta

Said Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys and former chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India, “I am very happy to hear that DBS is launching digibank. I have been a great believer that we are now at the ‘WhatsApp moment of banking’, where paperless, presenceless and cashless transactions are going to completely transform the banking industry. I believe digibank using Aadhaar is a great example of what’s to come.”

Customer service will be provided by a 24×7 AI-driven Virtual Assistant. Wherever they are, whatever their need, digibank customers can converse with digibank’s AI-powered virtual assistant to get their queries answered or banking transactions performed. “What is my account balance?”, “Show me past transactions”, “Pay Amit 100 rupees”. Because the virtual assistant understands natural language and has learning ability, it is able to respond in real-time. Today, it can already anticipate and answer some 10,000 customer questions, with new knowledge added each passing day. This is akin to having a banker at one’s beck and call, without having to speak to a call centre agent.

DBS is also leveraging futuristic AI technology to deliver hassle-free banking because of its partnership with US-based fintech Kasisto. In Asia, DBS is the only bank harnessing experimental conversational technology from Kasisto, a spin-off from SRI International which created the technology behind Siri.

An intelligent, intuitive budget optimiser that helps customers be smarter about their money. In-built into digibank is a budget optimiser that helps customers do their budgeting, track expenses and analyse purchasing trends. The function is smart enough to understand customer behaviour and preferences, synthesise data, and provide recommendations. For example, it can make sense of customers’ spending habits to reward them with relevant, contextual marketing offers such as restaurant discounts for a foodie or coffee vouchers for a caffeine-lover. It also studies customers’ spending patterns and prompts them if they are overspending. Conversely, if a customer’s savings regularly exceed his or her expenditure, digibank will provide suggestions on how to make one’s money work harder.

Security is enhanced through dynamic inbuilt security, which is safer than OTP. Recognizing that safety is uppermost on consumers’ minds, digibank offers peace of mind through dynamic inbuilt security. Most bank customers are used to receiving One-Time Passwords (OTPs) via SMS, and then typing codes into pages to authorise their mobile banking transactions. digibank has an embedded soft token security, avoiding the need to wait for SMSs to arrive and providing even stronger security for transaction authorisation.

Account-holders earn 7% interest from the first rupee, one of the highest in the market. Customers will also enjoy unlimited free cash withdrawals at over 200,000 ATMs nationwide. There are no minimum balance requirements. A physical debit card, which comes with the account, can be used across all Visa-enabled online and point-of-sale transactions, as well as overseas
Said Surojit Shome, DBS India CEO, “With a billion Aadhaar cards and over 200 million smartphone users in India, the opportunity for growth with digibank is huge.”


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