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OCBC Bank is first in Singapore to roll out AI-powered voice banking services in collaboration with Google

OCBC Bank is first in Singapore to roll out AI-powered voice banking services in collaboration with Google

  • 18 Apr 2018

Singapore, 18 April 2018 – OCBC Bank is the first in Singapore to launch artificial intelligence (AI) powered voice banking in collaboration with Google. With Google Home and Google Home Mini launched in Singapore today, anyone can now speak to the Google Assistant – on a smartphone or a Google Home device – to initiate a conversation about OCBC Bank’s services. These services range from planning for retirement or a new home to saving for a child’s education, getting the latest financial market updates, and more.

At the forefront of voice-powered banking

The proliferation of digital voice assistants is tipped to impact the consumer technology market this year. A 2018 Digital Consumer Survey by Accenture of 21,000 online consumers in 19 countries, including Singapore, indicates year-on-year growth of stand-alone digital voice assistants will increase 50 per cent in 2018, suggesting consumers are increasingly comfortable talking to digital voice assistants and smart home devices.

The Google Assistant will provide consumers with another self-service digital channel to interact with OCBC Bank that is convenient and embedded in consumers’ lives. Consumers can pose general banking questions to the Google Assistant at any time of the day to get instant responses. This complements other self-service digital channels such as AI-powered chatbot ‘Emma’, which was launched in 2017 and specialises in answering home and renovation loan queries on the OCBC Bank website in an intelligent, human-like way.

OCBC Bank remains the only bank in Singapore to offer voice-based banking on digital voice assistants as a medium for customer interaction and engagement. OCBC Bank has been leading the financial industry in rolling out numerous voice and conversational banking innovations for the convenience of customers. Voice-powered technology has been deployed across the bank since October 2016, when OCBC Bank was the first in Singapore to enable customers to initiate e-payments using Apple’s Siri voice assistant. In October 2017, OCBC Bank was again first in Singapore to let business banking customers check their account balances and make funds transfers using just their voice via Siri. This was extended to retail banking customers in February 2018. OCBC Bank will continue to innovate and add more banking services – payments and account balance enquiries, which require more secure access and authentication – to expand OCBC Bank’s services via digital voice assistants, in partnership with technology companies.

Mr Aditya Gupta, Head of E-Business Singapore said: "This is the new digital – conversational, smarter and simpler access to banking. For our customers to be able to interact with OCBC services by simply speaking to AI assistants on their smartphones and smart home devices is an exciting development, and an important one as we shape the bank of the future. We are the first bank in Singapore to collaborate with Google on this game-changing service, and will continue to embed ourselves in consumers’ lives using voice-powered AI tools, which will be able to answer more questions and perform more tasks for OCBC customers over time."

‘Talk to OCBC’ via the Google Assistant

  • By speaking to the Google Assistant, users will be able to:
  • Calculate the mortgage loan amount they can afford
  • Plan how much to save for their children’s education
  • Ascertain how much they would need to retire comfortably
  • Get the latest updates on the financial market
  • Check unit trust prices
  • Get foreign exchange rates
  • Search for nearby OCBC Bank branches or ATMs

For retirement planning, a user can activate OCBC Bank’s service through the Google Assistant by saying: "Ok Google, talk to OCBC about retirement planning." The Google Assistant will then reply to the user with leading questions to eventually calculate the retirement amount required.

The Google Assistant: "Great! It's never too late to plan for your retirement. Let's start with your age, how old are you?"

User: "I’m 25 years old."

The Google Assistant: "Cool, you are 25 years old. At what age do you expect to retire?"

User: "65 years old."

The Google Assistant: "All right – this means you have another 40 years to build your retirement portfolio. Now, imagine you are 65 and have just retired. How much do you expect to spend on basic expenses such as utilities, transport, entertainment and food in a month based on today’s prices?"

User: "$2,000."

The Google Assistant: "All right, $2,000 a month for basic expenses sounds good. Finally, how much do you plan to spend on vacations and overseas travels every year after retirement?"

User: "$2,000."

The Google Assistant: "$2,000 per year it is. In total, it sums up to approximately $2,200 per month. Let's compare this to the expected income you will receive after retirement. During retirement, how much do you expect to receive from investments and rental per month?

User: "$2,000."

The Google Assistant: "Okay, $2,000 every month from rentals and investments. Lastly, how much do you expect to receive from CPF or other allowances per month?"

User: "$500"

The Google Assistant: "Okay, $500 from CPF and allowances every month it is. So, in total, you should be receiving $2,500 a month during your retirement. If you start today, you will need to save approximately $751,000 for retirement. Don't worry, OCBC can help you achieve your retirement planning goals. Would you like to chat with an OCBC expert about your retirement plans in detail?"

User: "Yes."

The Google Assistant: "That’s great, can you please provide a contact number so I can arrange for someone to call you?"

User: "91234567"

An OCBC Bank customer service representative will then follow up with the user on their retirement plans.

OCBC Bank and StarHub exclusive Google Home offers

StarHub is the exclusive telco retailer for Google Home devices in Singapore. OCBC Bank has partnered StarHub to develop the ‘We Economy’ – an ecosystem of essential services for consumers – thus enabling OCBC Bank and StarHub customers to benefit from special deals to purchase Google Home devices.

Through this tie-up, OCBC Bank customers who purchase a Google Home or Google Home Mini with their OCBC Bank card will be able to enjoy a $20 promotional rebate. In addition, for those who sign up for selected StarHub Mobile plans, the $20 rebate will be credited on top of existing StarHub promotions. Customers can visit any StarHub retail outlet from 20 April 2018 to enjoy this launch promotion, which is valid till 30 June 2018.

The Google Home and Google Home Mini are priced at $189 and $79 respectively. They are also available at COURTS, Challenger and the newly launched Google Store ( in Singapore.


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Bernadette Yuen