DBS Bank launches mobile-only banking to get more customers in India

Singapore-based DBS Bank has launched a mobile-only banking model in India expand its customer base. The bank will use technologies such as biometrics in Aadhaar for account opening and virtual assistants for customer support. DBS Bank will be deploying Digibank kiosks, at 500 Coffee Day Cafes to begin with, across the country so that customers can open an account.

DBS Bank says that there is no paperwork involved in the Digibank model. Instead, customer authentication is done purely using the Aadhaar card. Customers do not need to fill paper forms and the process is signature-less. However, a Reuters report points out that the bank will not be doing away with physical branches completely and will increase its count to 75 from 12 in five years. The report added that it is looking add 5 million savings accounts in the next five years.

Virtual assistant

DBS Bank is also deploying customer service and support via an virtual assistant. The assistant is an AI developed by US-based company Kasito. DBS Bank using is conversational technology similar to Apple’s SIRI. The bank added that the virtual assistant can perform transactions such as showing balance and even paying someone.  The AI can currently answer 10,000 customer questions.

Security features

DBS Bank said it also overhauling one-time passwords (OTP) with Digibank. Instead it has embedded soft-token security  avoiding the need to wait for SMSs to arrive in an OTP to authorize a transaction.

Banking services on ATMs to be increased

It is interesting to note that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in January had allowed banks more operational freedom for banks to offer all their products and services through their off-site ATMs. Also worth noting was in December 2015, the RBI asked all banks part of the National Financial Switch (NFS) to make changes to their ATMs so that they can allow customers to register for mobile banking. The NFS is a India’s largest network of shared and interconnected ATMs developed by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology and managed by the NPCI.