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FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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DBS and IBM forge banking tech collaboration

Better customer experience envisioned using Big Data.

DBS Bank and IBM announced an agreement in which DBS will deploy IBM’s Watson cognitive computing innovation to deliver a next generation customer experience. This collaboration is part of an ongoing journey by DBS to shape the future of banking.

For a start, DBS intends to apply Watson to its wealth management business to improve the advice and experience delivered to affluent customers. Watson is a cloud-based technology that can process enormous amounts of information with the ability to understand and learn from each interaction at unprecedented speed, representing a significant shift in the ability for organisations to quickly analyse, understand and respond to vast amounts of Big Data.

DBS’ implementation of IBM’s cloud-based Watson Engagement Advisor solution – targeted for rollout in the second half of the year – comes as the bank continues to execute on strategy to be a leading regional wealth player. DBS will look to progressively deploy these capabilities to its other businesses over time.

DBS will also leverage a comprehensive portfolio of IBM solutions which include business consulting, advanced analytics, hardware and IBM Research assets to further augment the power of Watson. By bringing together all of these capabilities, DBS will be uniquely positioned as the first bank in Asia to execute a project of this kind.

With the way in which customers live, work and bank changing dramatically, DBS has been innovating the way it does banking. As an example, in 2010, the bank formed a Customer Experience Council and Innovation Council, both chaired by CEO Piyush Gupta, to deliver innovation anchored around three big ideas," increased focus on digitisation to further enhance processing efficiency

Since then, DBS has rolled out a number of trailblazing initiatives on these fronts to put the customer at the centre of the banking experience.

The collaboration with IBM is DBS’ latest initiative to harness Big Data to deliver a better customer experience – providing more precise, customised and quality actionable insights that meet its customers’ needs, said DBS.

With Asia creating wealth faster than anywhere else in the world, coupled with increasingly sophisticated and digitally-savvy customers, banking relationship managers need to be empowered with sophisticated and intuitive tools that enable them to respond more speedily with insightful and tailored solutions.

IBM Watson will help DBS’ relationship managers analyse large volumes of complex unstructured and structured data, including research reports, product information and customer profiles; identify connections between customers’ needs and its growing corpus of investment knowledge, and help advisors weigh various financial options available to customers.

Applying IBM Watson’s capabilities will enable DBS professionals to take control of a ‘data deluge’ and arm them with data-driven insights that can personalise the customer experience.

“In the digital era, consumers’ ability to access information and make choices has changed dramatically, and new technologies are revolutionising our way of life,” said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta. “To remain relevant, we need to continuously innovate. At DBS, we have been on a journey to shape the future of banking, and this collaboration with IBM enables us to explore ways to better harness data, providing more precise, customized and quality solutions that correspond to our customers’ needs,” he added.

"The business agenda of every industry is being transformed by data and the technologies to exploit it," said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services.

"The partnership with DBS is allowing them to anticipate and respond to market shifts, and transform the relationship between the bank and its customers using the cognitive computing power of IBM’s Watson and deep analytics combined with business consulting.”

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