Inside DBS Group Holdings Ltd’s Push into Digital Banking: What the Future of Banking May Look Like

DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05) is making a push into digital banking and the results are beginning to show.

In early 2016, DBS Group launched its mobile-only digibank in India. By the end of 2016’s fourth quarter, DBS Group reported that it had signed up 800,000 customers and was on track to eclipse the one million mark by the end of the digibank’s first year of operations.

Turning digital is one of DBS Group’s key priorities. DBS Group’s Indian digibank offers a glimpse on what the future of banking may look like. Here are some of the key features of the digibank:

1. The digibank service is described as a paperless, signatureless, and branchless bank. It starts with an e-wallet. DBS Group said that it takes only 90 seconds for an individual to open a digibank e-wallet and become a customer. To convert to a digiSavings account, Indian customers can use the Aadhaar card (a biometrics-enabled ID) and visit any of the 500 Cafe Coffee Day outlets in India.

2. Payments can be made using the Bharat QR code. The QR code will contain information from the merchant that is required for payment. Using the digibank app, customers can scan the QR code to make the payment.

3. Digibank customers have access to a virtual assistant (powered by artificial intelligence) for help. DBS Group said that the AI powered assistant is capable of answering over 10,000 banking-related queries. In its latest 2016 fourth quarter earnings briefing, DBS Group said that over 80% of queries were handled using AI. New knowledge is being added every day.

4. The AI service can also be used for banking transactions and other functions. For instance, the user can send money to a friend or check his or her account balance or transactions made.

5. The account also acts as a budget optimiser. Customers will be able to budget, track expenses, and analyse their own spending patterns. DBS Group may also offer discounts based on what the customers are spending on.

6. DBS Group is offering a 7% interest rate from the first Indian rupee while customers will still have access to 200,000 ATMs in India. The bank is targeting to secure five million customers and a deposit base of Rs. 50,000 crore in five years.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.