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Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited’s Digital Innovation: What Investors Should Know

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited (SGX: O39) or OCBC is one of the three main local banks listed in Singapore.

With the rapid change in external environment enabled by new digital technology like blockchain, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, it is important that traditional banks like OCBC keep up with these developments to maintain its relevance in the future.

So what is OCBC doing in terms of utilising these latest technologies to improve its services?

In this article, we will look at some of the latest initiatives taken by the bank as shown in its 2016 annual report.

1. OCBC was the first Singapore bank to launch an integrated wealth management mobile app, OCBC OneWealth, which allows customers quick access to key market news and investment insights while offering unit trust transactions and investment monitoring on the move.

2. In the mobile payments space, OCBC is the first bank in the Asia Pacific to enable secure fund transfers through the OCBC Pay Anyone payment service via Apple’s iMessage platform, or through a voice command to Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. Customers are also able to make mobile contactless payments using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.

3. OCBC OneTouch feature (launched in 2015) of its Mobile Banking App was the first in Singapore that featured biometric authentication on iPhones, giving instant access to key account information. In 2016, the feature was extended to compatible Android smartphones.

4. OCBC Securities was the first brokerage in Singapore to enable iPhone and Android users to view their stock portfolio using OCBC OneTouch on their iOCBC TradeMobile app.

5. OCBC is the first bank in Southeast Asia to launch an open API (Application Programming Interface) platform – Connect2OCBC, which allows external software developers to integrate OCBC Bank’s products and services into their applications to create a better and broader experience for end users.

6. OCBC is the first bank in Southeast Asia to pilot the use of blockchain technology to complete local and cross-border payment funds transfer service.

7. Last but not least, OCBC launched its fintech unit, The Open Vault at OCBC, in 2016 to explore new digital opportunities with fintech start-ups.

We can see that OCBC is actively exploring new initiatives with the latest technologies to ensure that its business remains relevant in the future. Though there is no guarantee that these initiatives will bear fruit, the bank’s proactive actions indicate that it is doing whatever necessary to remain relevant in the future.

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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 Lawrence Nga doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.