DBS plans for voice biometrics at Singapore customer centre by year-end

Singapore.20 May 2016

Leveraging technology to save customers even more time on calls

Singapore, 20 May 2016 - DBS, the largest bank in Singapore, continues to remain at the forefront of leveraging technology to better improve the experience of callers into its customer centre.

By the end of this year, the bank aims to make the customer centre experience even easier and more secure for customers with the introduction of voice biometric authentication in Singapore. This technology leverages the fact that humans have a unique voice print, similar to the fingerprint, which can be used to verify the customer. Its introduction will further reduce the time customers spend on authentication by between 20 and 40 seconds. Instead of having to remember passwords and answers to security questions, customers can be verified in 15 seconds or less as they speak to customer service officers (CSOs).

Lena Low, Executive Director of Customer Centre at DBS said, “This is really about making banking joyful and delighting our customers. Voice biometrics is also more secure as customers do not have to worry about remembering their PIN or speaking about personal information in public when on the phone with CSOs.”

Customers with a sore throat or who have to speak in a noisy area would still be verifiable as their voices are profiled by a number of identifiers such as speed of speech, cadence and pronunciation. Voice print cannot be reverse engineered once stored.

Said Jeremy Soo, Head of Consumer Banking Group (Singapore) at DBS, “We design our banking services to be innovative and nimble to address customer needs, as well as to provide an intuitive and interactive banking experience. With voice biometrics, customers will no longer need to remember different passwords and answers to security questions. We seek to seamlessly integrate banking into our customers’ everyday lives and this new capability will offer them an effortless and more secure way to access banking services.”

The initiative follows on from the bank’s launch of an enhanced dynamic interactive voice response (IVR) system at the customer centre in December 2015. Customers who find themselves in urgent situations such as when their credit card transaction is rejected, need not worry about having to go through tedious menu options. They will immediately be routed to the bank’s CSOs, skipping all menu options. The CSOs will have all the information related to the event on screen, sparing customers the need to explain their situation, and there is less anxiety on their part.

The call menu has also been personalised according to the products a customer holds. Customers with credit cards, for instance, will not hear other banking options, resulting in a shorter menu. The redesigned menu shortens a customer’s time spent on a call by 30 seconds, while customer satisfaction on DBS’ IVR has improved from 3.5 to 4.1 within six months (with 5 being most satisfied).

Low said, “Customers are often surprised that the CSOs already know the reasons for their call and that we are able to assist them quickly. For example, if the customer’s card is retained in the ATM, the CSO will be able to see from the screen where the incident happened, and can immediately assure the customer of a replacement.”

Voice biometrics and IVR will save DBS customers a significant amount of time given the bank receives more than five million calls each year from its consumer banking customers in Singapore. This is in line with the bank’s belief in making banking convenient for customers so they can live more – that is, do the things that matter to them.

Committed to creating joyful banking experiences for its customers, DBS has achieved a number of firsts in digital innovation. In Singapore, customers can log on to digibank, a mobile app, using fingerprint and check their account balance with just one swipe. In April, DBS launched digibank in India, the country’s first mobile-only bank that is branchless, paperless and signatureless. It also combines a set of groundbreaking technology from biometrics to artificial intelligence. Customers can converse with digibank’s AI-driven virtual assistant to get queries answered or banking transactions performed in real time.


About DBS
DBS - Living, Breathing Asia

DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 280 branches across 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS has a growing presence in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings, is among the highest in Asia-Pacific. DBS has been recognised for its leadership in the region, having been named “Asia’s Best Bank” by The Banker, a member of the Financial Times group, and “Best Bank in Asia-Pacific” by Global Finance. The bank has also been named “Safest Bank in Asia” by Global Finance for seven consecutive years from 2009 to 2015.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking activities across Asia. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. These market insights and regional connectivity have helped to drive the bank’s growth as it sets out to be the Asian bank of choice. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 22,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.