DBS Group, South-east Asia’s largest bank, unveiled a service that will allow wealthy clients to interact with their managers on WeChat and WhatsApp.
DBS’ Wealth Chat is a channel that allows clients to use existing instant messaging platforms to access its range of wealth services while meeting compliance requirements.
It will initially provide content such as investment reports and research insights, with services such as trade placement to be added progressively next year, the Singapore-based lender said in a statement that provided examples on how the app will look.
The move is a radical shake-up to the status quo, in which bankers have to ensure that key client conversations take place via the bank’s phone lines, where they can be recorded.
Former Jefferies banker was fined in the UK last year for sharing confidential information on WhatsApp.
The messaging launch means bankers can now communicate with clients on the go, allowing for faster responses. The new channel is estimated to save some 10,000 man hours on a yearly basis.
DBS said records of chats between its relationship managers and clients will be archived and the service will meet compliance standards.
“Our aim is to provide banking services that are embedded in our customers’ everyday lives, while maintaining client privacy and keeping to our rigorous security requirements,” said Tan Su Shan, DBS’s group head of consumer banking and wealth management.
“With DBS Wealth Chat, we can now meet both the communication needs of our clients and regulatory requirements.”
The Singapore-based lender launched a similar service two years ago that allowed simple client interactions with artificial intelligence, or AI, on Facebook Messenger. DBS was working with US-based Kasisto – a spin-off of SRI International which created the technology behind Apple’s Siri voice assistant – to deliver this service, specialised media outlet finews.asia reports.
DBS developed Wealth Chat in partnership with regulatory-technology startup FinChat. WeChat, which DBS said has close to a billion users, is owned by Tencent , while more than 1.5 billion people use Facebook’s WhatsApp.