DBS Launches DigiBank, A Mobile-Only Bank


Digibank DBS

Development Bank of Singapore entered Indian market not very long bank and is currently operating around 12 branches in tier-1 cities. DBS bank issued a target of expanding to 50 branches by 2018, but the efforts were put to halt once the Government reviewed Singapore’s policy to allow Indian banks to expand there.

Singapore did not allow Indian banks like State Bank of India and ICICI Bank to expand its reach in their market because of some policy under Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). As a reciprocal strategy, the Indian Government stopped the expansion of DBS bank into its retail operations in India.

As a workaround for the above, DBS Bank has launched mobile-only bank, Digibank, at the financial district of the country, Mumbai. Making its foothold strong, is a completely digital branch which will work on the principles of artificial intelligence.

Piyush Gupta, CEO – DBS, said, “With Kasisto’s conversational AI platform, we are embracing technologies that can make banking more interactive and intuitive for customers.”

How does DBS plan to go digital?

Physical banks and currency are a thing of the past. 2015 and 2016 have been seen to encourage more startups launching their own digital wallets and developing payments solutions for banks.

In case the customers have an existing bank account with DBS, they can take advantage of it to transfer funds to Digibank. Customers can login to their app to open a digital wallet of their own.

There is going to be a 24×7 virtual assistant, powered by AI, to help you with your queries at all times. This gives DBS flexibility to use its resources in physical branches, instead of having customer service executives for mobile banking solutions.

For AI, DBS has partnered with US-based fintech Kasisto, startup providing AI-centric customer solutions, to provide virtual assistance to customers. The feature can provide real-time answers to questions and adds to its database as it converses with more humans.

DBS bank also says that it has done away with One-Time Password(OTP) authentication of transaction on mobile phones. Instead, it uses something called as ‘Dynamic Inbuilt Security’, which works like a soft token security. Users do not have to wait for OTP and type it in to authorize the transaction, it will be done automatically.

The app will also provide trends and analysis on transactions done in the past. It will also allow you to optimize your budget and spend patterns and provide recommendations.

Details of the E-Wallet and banking opportunity

DBS claims it takes only 90 seconds to open an e-wallet with the bank, without the need of any signatures or paper. The digital wallet can be used to pay for utility bills and recharge your network.

Pairing it up with a VISA virtual debit card will give the customer access to over 1 Lakh merchants in India. The e-wallet will also offer discounts and coupons at select merchants.

Digibank can be converted to DigiSavings account once your AML KYC details are approved. All you need to do is submit your Aadhar card number and Biometrics for authentication at any of the 500 Cafe Coffee Day outlets which have partnered with DBS for the same.

The bank account does not have a minimum balance criteria, which means you do not have to worry about any extra fee or charges. The best part is that DigiSavings offers 7% interest on your savings and cashback upto 10% on shopping.

Indian Government’s norms in E-wallet space seem extremely relevant when considering so many advancements being made in this industry. DigiBank is a fantastic idea to allow paperless banking with innovative solutions to customer’s woes. This is going to set a benchmark for local players in the banking sector.

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