OCBC integrates business mobile app with Apple's Siri

OCBC Bank is integrating its business mobile banking app with Apple's Siri, allowing its SME customers to use voice technology in banking transactions.

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OCBC Bank Reuters

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited or OCBC Bank's business customers are in for a treat as the bank takes a step further in the digital space by introducing voice recognition in its mobile banking app.

The new feature enables the bank's small and medium enterprises (SME) customers to use Apple's Siri in initiating fund transfers to business associates and make account balance enquiries.

According to reports, 120,000 Singapore-registered users of OCBC Bank's internet business banking portal Velocity@ocbc will be able to use the said feature on their iPhones running on the latest iOS 11 mobile operating system from October 9.

This new feature is expected to boost e-Payments to other OCBC Bank business accounts. According to the financial giant, this and account balance enquiries are two of the more commonly-used business banking services, with the former seeing a 33 percent growth in the number of transactions from July 2015 to July 2017. Meanwhile, enquiries relating to business account balances via the business mobile banking app, OCBC Business Mobile Banking app, has increased by 110 percent since June 2016.

OCBC Bank Head of Global Commercial Banking Linus Goh said the use of voice recognition technology allows SME owners to do their banking transactions whilst on the go.

"SME business owners are time-starved and constantly on the go, and we believe these innovative solutions based on voice recognition technology will vastly improve the way in which our customers manage their everyday business banking needs," Goh said.

To use the feature, users have to tell Siri what their transactions will be. A validation procedure such will be done by either fingerprint authentication or One Time Passwords sent through SMS.

In April 2016, OCBC became the first bank to provide a business mobile banking app that features biometric authentication. Such initiatives are geared to contributing to Singapore's push for a Smart Nation.

OCBC Bank Senior Vice President, Group Operations & Technology Praveen Raina said the voice recognition technology is integral in improving the e-payments infrastructure for businesses.

"But to really improve e-payment adoption rates, we have to make e-banking more intuitive and seamlessly integrate it into everyday life, so that our business customers have all their banking needs at their fingertips. This is very much aligned to Singapore's Smart Nation vision," he stated.