DBS, OCBC unveil digital banking apps

The OCBC app (above) lets customers check their bank balances by tapping their Apple Watch, without having to log in to the app on their smartphones first. The DBS app (right) allows users to open an additional banking account in just a few steps, wi
The OCBC app (above) lets customers check their bank balances by tapping their Apple Watch, without having to log in to the app on their smartphones first. The DBS app allows users to open an additional banking account in just a few steps, without visiting a bank branch.PHOTOS: OCBC BANK, DBS BANK
The OCBC app (above) lets customers check their bank balances by tapping their Apple Watch, without having to log in to the app on their smartphones first. The DBS app (right) allows users to open an additional banking account in just a few steps, wi
The OCBC app lets customers check their bank balances by tapping their Apple Watch, without having to log in to the app on their smartphones first. The DBS app (above) allows users to open an additional banking account in just a few steps, without visiting a bank branch.PHOTOS: OCBC BANK, DBS BANK

DBS' digibank promises smarter banking, while OCBC app is designed for Apple Watch

Local banks are stepping up their digital game, with DBS Bank and OCBC Bank unveiling new digital banking applications yesterday.

DBS officially launched a new mobile-banking app - called DBS digibank - that promises simpler, faster and smarter banking for its customers.

For example, users can see their bank balance without even logging in to the app. They just have to open up the app and slide and hold a button on the front page to "peek" at their balance.

Users can customise a "quick links" page with shortcuts to their most frequently used services.

Those with smartphones that have the Touch ID feature can log in to the app with their fingerprints.

After logging in, users can open an additional banking account in just a few steps, without stepping into a bank branch.

The app can be downloaded on Apple and Android phones. It can also be used on the Apple Watch, but only to view the user's bank balance.

The new app comes as an increasing number of DBS customers are using mobile devices, instead of desktop computers, to log in to their online banking accounts, said Ms Pearlyn Phau, the bank's deputy group head of consumer banking.

Use of mobile banking surpassed that of desktop banking in the fourth quarter of 2014, she noted, and mobile banking accounts for over 60 per cent of DBS' more than 500,000 daily logins today.

"We have 2.5 million digital users, of which 1.25 million are mobile app users. In the past 12 months, we've seen a 50 per cent jump year-on- year in the number of mobile-banking app users over desktop users."

In designing the new app, DBS sat with mobile-banking customers to learn what they wanted and what they felt the existing app lacked, she said.

Since its soft launch on March 14, the DBS digibank app has been downloaded over 200,000 times.

Meanwhile, OCBC has launched a new mobile-banking app designed for the Apple Watch. The app offers easy and instant access to users' personal-banking information and the location of the nearest OCBC branch or automated teller machine.

Customers can check their bank account balances, information about their credit card use, bank loans, insurance, and up to five of their most recent transactions by tapping their Apple Watch, without having to log in to the mobile-banking app on their smartphones first.

To get started, customers need to perform a one-time activation on their OCBC iPhone mobile-banking app. Once the Apple Watch app is activated, customers can view account information and recent transactions on the watch without having to log in to the mobile-banking app.

This service can be activated only on a single pair of Apple Watch and iPhone at one time and all account numbers displayed on the watch are partially masked, with only the last four digits revealed.

No information is stored on the phone or watch and, for increased security, customers can choose to set a passcode on their Apple Watch.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2016, with the headline 'DBS, OCBC unveil digital banking apps'. Print Edition | Subscribe