DBS launches digibank in Indonesia

A logo of DBS is pictured outside an office in Singapore on Jan 5, 2016.
A logo of DBS is pictured outside an office in Singapore on Jan 5, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

DBS Bank has launched a mobile-led bank, or "digibank", in Indonesia.

The service is paperless , requires no signatures and brings together an entire suite of innovative technology - from biometrics to artificial intelligence (AI), DBS said yesterday.

Customers using digibank Indonesia will be able to tap features such as biometric technology, customer service that is provided by a 24/7 AI-driven virtual assistant, an intelligent financial planning and monitoring service, and an in-built security system.

DBS Indonesia president director Paulus Sutisna said: "Over the past few years, Indonesia has seen a rapid growth in the number of Internet and smartphone users. Along with this, we've witnessed a change in customer behaviour, and people increasingly want a simple, fast and effortless way to bank.

"As a bank that is committed to shaping the future of banking, we're excited to introduce digibank in Indonesia, giving customers the ability to bank any time, anywhere," he said.

The Indonesian government has said it expects the country's digital economy to reach US$130 billion (S$175.7 billion), or about 12 per cent of its gross domestic product, in 2020, as the economy shifts from a commodity-led to service-based one. A recent survey found that Internet users in Indonesia make up 51.8 per cent, or 132.7 million people, of the population, while another poll noted around 91 per cent of Indonesian citizens have a mobile phone and 47 per cent own smartphones.

Along with the growing Internet penetration, Indonesia's Financial Authority Services said the number of customers using e-banking has grown from 13.6 million in 2012 to 54 million last year. The frequency of Internet banking transactions has also increased, from 150.8 million in 2012 to 406.6 million last year.

"A few years ago, we would not have imagined that it would be possible to launch an entire bank in a mobile phone," said DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta.

"With digibank, we've built a bank that pulls together the power of biometrics, natural language, artificial intelligence and in-built security in one offering. We believe this mobile-led offering represents the future of banking."

The launch follows a similar roll-out in India last April, which enabled DBS to penetrate India's retail banking market, with about 1.5 million new customers acquired to date.

Jacqueline Woo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'DBS launches digibank in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe