Invest Round-Up

Spotlight on a debit card, insurance products, chatbots

The Sunday Times looks at new items by Citibank, GE, Prudential, Income and AIG


The new card allows customers to access nine major foreign currencies for both online and overseas retail point-of-sale purchases without incurring foreign exchange or administrative fees.

It also offers free withdrawals in the designated foreign currency at Citibank ATMs worldwide at no additional currency conversion fee. Customers can relink their debit card to a different currency at any time via Citibank online.

Other than the Singapore dollar, the card can be used with the Australian, Canadian, Hong Kong, United States and New Zealand dollars, the euro, the Japanese yen, the British pound and the Swiss franc.

In addition, Citi is introducing an online foreign currency trading platform on both Citibank online and the Citi mobile app. This allows customers to conduct foreign currency transactions as well as utilise its auto-buy/sell feature to pre-set instructions, to buy or sell a particular currency at their preferred exchange rate.

Citi said the minimum level for a trade can be $500, the lowest in the industry.

It also said that it is the first and only bank here that can quote real-time rates 24 hours a day, five days a week for transactions above US$25,000 (S$34,000).


Exclusively for existing Great Eastern (GE) customers, GREAT205 is a three-year single premium endowment plan that offers 2.05 per cent per annum guaranteed returns. The single premium paid is guaranteed at maturity.

The guaranteed yearly payouts can be withdrawn at the end of each year or accumulated to grow at prevailing interest rates for a lump sum withdrawal at the end of three years.

Coverage against death and total and permanent disability is provided at up to 105 per cent of the single premium during the policy term.

Health checks are not required and acceptance is guaranteed. You can sign up with cash or via the Supplementary Retirement Scheme with a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $500,000.

GE's head of group product management, Mr Lee Swee Kiang, said the guaranteed 2.05 per cent per annum yield is the highest in the market for such plans.

Ms Tan Siew Lee, head of wealth management Singapore at OCBC Bank (which partners GE to distribute insurance products), said: "This product will resonate well with customers who want stability, in addition to a short tenure and guaranteed yield, and there is no worry about losing their principal sum upon maturity of the policy."

Non-GE customers can get GREAT205 if they buy selected plans with a minimum annual premium of $200. Terms and conditions apply.


askPRU is a chatbot that provides Prudential agents with real-time information on a customer's life insurance plans.

The chatbot can instantly retrieve data such as a policy cash value, the premium due date and status of submitted claims.

The feature is integrated into Prudential's back-end systems and operates round the clock. This enables agents to communicate with the chatbot via a mobile app at any time of the day.

askPRU complements PRUONE Express, an enhanced digital point-of-sales portal, launched earlier last month, to help Prudential's representatives engage with customers more efficiently. PRUONE Express can generate a detailed quotation in just three seconds, for example.


Jiffy Jane, as it is called, is a chatbot that acts like a personal travel insurance concierge who is always on standby to assist a customer's queries on travel insurance and to enable the quick purchase of plans.

The service, launched last month, uses artificial intelligence to interact with customers in a conversation style.

It will prompt for information on the customer's travel destination, departure dates and trip duration and then suggest travel insurance options complete with plan benefits.

Mr Peter Tay, NTUC Income's chief operating officer, said: "Customers, especially the millennials, are used to accessing a range of services and products on their mobile devices. As such, it is natural that more customers expect insurance products to also be available online, customised to their needs in a very short span of time."


AIG Singapore's enhanced work injury insurance now includes cover for traditional Chinese medicine treatment fees up to a maximum of $250 per accident per employee and $5,000 in total during the policy period.

Cover has been extended to cover an employee's overseas medical treatment fees, and/or loss of wages anywhere within the territorial limits stated in the policy. Benefits shall be assessed in accordance with the Singapore Work Injury Compensation Act.

Travel via portable mobility devices and power-assisted bicycles is also covered. The cover relates to accidents arising during an employee's travel to and from work and during meal breaks. The compensation limits for temporary incapacity have also been raised.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 17, 2017, with the headline 'Spotlight on a debit card, insurance products, chatbots'. Subscribe