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Clinc’s Conversational AI Gives Voice to New App from Singapore’s OCBC Bank

FinovateAsia isn’t the only big deal coming to Singapore this fall. Courtesy of a partnership with conversational AI innovator Clinc, Singapore’s OCBC Bank will offer its customers a new voice-enabled mobile banking assistant – the first of its kind in Singapore.

The solution is called the OCBC Banking Assistant and was developed via OCBC’s Innovation Lab, where it was trained both to handle specific banking use cases as well as the intricacies of local Singaporean vernacular and context.

“We are always open to forging new partnerships that allow us to reimagine banking for our digital customers,” OCBC Bank’s Head of Digital Business for Singapore & Malaysia Aditya Gupta said. “We choose to work with Clinc because of their superior conversational AI platform and their next-generation natural language processing capabilities.”

Gupta called the collaboration “the next step towards making our customers’ mobile-first interactions more seamless and natural.”

The new mobile app will enable OCBC Bank customers to pay bills, transfer funds between accounts, check spending history and transactions, locate the nearest ATM, and receive spending advice – all just by using their voice. Clinc’s natural language technology means that users do not need to memorize special keywords or specific phrases in order to access many of the most commonly-used banking services.

The deployment also marks the first time that Clinc’s billpay competency is being used in its entirety, a point highlighted by company CEO Jason Mars.

“This is the first full production roll out of its kind,” Mars said, calling the launch “a milestone” for his company, OCBC Bank, and the financial industry writ large. “It’s not a chatbot or virtual assistant-type experience that people are familiar with,” he said. “Rather, it’s Clinc’s signature voice-first, human-like AI experience used to create a mobile bank assistant that enables OCBC Bank customers to get spending insights, account and transaction details, and pay bills, all by using unscripted, everyday, messy language.”

OCBC Bank – which stands for Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation – is a multinational banking and financial services entity, founded in 1932 and based in Singapore. With more than $340 billion (S$467.5 billion) in assets, OCBC Bank is the second biggest bank in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the larger banks in the APAC region.

The partnership with OCBC Bank is the latest collaboration that Clinc has been involved in. In June, the company reported that it was bringing its conversational AI technology to the healthcare industry, courtesy of a partnership with digital workforce solution provider Olive. And in January, Clinc announced that it was working with Ford to bring voice recognition to the automaker’s vehicles.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Clinc demonstrated its conversational AI-based solution at FinovateFall 2016, winning Best of Show. Named Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 Technology Leader for Artificial Intelligence, Clinc announced a major investment this spring, pulling in $52 million in new funding in a round led by Insight Partners.