SINGAPORE – Starting end-July, OCBC Securities customers in Singapore will be able to access stock recommendations online powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
Mr Donald MacDonald, head of group data office at OCBC Bank, explained that AI bots will peruse daily news articles, market movements and relevant news feeds to generate tips that consumers can use to inform their investment choices.
The AI bots will also suggest stocks that customers should pay attention to on a given day.
Mr MacDonald said that while stock recommendations are not new, the bank’s AI-driven algorithms will assess potential movements in Singapore stocks and show customers some of the most frequently traded stocks based on various market-related metrics.
He said that the AI bots will be able to make recommendations, which will be filtered down to the bank’s analysts, who will then select the relevant options to pass on to consumers.
Mr MacDonald added that the bank will also be rolling out hyper-personalised tips based on each customer’s profile by end-August. These will be sent out via e-mail for those who are on the OCBC Securities mailing list, and can also be accessed through the iOCBC app.
He said: “We’re also looking at new signals, because it’s AI-driven, that potentially the investment analysts weren’t looking at, so maybe we are going to find opportunities that previously would have been missed. But I think also, when we push out the personalised e-mails, we’re starting to look at things like your own profile to say out of all the ideas today, which are the ones that are actually most relevant to you.
“For example, if you’ve never traded in tech stocks, should I really be giving you a tech stock or should I just be showing you the ones that I think are aligned with your risk profile and things that you’ve shown interest in in the past.”
The technology, Mr MacDonald added, will also help OCBC make better investment decisions.
Beyond directly serving customers, banks have also found ways to use AI to power back-end functions to increase productivity and accuracy. For example, OCBC is progressively rolling out OCBC GPT, based off ChatGPT, a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology.
The internal chatbot is a securely hosted version of ChatGPT within the OCBC environment that seeks to help employees with basic knowledge-generation tasks, such as drafting responses to customer letters.
The bank is also applying generative AI to areas such as helping its developers write code faster through its OCBC Wingman application, a bot that will – based on lines of code the developer has already written – generate suggestions they can tap for subsequent lines.
OCBC is also tapping voice AI through the “OCBC Whisper” application to help contact-centre employees better understand customer service calls and identify employee training needs.
But it is not the only bank looking to use AI to boost productivity and empower its employees.
In April, DBS Bank launched a new framework to help support the well-being of its employees. Under this framework, the bank introduced several initiatives, including an AI, machine learning-powered career development platform called iGrow.
The platform will provide employees with personalised career advisory services, tapping natural language processing to build individualised profiles based on each employee’s career and training history, and offer personalised recommendations on development opportunities.
Mr MacDonald said: “Today, nearly every bank is tapping AI and data to improve processes and keep up with demand.
“(OCBC) intends to increase… investment in technologies and talent related to AI – we have planned a threefold increase in this investment in the 2022 to 2026 period, compared with 2015 to 2021. This is driven by the explosive growth in our use of AI, which now applies across all parts of our business, from front office to back-end operations, to enhance the customer experience and drive employee efficiency.”
He added that every day, about four million decisions in the bank are made by AI, and, within the next two years, this number is expected to more than double to 10 million.