DBS Bank has launched a new service that allows wealthy clients to use their existing instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and WeChat to access wealth services and interact with relationship managers (RMs).
Capable of recording client-RM conversations, the DBS Wealth Chat allows clients to interact and transact with RMs, as well as view the bank’s chief investment office reports and exclusive invitations.
Additional investment-related transactions such as trade placement will also be introduced progressively in 2019, DBS said.
The $157 billion wealth manager will begin to register and on-board interested clients in Singapore in the first phase of the roll-out.
To access the service, RMs will first have to register their clients in a private chat group with the bank. DBS will then create the chat group, and automatically archive all conversations and file exchanges.
At present, RMs need to ensure key client conversations take place via the bank’s landlines, where they are recorded.
Regulations bar private bankers from conducting transactions on behalf of clients without recording the conversations, which are later screened by the compliance teams if necessary.
As a result, DBS estimates that the new service will save 10,000 man hours on a yearly basis.
‘We recognise that customers today are inundated with different apps and services and decided to go where our customers already are,’ said Tan Su Shan, group head of consumer banking and wealth management at DBS.
‘WhatsApp has upwards of 1.5 billion users, while WeChat has close to one billion users. Our aim is to provide banking services that are embedded in our customers’ everyday lives, while maintaining client privacy and keeping to our rigorous security requirements,’ she added.
DBS has partnered with Singapore-headquartered regulatory technology vendor FinChat for the service.
The tech start-up inked a similar deal with UBS Wealth Management in Asia last year, allowing the Swiss bank to record conversations between RMs and clients that take place on WhatsApp and WeChat.