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Best Retail Bank in Singapore: OCBC puts customers at the heart of business

Over the past couple of years, the banking experience has been redefined by the rapid advancement of digital innovations. Similarly, OCBC Bank continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of its customers. With customer-centricity at the heart of OCBC’s consumer banking business, it has stayed true to its mission to improve both customer experience and product offerings that deliver maximum value than ever before. At the same time, the Bank continues to invest in physical touchpoints, recognizing that many of its customers still prefer an offline banking experience.

For continuously raising the bar in service excellence, OCBC has received numerous industry accolades – and this year is no exception. At the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker, this exceptional mettle has once again been proven when OCBC bagged the following awards:

  • Winner, Best Retail Bank Singapore
  • Winner, Excellence in Digital Innovation
  • Winner, Excellence in Digital Wealth Management
  • Winner, Automobile Lending Product of the Year
  • Winner, Digital Lending Product of the Year

Having built a trusted consumer franchise in Southeast Asia over the past 87 years, OCBC continues to deliver service excellence and reliability. With its digital capabilities, OCBC’s banking services are accessible 24/7. This enables the Bank to better support its customers especially in the current environment where various restrictions are being strictly implemented. OCBC’s cutting-edge mobile banking app continues to serve as a bank in the customer’s pocket, supporting them with their banking needs every step of the way.

“Customer centricity is at the heart of OCBC’s consumer business. The Bank “Stays True” to its customers and is continuously improving its product offering. OCBC’s digital platform enables a bank-in-the-pocket experience for its customers and allows them to enjoy a seamless omnichannel experience. The bank’s profitability is also beyond question. The investments made by the bank to redefine its banking experience have significantly improved customer satisfaction and made banking fuss-free,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

OCBC leads in Singapore and beyond

One of OCBC’s core strengths is its ability to harness the latest technological advancements to enhance its omnichannel proposition. With a strong offline network in place, the Bank’s focus has been to deliver a seamless digital experience that goes beyond the usual norms, making them a confident leader in Singapore and other markets it serves. Some of OCBC’s most notable initiatives include:

Simplified car loan, home loan and renovation loan application process: With a streamlined process, car, home, and renovation loan applicants can complete the entire process digitally. OCBC recognises that the loan application process can be a stressful experience for customers, especially during these uncertain times. To that end, OCBC has launched the first-in-the-region digital car loan application process which features instant approval and online acceptance within 60 seconds.

“Even as OCBC strengthens its digital infrastructure, the Bank has remained committed to boost its offline offering.”

Alternate mobile login option: OCBC is the first bank in Singapore to enable the use of SingPass Mobile, a secured application used widely by residents for government-related matters, as an alternative login for its mobile banking application. By doing this, customers have one less password to remember.

HealthPass by OCBC app: OCBC launched its health and wellness app to help customers with safe and affordable access to doctors in the pandemic. The app is the first in the market which provides access to both general practitioners and specialist doctors, and has over 100 wellness offerings, offering customers a holistic approach to health. With HealthPass, OCBC helps customers protect their fundamental wealth – their health.

STACK platform: The multi-partner loyalty platform allows customers to consolidate their points from multiple rewards programmes in one place. It boasts two key features – points exchange and marketplace. The point exchanges enable real-time conversion of points from one rewards programme to another. The STACK marketplace allows customers to use their reward points from the participating partners to redeem for deals across F&B, shopping, travel and entertainment.

Enhanced in-person banking experience

Even as OCBC strengthens its digital infrastructure, the Bank has remained committed to boosting its   offline offering, recognizing that a large segment of its market continues to prefer an in-person banking experience.

One of the important initiatives is the launch of the next-generation ATMs, which allows customers to self-serve for most of their frequently performed transactions. One new feature activity is the cheque encashment service that allows customers to instantly encash cheques, for up to a maximum of $30,000 in a single cheque, simply by depositing them in the ATM machine.

In addition, OCBC is the first in Singapore to avail the QR code cash withdrawal function, which reduced the time taken for cash withdrawal at ATMs from 80 seconds to under 45 seconds. It also has the added benefit of enhanced security via biometric authentication.

“OCBC’s digital platform enables a bank-in-the-pocket experience for its customers and allows them to enjoy a seamless omnichannel experience.”

Also, earlier this year, OCBC launched an industry-first SORA-based mortgage. To date, $350 million worth of SORA-based mortgages has been disbursed, which represents approximately 40% of the average monthly mortgage sales.

With all its digital and in-person initiatives, OCBC continues to be well ahead of the curve. Even during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it has remained steadfast in its commitment to stay true to its customers.


>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.



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OCBC Leads the Way in Self -service Banking and Digital Customer Onboarding

OCBC Leads the Way in Self-service Banking and Digital Customer Onboarding

OCBC Bank outshone many of its peers and rival banks at the flagship Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2019 hosted by The Digital Banker.

The Awards Gala was held in conjunction with the Global Retail Banking Innovation Summit – the world’s foremost meeting place for decision-makers, innovators and global influencers across the retail banking landscape.

OCBC Bank received six awards serving as a testament to the bank’s efforts in augmenting and spearheading digital innovation across its retail banking business. Moreover, the bank’s award-winning initiatives were heralded as a solution to very real customer pain points and problems faced by all banks – protracted onboarding, loan approval and branch service times.

OCBC Bank received six awards serving as a testament to the bank’s efforts in augmenting and spearheading digital innovation across its retail banking business.

A Redefined Self-service Banking Strategy to Streamline and Digitalise Customer Transactions


Winner: Best ATM Innovation
Winer: Best Self-Serving Banking

OCBC’s ATMs and service kiosks bring even greater convenience to its customers. Their new machines function like “mini branches”, enabling customers to perform 18 of the most frequent bank counter services such as cash deposits, cash withdrawals above daily ATM withdrawal limits, selecting the denomination of notes withdrawn, simultaneous cash and coin deposits, updating customers’ personal details and account and card and online banking-related requests. These can be performed in a completely paperless and straight-through way.

The bank has embarked on a mission to digitalise how customers bank, whether assisted or self-served. A natural progression will be the upskilling of service staff to take on higher value-adding roles, such as digital engagement, awareness and sales. OCBC Bank undertook a target to reduce teller headcount by 50%, and re-skill them to take on sales or advisory roles. A big step to achieving this is the launch of a new breed of ATMs and digital service kiosks, which will not only offload manual work at counters, but also provide customers a convenient way to conduct financial and service transactions, which they would have had to queue for in the past.

The Latest ATM Technology Delivers Real Results

The award-winning initiative was commended with 30% of consumer transactions migrating to the machines as of May 2019. The expected overall migration at the end of 2019 is 50%.

The new ATMs and OCBC Service Kiosks will be instrumental in migrating high-volume transactions away from the counter, for OCBC Bank to be able to achieve its target of reduce tellers by 50% at installed branches in just two years. Performance metrics are therefore closely monitored in several management forums.

Since the pilot launch of the new ATMs and digital service kiosks at eight OCBC Bank branches in early May 2018, the following results have been achieved:

  • Real-migration of counter transactions to new machines – 31% at installed branches (May ‘19).
  • Reduction in forms-based requests processed by back-office operations teams due to straight-through processing at machines – 50% within 4 months of launch at installed branches.

Numerous compliments received from customers and staff typically relate to:

  • Time saved by performing the transactions on the new machines vs the branch counters;
  • Simple and intuitive user interface; and,
  • Extended service shelf allows them to perform the transactions 24×7 instead of branch counter.

Instant Access to Banking Products and Services

OCBC Bank was also awarded Highly Acclaimed for the Best Digital Banking Initiative, Outstanding Client Onboarding & Account Opening, Best Internet Banking Initiative and Outstanding Customer Service Transformation.

Digitally-savvy customers expect banking products and services to be instantly and immediately accessible. This is a natural progression of OCBC’s pursuit of building a bank of the future – to provide instant, embedded and frictionless access to all its products and services for the convenience of customers, enabling them to start a banking relationship seamlessly and instantly.

OCBC thus embarked on an ambitious journey to make banking instant, a key pillar of the bank’s value proposition. The vision is to make access to core banking and transactional products instant – enabling customers to acquire products instantly and start using them immediately.

Instant digital account opening was primarily enabled for OCBC Bank’s current and savings accounts (CASA) in June 2018 – allowing even new customers to open an account online and fund it within minutes.

This capability was extended to credit cards and personal loans in 2019, enabling decisioning and issuance of a digital credit card or disbursement of cash within minutes of application.

Banking Singaporeans and PRs within Minutes – A Frictionless Account Opening Journey

OCBC Bank has enabled all Singaporeans and permanent residents – even those without an existing relationship with the bank – to apply for and start using their key consumer banking products instantly. Customers can now start enjoying earning interest, card discounts, rebates or rewards immediately as they can start making e-commerce purchases or contactless payments via their mobile device minutes after applying for an OCBC Bank card, personal loan, current or savings account.

From their customers’ perspective, the result is a truly frictionless and instant account opening journey. A CASA account that used to require a visit to the branch to open now takes less than 3 minutes, and customers receive their account number within minutes of application.

A CASA account that used to require a visit to the branch to open now takes less than 3 minutes

A card/loan application that used to take days or even weeks before receipt, can now be availed instantly within minutes of application. Such impressive speed and convenience has resulted in greater customer satisfaction.

Instant CASA account opening has resulted in tremendous growth in OCBC Bank’s online account opening numbers. Its contribution to accounts opened is now 30%, doubled from 15% previously.

For the bank’s cards and personal loans business, the impact has been incredible. Since its launch, the number of online applications has increased by 2.5x, and total cards and loans approval approved online are up 2x.


>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.


Image: TY Lim /