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DBS Bank Engages IBM's Watson to Achieve Next Generation Client Experience

Collaboration to leverage Big Data and cognitive computing solutions to transform customer experience and shape future of banking

SINGAPORE, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- DBS Bank and IBM today announced an agreement in which DBS will deploy IBM's Watson (NYSE: IBMcognitive computing innovation to deliver a next- generation client experience. This collaboration is part of an ongoing journey by DBS to shape the future of banking.



For a start, DBS intends to apply Watson to its wealth management business to improve the advice and experience delivered to affluent customers. Watson is a cloud-based technology that can process enormous amounts of information with the ability to understand and learn from each interaction at unprecedented speed, representing a significant shift in the ability for organizations to quickly analyze, understand and respond to vast amounts of Big Data.

DBS' implementation of IBM's cloud-based Watson Engagement Advisor solution – targeted for rollout in the second half of the year – comes as the bank continues to execute on strategy to be a leading regional wealth player. DBS will look to progressively deploy these capabilities to its other businesses over time.

DBS will also leverage a comprehensive portfolio of IBM solutions which include business consulting, advanced analytics, hardware and IBM Research assets to further augment the power of Watson. By bringing together all of these capabilities, DBS will be uniquely positioned as the first bank in Asia to execute a project of this kind.

With the way in which customers live, work and bank changing dramatically, DBS has been innovating the way it does banking. As an example, in 2010, the bank formed a Customer Experience Council and Innovation Council, both chaired by CEO Piyush Gupta, to deliver innovation anchored around three big ideas:

  • An increased focus on digitization to further enhance processing efficiency
  • Making the customer experience more interactive and intuitive
  • Analytics and the use of Big Data, both structured and unstructured

Since then, DBS has rolled out a number of trailblazing initiatives on these fronts to put the customer at the centre of the banking experience.

The collaboration with IBM is DBS' latest initiative to harness Big Data to deliver a better customer experience – providing more precise, customized and quality actionable insights that meet its clients' needs.   

With Asia creating wealth faster than anywhere else in the world, coupled with increasingly sophisticated and digitally-savvy customers, banking relationship managers need to be empowered with sophisticated and intuitive tools that enable them to respond more speedily with insightful and tailored solutions.

IBM Watson will help DBS' relationship managers analyze large volumes of complex unstructured and structured data, including research reports, product information and customer profiles; identify connections between customers' needs and its growing corpus of investment knowledge, and help advisors weigh various financial options available to customers.

Applying IBM Watson's capabilities will enable DBS professionals to take control of a 'data deluge' and arm them with data-driven insights that can personalize the client experience.

"In the digital era, consumers' ability to access information and make choices has changed dramatically, and new technologies are revolutionising our way of life," said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta. "To remain relevant, we need to continuously innovate. At DBS, we have been on a journey to shape the future of banking, and this collaboration with IBM enables us to explore ways to better harness data, providing more precise, customized and quality solutions that correspond to our clients' needs," he added.

"The business agenda of every industry is being transformed by data and the technologies to exploit it," said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services. "The partnership with DBS is allowing them to anticipate and respond to market shifts, and transform the relationship between the bank and its customers using the cognitive computing power of IBM's Watson and deep analytics combined with business consulting."

DBS - Living, Breathing Asia
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 250 branches across 16 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS has a growing presence in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings, is among the highest in Asia-Pacific. DBS has been recognised as "Asia's Best Bank" by The Banker, a member of the Financial Times group, and "Best Managed Bank in Asia-Pacific" by The Asian Banker. The bank has also been named "Safest Bank in Asia" by Global Finance for five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking activities across Asia. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS also understands the intricacies of doing business in the region's most dynamic markets. These market insights and regional connectivity have helped to drive the bank's growth as it sets out to be the Asian bank of choice. DBS believes that building lasting relationships with its customers is an integral part of banking the Asian way.
With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 19,000 staff, representing over 30 nationalities. For more information, please visit

About IBM's Watson Cognitive Computing

Nearly three years after its triumph on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM has advanced Watson from a game playing innovation into a commercial technology. Now delivered from the cloud and able to power new consumer and enterprise apps, Watson is 24 times faster, smarter with a 2,400 percent improvement in performance, and 90 percent smaller – IBM has shrunk Watson from the size of a master bedroom to three stacked pizza boxes.

Named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, IBM Watson was developed in IBM's Research labs. Using natural language processing and analytics, Watson processes information akin to how people think, representing a major shift in an organization's ability to quickly analyze, understand and respond to Big Data. Watson's ability to answer complex questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence is transforming decision making across a variety of industries.

About IBM
For more information on IBM Watson, please visit
To join the social discussion about Watson include the hashtag #ibmwatson
Follow Watson on Facebook:

Media Contacts:


Michelle Agnes Teo

Anthony Guerrieri



Phone: 65-6418-9328

Phone: +86 21 6100 8272

E-mail: [email protected]

E-mail: [email protected]

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Edna Koh

Roy Chew

Group Strategic Marketing & Communications

Group Strategic Marketing & Communications

DBS Bank

DBS Bank

Email: [email protected]

Email: [email protected]

Tel: (65) 6878 8134

Tel: (65) 68785544

Fax: (65) 6222 4478

Fax: (65) 6222 4478

Mobile: (65) 9753 0117

Mobile: (65) 97279278

Video with caption: "IBM and DBS Bank are partnering to engage IBM's Watson cognitive computing innovation to deliver a next-generation client experience. The collaboration with IBM is DBS' latest initiative to harness Big Data to deliver a better customer experience -- providing more precise, customized and quality actionable insights that meet clients needs." Video available at:


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