DBS to develop robotics program

DBS Bank has announced a new collaboration with tech giant IBM to fast-track the development of intelligent automation technologies across its banking services.

The venture marks the first-of-its-kind large-scale implementation within the region, with the bank scaling its Centre of Excellence (COE) to include Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Robotic process automation technologies operate on pre-programmed rules to analyse and make decisions based on structured and unstructured data. DBS anticipates the technology will help to scale and better manage workloads and free up its workforce to "focus on improving customer engagement, innovation, and accelerating transformation within the business."

Soh Siew Choo, DBS’ managing director, technology and operation, said cognitive and robotic process automation will play an increasingly important role within the bank, delivering “the necessary speed and agility to meet the rapidly changing demands of customers and the evolving financial services marketplace.”

“As the region's leading digital bank, DBS is committed to delivering innovative and unique experiences for our customers and employees [that] are critically dependent on the flexibility of our bank's processes,” Choo said.

The COE was developed in partnership with IBM last June. Following the successful launch of its RPA unit in Singapore, DBS expects the program will be “progressively implemented” across its Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan business arms.

While automation has existed in some form for nearly a decade, banks are only now beginning to effectively employ the technology to deliver tangible benefits to their organisations, including increased workforce and cost efficiencies and better regulatory controls. 

“While the ability to automate processes has existed for a very long time, technology has since evolved to enable cognitive automation through autonomous decision-making, new insights through data discovery, and personalised support,” said Adam Lawrence, managing director IBM.

By 2019, researcher Forrester estimates that process automation will transform up to a quarter of all work associated with all job categories.

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