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DBS working to offer its own version of Siri for banking

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DBS Bank is working with US-based Kasisto, a spin-off from SRI International - the brains behind Apple's voice assistant Siri - to enable customers to bank from their preferred mobile messaging application by year-end.

DBS Bank is working with US-based Kasisto, a spin-off from SRI International - the brains behind Apple's voice assistant Siri - to enable customers to bank from their preferred mobile messaging application by year-end.

Customers who want to check their balance can simply text "How much do I have?" which will be answered promptly. They can also pay bills by simply texting "Can you please pay my mobile bill?". The request will be processed, but not before identifying the correct payee.

"For the first time in Asia Pacific, DBS customers will be able to use natural language to converse with DBS from their favourite mobile messaging app, manage their money across accounts, track expenses and even make payments in the process," DBS said on Wednesday.

The app will be available on the KAI platform by Kasisto, which employs artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance retail and consumer banking.

In April, DBS reportedly made a strategic investment in Kasisto. The sum was never disclosed.

Kasisto's KAI platform also powers the virtual assistant in the mobile-only Digibank service launched by DBS in India earlier this year.

DBS said for a start, the conversational AI technology will allow its customers to access banking services quickly on Facebook Messenger by the end of the year.

The service will first be launched in Singapore and India, followed by DBS's other key markets. DBS also plans to extend this service to other mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat in the future.