OCBC bank accelerates productivity and customer service with a Microsoft Azure OpenAI chatbot for its global workforce.

In November 2023, OCBC, a bank headquartered in Singapore, plans to introduce a chatbot that uses generative artificial intelligence (AI) to help its 30,000 workers worldwide with writing, research, and brainstorming. The chatbot is being deployed as part of a partnership between OCBC and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI with the goal of increasing efficiency and providing better customer service.

Following a six-month experiment (April to September 2023) involving over 1,000 OCBC employees in a variety of roles such as investment research, product management, and marketing, the AI chatbot will now be implemented throughout the whole bank.

OCBC employees have translated content into several languages, drafted client answers, and written investment research papers using OCBC GPT. Trial participants were able to finish their activities on average 50% faster than they had previously. This includes the time needed to verify the factual accuracy of the output from OCBC GPT.

Large Language Models in ChatGPT, which assess inquiries and provide fully developed replies and outcomes based on readable text-based online content, power OCBC ChatGPT. The chatbot is simultaneously housed in a safe and regulated environment: OCBC employees’ input is stored by the Bank and isn’t accessible to Microsoft or any other third parties.

Moreover the decision was made with great excitement by OCBC’s group data office chief, Donald MacDonald, who stated, “We are excited to be one of the first banks in the world to deploy generative AI tools at scale.”

“We think these tools have the power to completely change the way our staff members work by automating a lot of tedious chores, giving them more time to concentrate on more strategically important and high-value work. By spending more time fostering relationships with clients and creating cutting-edge goods and services, this in turn enables us to deliver superior customer service.

AI emphasis

OCBC used a number of generative AI productivity tools before launching OCBC GPT in order to write code, summarise papers, record calls, and build an internal knowledge base. The bank discovered that the tools increased productivity in a similar way, up to 50%, giving workers more time to concentrate on higher-value jobs.

At the moment, AI makes over four million decisions per day in the bank in areas like risk management, customer service, and sales. By 2025, it is anticipated that this would rise to 10 million.

Customers receive tailored insights and recommendations via the mobile banking app thanks to artificial intelligence. Moreover each year, 250 million of these insights are delivered to clients to help them manage their finances better and save time and effort.

The Bank uses AI to strengthen its anti-money laundering initiatives. OCBC can swiftly examine customer profiles and networks using an AI-powered platform, spotting questionable transactions and communities.


Putting money on talent

Finally in an effort to develop a pool of AI expertise, OCBC was the first bank in Singapore to introduce a postgraduate AI fellowship in 2019.

The Bank established its Data Certification Pathway the same year in order to train data professionals internally over the course of a 12- to 18-month course. Since then, more than 300 employees have finished the curriculum. To strategically build internal AI capabilities, OCBC was the first bank in Singapore to open a dedicated AI Lab in 2018. This lab has now been absorbed into the Group Data Office.

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