As part of DBS' digital transformation journey, we seek to avail more banking services online, and are now reimagining how and for whom our physical branches can add value. COVID-19 has also fundamentally altered the way we lead our lives – how we work, travel, learn, bank— hence we wanted to seize the opportunity to up our game in digital disruption and to future-proof our business. VirtualX represents our vision to deliver innovative, face-to-face and borderless Phygital Banking at scale.
- To bank from anywhere, grow the number of digital customers and position DBS to be the Bank of Choice by:
- Actively encouraging and assisting customers to use digital touchpoints for their banking needs
- Offering our customers differentiated, efficient and compelling banking experiences
- Going paperless for sustainability and to safeguard health of customers and employees during the pandemic
- Flexibly scaling and allocating resources to meet customers’ needs quickly (e.g. deploying Virtual Branches across more locations)
- To position DBS to be the Employer of Choice by:
- Reducing % of work / manual effort at physical branches
- Offering more options to work in offices or from home
- Re-skilling employees with new tools and expertise in TeleAdvisory and TeleServicing
- Increasing readiness for change via regular rotations and offering more options for internal mobility, progression and temporary secondments (e.g. employees with long-term health conditions, pregnancy)
- Near Term: Use laptops and video-conferencing tools to remotely assist walk-in customers with digital transactions and general banking queries.
- Medium Term: Deploy Virtual Teller services to the rest of DBS' branch network, expand scope of transactions and collaborate with other departments for value-added features (e.g. Virtual Teller may rope a Legal or Corporate Banking specialist into the call for additional expertise); develop employee re-skilling programme for regular virtual cross-deployment across locations for exposure.
- Long Term: Leverage advances in technology and innovation to enhance customer experience and efficiency of service e.g. 5G for better bandwidth and video quality, VR/AR devices for next-level customer interactions, IoT to connect various branch devices and 3rd party apps, Facial Recognition for hands-free, fuss-free customer authentication and verification, integration with digital touchpoints so that customers can access the services from their personal devices anytime, anywherem and more.
- Champions of Change – we set the top-down direction and made a concerted effort to clarify priorities, generate buy-in and commitment to change. Virtual Tellers were empowered to be hands-on, drive their learnings and work together with the project team to co-create new journeys and user guides.
- Start fast, fail fast – we defined our minimum viable product to be 1 Virtual Teller station at 1 branch and aimed to be agile with delivery (2-3 weeks' worth of staff training and 1 week site visit and technical testing). We planned weekly milestones with continuous iteration along the way.
- Customer Journey
- We designed the journey with our customers’ needs in mind: privacy, contactless, paperless and with face-to-face, real-time interactions
- Virtual Tellers would actively encourage customers to download the DBS Digibank app and scan a QR code to complete a digital customer feedback for
- Employee Journey
- We developed a comprehensive toolkit for other branches to quickly deploy a Virtual Branch as and when business needs arise. Topics covered include how to open and operate a Virtual Branch (i.e. room setup, reporting and handovers), best practices for Teleservicing and working from home, compilation of digital training resources
- Virtual Tellers were equipped with new laptops, noise-cancelling headphones and underwent training to refresh their service knowledge and to learn WebEX, MS Teams and basic MS Powerpoint/Excel.
- Pilot setup
- 01 – 30 July 2020 (Weekdays 830am – 430pm and Saturdays 830am – 1pm)
- Team of 5 tellers rotating every 3 hours
- Our Hypotheses:
- Customers at the branch are receptive and willing to re-use Virtual Tellers
- Video capabilities enhance service experience and efficiency
- Virtual Tellers are effective and efficient in getting customers’ jobs done
- Total arrivals per day
- Success rate – whether Virtual Teller completed customer’s job-to-be-done
- Reason for failure or physical branch intervention
- Average Handling Time
- Customer demographics (gender, age group, nationality, choice of language)
- Product category and services performed
- CSAT score (Baseline: 4.5/5) and customer’s likeliness to return score (Baseline: 7/10)
- Any other qualitative remarks from customers or Virtual Tellers
Virtual Tellers serviced customers across a broad range of services:
- Setup DBS Digibank, Digital Token
- Setup DBS PayLah! mobile wallet, PayNow (a free interbank transfer service in Singapore) and perform local fund transfers
- Apply for credit cards
- Perform overseas fund transfers and Fixed Deposit placements
- Open new-to-bank CASA accounts
Preliminary results suggest that customers at the branch were receptive to Virtual Tellers and video capabilities enhanced overall experience:
- Virtual Tellers were able to offer real-time responses in English, Mandarin, Malay and dialects
- Screen-sharing was helpful to orientate customers and illustrate complex concepts, e.g. account openings and Digibank setups were completed faster when Virtual Tellers shared screenshots
- Average CSAT and customer’s likeliness to return exceeded our baseline (4.9/5 and 7.9/10, respectively). Younger customers (Below 50 years old) seemed to respond more favourably to Virtual Tellers and most customers appreciated the patience and detailed guidance offered
When assisting customers with self-service banking, Virtual Tellers were successful for 65% of arrivals:
- Being remote, Virtual Tellers relied on customers’ ability to describe errors and to perform the transaction independently. Extra time was thus spent troubleshooting for non-English speaking customers or the Elderly, who cannot see well and ultimately preferred physical assistance
- Due to space constraints at branches, enabling Virtual Tellers on our public web may be more effective for scale and to capture a younger/savvier audience; Our next steps are to enable appointment-based use cases so that customers can save on trips to the branch
Employee experience was overall positive and Virtual Tellers appreciated the extensive support provided for new knowledge and re-skilling.
Video for DBS VirtualX (Virtual Tellers)