Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 1 June 2020

Commercial Bank of Dubai tracking tool keeps an eye on customers’ spending habits

The CBD website allows customers to analyse their spending, income and budget. It also includes an avatar called Sara, designed to answer questions and provide information to customers.
CBD says the online banking platform is the first of its kind in the region. Sammy Dallal / The National
CBD says the online banking platform is the first of its kind in the region. Sammy Dallal / The National

Ever wondered if you’re living beyond your means? A Dubai bank is about to tell you if you are.

Keeping track of spending habits is set to become easier for customers of Commercial Bank of Dubai with the launch of a new personal financial management tool.

The website allows customers to analyse their spending, income and budget in detail through graphs and reports. The tool can advise customers if they are spending too much relative to their income, as well as how they are spending and saving compared to other customers earning a similar income.

The website overhaul also includes an avatar called Sara – inspired by Apple’s Siri voice command application – designed to answer questions and provide information to customers.

CBD says the online banking platform is the first of its kind in the region.

“When you create a more personalised model, it becomes more relevant to customers,” said Jan Burkens, the deputy general manager of the personal banking group.

“CBD’s budget and track service, for instance, offers a convenient, transparent and secure way to manage your finances and keep you in control of your income and expenditure without having to remember a thousand things.”

Local banks are stepping up their smart banking offering in a bid to differentiate themselves from competitors and win customers. Mashreq, for example, has rolled out several new branches equipped with US$50,000 of gadgets, including iPads for customers to use and its own avatar to interact with customers.

Sara is intended to remove the need for customers to search the bank’s website or phone its call centre to get queries answered or find out information. The bank said Sara coped with simple requests such as address changes and new card applications, but would not be able to address more technical issues or Arabic-language queries for some time.

Several other international financial services companies have already started to experiment with similar services. The Spanish banking group BBVA in 2012 launched an avatar-based banking assistant called Lola.

In the United States, the United Services Automobile Association started using Siri-like speech recognition software in 2012, allowing customers to find out basic information about their account and complete simple tasks such as making transfers.

tarnold@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights

Updated: March 23, 2014 04:00 AM

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