With more than 20,000 enquiries logged since its launch in January, OCBC Bank announced today the success of the first-of- its-kind specialised home and renovation loan chatbot service in Singapore. More than 10% of the chat sessions have been converted into mortgage loan sales prospects.
Called ‘Emma’, the home and renovation loan artificial intelligence-powered chatbot provides potential home buyers and current home owners with a convenient, fast and accurate “always-on” digital channel to get their questions addressed.
When computing affordability for a home loan or giving a step-by-step guide on applying for a renovation loan, ‘Emma’ can do so within its chat window. This way, ‘Emma will not need to direct the consumer to a separate website, where they have to sieve out the information.
Neither will the consumers receive vague and non-specific answers, a common complaint among chatbot users today. One of the top three questions asked by consumers – “How much can I borrow?” – is easily addressed by ‘Emma’ using its built-in Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) calculator.
With human-like conversational skills, ‘Emma’ interprets any question asked by consumers and answers them in plain English.
‘Emma’ will also ask leading questions to understand the query better, just like how a mortgage specialist would do to help. It took three months for ‘Emma’ to be fully trained to address all possible questions asked by consumers about home loans and renovation loans. As new or revised regulations come up, ‘Emma’ can be updated to respond to new questions. ‘Emma’ is currently available on desktops, laptops and smart mobile devices.
‘Emma’ is jointly developed by OCBC Bank’s home loans team and CogniCor, one of the start-ups from ‘The Open Vault at OCBC’ (OCBC Bank’s FinTech accelerator programme).
Cognicor specialises in chatbot solutions and, together with OCBC Bank’s expertise and knowledge in the home and renovation loans business, both teams were able to develop a customised chatbot that is superior to other chatbot solutions in the market. Emma was put through a rigorous programming and testing process in a secure yet realistic environment.
The resultant solution was a comprehensive and accurate chatbot for OCBC Bank’s home and renovation loans business – one that truly answers consumers’ questions.
Instant answers for home and renovation loan questions
With real time responses delivered through an instant messaging chatbox directly on OCBC Bank’s home loan website , consumers can get instant answers to their home loan questions. Three of the most commonly asked questions to ‘Emma’ are:
- What types of home loan packages are available to me?
- Am I eligible to take up a home loan?
- How much can I borrow?
‘Emma’ is trained to identify and associate with the exhaustive terminology used in the process of applying for or refinancing a home loan. Your typical industry abbreviations and terms pose no challenge to ‘Emma’, which is able to accurately highlight the information consumers need.
Based on the feedback obtained during each chatbot session, nine out of 10 consumers were satisfied with the assistance rendered by ‘Emma’ – a high standard that has been achieved since ‘Emma’ was introduced.