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IBM partners with Hong Leong to introduce cognitive banking

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that Hong Leong Bank Berhad (“Hong Leong Bank”), one of the leading financial services organisations in Malaysia,  will leverage IBM Watson to transform its customer engagement model and internal operations to deliver a next generation customer experience.

Hong Leong Bank is the first Malaysian bank to harness the benefits of cognitive computing through the implementation of IBM Watson, a cognitive learning system, which is geared towards further enhancing customer support for its credit card services. In the initial stage of this multi-year programme, IBM Watson cognitive technology would function as an online customer self-service advisor with 24/7 support for cardholder enquiries, as well as an internal service supporting the Bank’s call centre service advisors. IBM Watson will also help the bank’s service advisors analyse large volumes of data, including research reports, product information and customer profiles; identify connections between customers’ needs and weigh the various financial options available to the customers.

“Customers have come to expect higher levels of integrated and timely service, with an increasing need for exceptional phone and online experience. We need to ensure that our systems are able to anticipate customer needs so that we may proactively provide solutions. The IBM Watson technology provides us this advantage by allowing us to understand the context of customer needs and preferences, which will reduce call waiting time and ensure greater consistency and accuracy of information” said Edward Pinto, Chief Operating Officer for Customer Experience & Analytics, Hong Leong Bank. He added that the initiative forms an important part of Hong Leong Bank’s overall digitisation blueprint.

Through IBM Watson, Hong Leong Bank customers will have round-the-clock access via online live chat to information about general credit card terms, policies, and procedures, as well as to find the most suitable card to match their lifestyle needs.

IBM Malaysia Managing Director, Chong Chye Neo said “Cognitive banking builds upon the personalisation and digitisation trends in banking over the last decade. The future bank is knowledge driven and convenes operations and offerings around its customers and their economic choices. This strategic partnership with Hong Leong Bank Berhad allows them to anticipate and respond to the changing market; and transform the relationship between the bank and its customers.”


About Hong Leong Bank:

Hong Leong Bank Berhad is one of the leading financial services organisations in Malaysia. With a heritage of more than 100 years, it provides comprehensive financial services covering consumer banking, business banking and trade finance, treasury, branch and transaction banking, wealth management, private banking and Islamic financial services. Its merger with EON Bank Group in 2011 has further embedded its position as a core banking franchise with an expanded distribution network of more than 300 branches across the country.

With a proven track record in value creation and a highly recognised brand, Hong Leong Bank has also been extending its footprint in the region, with branches in Singapore and Hong Kong and wholly owned subsidiaries in Vietnam and Cambodia.  In China, the Bank has a 20% shareholding in Bank of Chengdu Co., Ltd., Sichuan and a consumer finance joint venture.

Hong Leong Bank is a subsidiary of Hong Leong Financial Group Berhad, the financial services arm of the Hong Leong Group.  Apart from banking, Hong Leong Financial Group is involved in the provision of insurance and takaful, as well as investment banking, unit trust, fund management and stock broking services.

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 About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

IBM Watson is the first open cognitive computing technology platform and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

To advance Watson, IBM has three dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of “artificial intelligence” or “AI” across a variety of industries; Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from data to and deliver personalized healthcare; and Watson IoT, focused on making sense of data embedded in for more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, which generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily. Making sense of this IoT data alone is creating a significant market opportunity, expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: and Join the conversation at #ibmwatson.


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