UOB invests and partners in AI firm Personetics

UOB on Thursday said it has invested and partnered with Israeli fintech firm Personetics to boost its use of artificial intelligence (AI) across its markets in South-east Asia.

The Business Times understands that the Singapore bank has taken a minority stake in the fintech firm, though the amount was not disclosed. UOB joins other global banks and investors such as Spanish lender Banco Santander in investing in the fintech company. 

UOB will tap on Personetics' AI offering to draw patterns from the bank's huge volumes of transaction data. This is meant to help identify individual transaction demands, enabling UOB to provide customers with real-time and personalised guidance on their financial decisions.

The bank said this service includes anticipating and prompting customers when their balances may be insufficient to cover upcoming payments, detecting unusual or suspicious account activity in their accounts and nudging them to save more or to spend wisely.

Dennis Khoo, UOB's head of regional digital bank and strategic initiatives, said this investment will help the bank take a "giant leap forward" in having meaningful digital conversations with the bank's customers.

Personetics' AI service, which includes the use of machine learning and pattern recognition algorithms, have been developed, tested and refined over the past five years, and sold to financial service providers. Its other customers include Societe Generale, Wells Fargo, and Royal Bank of Canada. According to the fintech firm, it serves more than 50 million bank customers worldwide. 

UOB’s investment in Personetics follows on the heels of the set up of its joint venture, Avatec.ai, in April this year. Avatec’s credit assessment tool also uses AI to determine an applicant’s credit quality in seconds. The credit assessment tool will be deployed across South-east Asian markets over the next two years.