Is Your Bank Using A Virtual Assistant?

How can banks use artificial intelligence to build customer relationship?

Dhara Sharma

Oct 16 • 4 min read

The new normal is transforming the traditional way of doing business making way for automated, AI-driven workforce and the banking industry is echoing the sentiments. 

The digital revolution changed everything

Remember the times when to make even a small payment you had to drive to your nearest bank branch, fill out the form and wait in a queue to complete the transaction? While still waiting for your turn to come you would exchange pleasantries with the staff, talk about business affairs and even ask for financial advice. 

Although, a personal experience, it wasn’t necessary to be a pleasant experience as the process was tedious, with a lot of delays and sometimes you might have had to experience poor service due to human errors. All in all a time-consuming experience that not necessarily left with good customer experience, making banking amongst the first few industries to elevate the user experience through technology.

Artificial intelligence is transforming the banking industry 

Banking is a customer-centric business where personalisation and convenience top the list of services. That is why it’s perhaps unsurprising that many banks are looking at cognitive solutions including AI-powered digital assistants to upgrade and scale customer financial management processes. 
 

    • 44% of bank account holders prefer to be assisted by voice assistants while transferring money.

    • By 2020, chatbots in the banking sector will lead to cost savings of $8+ billion.

    • By 2020, 85% of customers will manage associations with banks via chatbots.

    • Chatbots save between $0.50 and $0.70 per customer interaction for banks.

    • By 2022, 90% of customer interactions with banks will be handled by chatbots.

Here’s the list of top big banks using chatbots and virtual assistants to boost their business:

1. Bank of America | Erica
2. JPMorgan Chase | Coin 
3. Capital One | Eno
4. HSBC | Amy
5. Wells Fargo | Chatbot for Facebook Messenger
6. Ally Bank | Ally Assist 
7. Barclays | Apple’s assistant Siri
8. DBS Singapore | DBS Digibot
9. Royal Bank of Scotland | Cora
10. Hang Seng Bank | Haro & Dori
11. SEB | Aida
12. Commonwealth Bank | Ceba 
13. State Bank of India | SIA
14. HDFC | Eva
15. ICICI | iPal

There are many reasons to use a virtual assistant for consumer engagement in banking

1. Cost Savings
Relatively inexpensive to develop and maintain, virtual assistants require less coding than standalone banking apps, can be supported by an array of channels, also, don’t require expensive data storage.

2. Ease of Use
Intuitive and easier to use than a traditional banking app, there is no download required and the experience can be personalized over time.

3. Conversational Interface
Conversational AI adds to the personalised experience so the customer doesn’t feel that they are talking to a bot. Also, the continuous conversation keeps the interaction engaging, enhancing customer satisfaction.

4. Financial Advice
Advanced virtual banking assistants provide access to all of a customer’s data so they know where the customer is spending their money. This allows for better finance management with AI-based recommendations and advice.

5. 24x7x365 Digital Support
A 24x7x365 instant chat/voice feature automatically attracts always-on digital consumer giving your bank a competitive advantage.

6. Hyper Personalisation
AI can generate customer insights that can be used for personalised communication, advice, offers and services. 

7. Increased Productivity 
AI-powered automation can make work highly accurate and efficient including compliance reporting, new customer onboarding communications and documentation.

8. Fraud Detection and Compliance
AI-powered virtual assistants come with increased potential for real-time sensing to spot anomalies. 


Take a look at how your bank can leverage artificial intelligence

-Account-related queries
Frequent queries such as where is the nearest ATM or the bank branch, how to reset the net banking password, how to block/unblock the debit card, what documents are required to open a bank account, loan information… a lot of questions can be answered by your banks’ virtual assistant. 

-Statement updates
The assistant can help customers with their balance updates, giving them a quick view of their transactions. They can notify customers about deposit or withdrawal alerts, send reminders on pending payments, provide personal information regarding mortgage, credit cards.

-Financial assistance
Advanced assistants who have the access to financial information can act as personal financial advisors. They can help customers manage their finances including spending, budgeting, investing.

Go beyond simple chatbots

With the advent of AI in the banking industry, virtual assistants are now able to perform tasks beyond basic banking transactions. A virtual assistant is able to develop their cognitive abilities through advanced Natural Language Understanding (NLU) helping process customer queries asked in multiple ways. They can even handle context, processing multiple requests, and the switch is seamless as and when a customer moves from one request to another.

Besides chat functionalities, banks can also integrate voice capabilities into their financial management solutions so the customers can communicate via their preferred medium.

The future of AI in retail banking

The banking industry has always been the frontrunner for technological innovation and adaptation. AI will continue to expand within the industry and as virtual assistant become more intuitive and intelligent, the expectations of customers from their banks will elevate.  

What’s next with AI in banking might vary from bank to bank based on their operating environment and adoption of technology, but it would not be wrong to say, the banks that adopt AI early on will enjoy a better competitive advantage.

Banks that refuse to acknowledge and adopt AI into their processes might fall behind, now more than ever with the advent of the low-touch new normal and with the fintech companies offering dynamic and tailored financial services.

Providing greater value to customers through chatbots, virtual assistants and personalization, artificial intelligence in the banking industry can help minimize costs and risks, improve employee productivity while ensuring higher regulatory compliance. We believe these are just the beginnings of AI implementation, artificial intelligence will soon become the centre of many processes of the banking industry.


 

Written by

Dhara Sharma

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