Historically, banking has been among the most resistant industries to embrace digital transformation, but technology-savvy customers increasingly want to interact with banks on their own terms. Calling in and waiting in teller lines have become a thing of the past. Banks have shifted focus to their online and mobile banking services.
The benefits of bank bots
How can chatbots improve the banking experience? For starters, customer service used to be limited to business hours. Chatbots have emerged to fill the gap between human support, becoming an extension of a company’s website or mobile app. Banks can use chatbots to better understand their customers and increase efficiency by cutting down on the number of basic inquiries, freeing up support agents to solve more complex inquiries.
How do chatbots do this? Through natural language processing. A customer asks a question, and the bot processes the request to deliver the most relevant information based on the intent assigned. Bot trainers analyze conversation data to improve the accuracy of the chatbot responses.
New bots on the block
As chatbots become more capable and user-friendly, both large banks and financial startups alike are running to implement chatbot solutions.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently partnered with Amazon to build a “skill” that allows its clients to get stock information from Alexa. According to Bloomberg, Alexa can now send analysts’ reports and answer any Wall Street-related questions. Chase is currently testing additional features, such as providing prices on bonds, to roll out in the future.
Credit Karma recently acquired Penny, a chatbot app developer focused on making personal finance more accessible. Credit Karma plans to integrate Penny’s conversational tech into its existing products and services. Credit Karma can use chatbots to do more than check balances and credit scores; it can leverage bots to pitch its users on loan products.
Credit Karma’s vice president of product management, Anish Acharya, shares a unique perspective on what bots can offer. “A lot of Americans are struggling with their finances. It’s not always the happiest message.” A chatbot can soften that message with a back-and-forth exchange. Acharya says the model can help break down complexities, which is particularly important for a company that doesn’t have branches or financial advisers to call.
We’ve also partnered with AWS to create the next generation of digital for financial services. Wizeline executives Trenton Truitt and Vidal Gonzalez recently unveiled our bot team’s latest Alexa skill, WizeBank, to an audience of more than forty CIOs from various Mexican financial institutions.
The demo focused on three key features of banking:
- General inquiries ― checking a balance, setting up a travel alert, looking up investment history
- Customer service ― to report a lost or stolen wallet, and check for fraud
- Concierge ― includes VIP features which banks could implement for premier customers
So what’s next? David Hudson, global head of markets execution for Chase says that the next step is enabling institutional clients to act on the information they’re getting. According to Hudson, Wall Street traders could routinely use Alexa to execute trades in the very near future. But banks need to do more work on client authentication and other security measures to prevent errant trades before that happens.
At Wizeline, we explore how automation of financial services can improve your customer experience, while also looking ahead to innovate for clients’ top priorities. Our security team is Tan integral part of the process, consulting with yours to ensure compliance. Want to learn more or see our WizeBank in action? Request a demo.