During the past decade, the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart algorithms has known drastic changes and developments, with its main goal to make our lives simpler. With many virtual assistants already booming like Alexa by Amazon and Siri by Apple, smart interfaces are making their way up across various sectors, including financial services and banking.
As consumer expectations grow, many financial institutions are investing and experimenting with artificially intelligent solutions. Banks, investment institutions and fintechs are re-imagining customer journeys to improve their overall customer service and enhance customer engagement. The use of chatbots benefits both the financial institution and the customer.
Chatbots allow institutions to better understand their customers, their likes, dislikes, plans… in order to deliver a more personalized service that better suits their needs and brings them greater satisfaction. On the other hand, the use of chatbots is reinforced by customers themselves because they prefer to send messages on their mobile or laptop instead of waiting indefinitely on a helpline.
Chatbots or virtual assistants simulate the activities of human agents in a call center by leveraging natural language processing and machine learning. Their algorithm is programmed to allow them to mimic a human conversation by asking questions and giving relevant recommendations and solutions. This improves the efficiency of customer service and minimizes the occurrence of human errors while resolving customer queries faster.
Nowadays, chatbots are the most popular technology for customer service automation in the financial sector. According to a study by Juniper Research, the use of chatbots will save banks up to $7.3 billion by 2023. This type of deployment is very important for financial companies who wish to carry out their digital transformation and gain a competitive advantage.
Chatbots in the financial sector have several uses including digital banking and account services, customer onboarding, customer service agent assistance, refund management, self-service insurance operations and much more. Here are some of the most successful uses of chatbots in banking :
Financial services chatbots can help clients complete various financial transactions in a fast and secure way. From checking their accounts, reporting lost cards or making payments, to requesting and processing refunds, customers are now able to manage simple tasks on their own.
In addition to managing customers’ requests, a financial services chatbot can also provide customers with advice to help them improve their financial health. They can help them keep track of their accounts, analyze their spending habits and recommend budgeting or saving plans. This way, customers have greater control over their finances.
Banks and financial institutions give extra attention to security and data privacy, because their reputation depends on it. Thanks to their smart algorithm, chatbots can thoroughly monitor and identify signs of any type of fraudulent activity, and issue alerts directly to customers and banks.
When needed, chatbots can provide full support to employees to speed up administrative and repetitive tasks, and facilitate complex and time-consuming operations such as managing internal documents or training new employees.
As we all know, banks and the majority of financial institutions have a wide range of products and services to offer. Considering all the data an AI chatbot can provide on a user, it is an opportunity to actively suggest offers that are suited to each customer’s needs.
For example, if a customer uses his banking app to move money from their current account to their savings account, an AI-powered chatbot can seize this opportunity to ask the customer the reason behind this action and therefore promote different banking solutions (mortgage application, holiday insurance, car loan, etc.).
Chatbots in financial services provide numerous benefits for both the institutions and the customers. Here are the most important advantages:
As mentioned before, chatbots are a huge time and money saver. In fact, these 100% automated solutions solve at least 20% of customer problems. Fewer call center agents are needed and they reduce human error, which significantly reduces costs. This allows financial consultants to shift their focus on after-sales and operations that have greater added value and can increase margins on banking products. Plus, chatbots are often cheaper than stand-alone mobile apps. VR Bank is a great example of a company who used a chatbot for cost savings
Chatbot algorithms are fully programmable and trained to give personalized recommendations. Users who are assisted by chatbots are able to find the information they need faster and virtual assistants can automatically present new offers that may interest the customer. Whatsmore, using a chatbot makes moving between transactions seamless, which can increase customer engagement and the number of bank accounts opened.
Nowadays, customers prefer to text rather than call. Chatbots respond to this customer preference by providing an intuitive interface that allows customers to have a virtual conversation without having to worry about waiting times since chatbots respond instantly and accurately. Furthermore, financial institutions can personalize the content of their chatbot and how they respond to customers’ queries.
Generally, a well-designed chatbot works consistently on different platforms (website, smartphone application, social media…) and can hold multiple conversations simultaneously so scalability is achievable. Not to mention that chatbots work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a huge benefit because customers can get help whenever they need it, which significantly improves the overall customer experience.
Chatbots in financial services should instill confidence in customers so the ideal virtual assistant should provide financial advice rather than simply providing a FAQ. This means that the chatbot should know your customers, be an expert in your products and services, be trained on real data and interact with clients in the same way a human would. A financial services chatbot should be :
Speech is the most natural form of human communication so being able to talk normally when interacting with a chatbot is a key success factor. When a customer talks to a chabot that doesn’t understand him/her or answers like a robot, this can lead to customer dissatisfaction.
It is therefore important for virtual assistants to be conversational so that users can use normal everyday-life language and still be understood.
Chatbots that cannot execute operations are not of big use or help. Customers expect the same level of service from a chatbot and a human so it’s important for virtual assistants to be able to complete transactions such as open a bank account, process a transfer, etc. AI-powered chatbots must integrate external and internal systems to help customers carry out operations.
Privacy and personal data are crucial elements when it comes to banking or financial services. Institutions that use chatbots need to make sure that they are the only ones that have access to conversational data and that their chatbot allows anonymization and encryption of information when necessary. It’s also important that a reliable authentication system be in place.
One of the advantages of implementing a chatbot is that it can be used on multiple channels. This way, customers get to choose where they want to interact with it, which helps increase the use rate of the chatbot. Some customers prefer to use it via an application, others via Alexa devices or perhaps through Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp.
Erica is the virtual assistant of the Bank of America and it is one of the most talked about banking applications. The AI solution is tasked with providing day-to-day assistance to customers by helping them conclude transactions and paying bills. Through the chat, Erica can check payments, process transfers between accounts, block credit cards or send money to someone. It is one of the best financial services chatbots in the market.
Kasisto is a company that helps financial institutions set up chatbots. These Kasisto AI chatbots can help customers make payments, review their accounts, manage funds from multiple accounts, etc. They can also send the chatbot conversation to a human customer assistant in case the chatbot fails to solve the customer’s problem.
Chatbots developed using Kasisto can be integrated into smartphone applications, websites or dashboards. They can hold a discussion with customers, perform simple financial tasks, give product recommendations and help customers apply for credit cards. Mastercard has chosen the Kasisto AI platform to develop its successful chatbot on their smartphone app.
Paypal offers an AI-powered customer service chatbot that operates via Facebook Messenger. This secure and effective chatbot can be used to check the status of disputed payments, manage declined payments or unauthorized charges, check account holds and limitations, etc. It can also help with simpler tasks like resetting a password or asking security questions.
The chatbot also manages refunds whether it is to check the refund status or request a new one. It does all of this under a fraud detection and risk mitigation system that guarantees maximum security and ease of mind.
Passage AI offers financial institutions or banks the opportunity to create conversational chatbots to help their customers have easy access to their accounts, investments or credit card inquiries. Furthermore, the chatbot claims it can even help customers find home loans and update them on its status.
Passage AI also announced that their smart algorithm has been trained on enterprise data in different business areas such as credit cards, credit information, loan applications, loans paying off, invoicing, retirement planning, etc. Depending on the needs of the financial institution, they can choose to have all of these features integrated or just focus on a few of them.
Botpress is the most popular open-source conversational AI Platform. Our solution allows companies to build custom chatbots and deploy it virtually anywhere. Thanks to our futuristic vision and expertise, we serve hundreds of clients in different fields and sectors. If you are looking to personalize a flexible, open-source AI financial chatbot, don’t hesitate to contact us.