Wells Fargo, Capital One, Ally Bank, USAA, Mastercard, and American Express are some financial institutions that have integrated chatbots either in their mobile banking app or through external apps like Facebook Messenger. These financial institutions work with firms – such as Finn AI, Kasisto, Silver Cloud, and Clinc – that deploy intelligent assistants to their organizations.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS USING CONVERSATIONAL BANKING/CHATBOTS
1. Wells Fargo
- In 2017, Wells Fargo became the first US bank to launch an artificial intelligence chatbot on Facebook Messenger.
- Its virtual banking assistant replies natural language messages from customers, such as where the closest ATM is, questions about credit and debit cards, and the amount of money left in their accounts.
- Wells Fargo claims it developed the chatbot to serve customers directly on social media, deliver information in the moment, and assist its users in making better informed financial decisions.
- The bank acknowledged that AI technology is important for catering to its customers, especially tech-savvy millennials and subsequent cohorts. Its virtual assistant also saves time and is more convenient for busy customers who already use Facebook Messenger.
- Wells Fargo mentioned that the virtual assistant helps free up its bankers so they can handle more complex tasks.
2. Capital One
- When Capital One launched Eno in 2017, it became the first US bank with a natural language SMS chatbot. Eno was introduced to help its customers efficiently manage their money via their mobile phones.
- The text-based chatbot allows Capital One customers to get information on their transaction history, credit limit, and account balance. It enables them to instantly pay bills as well. It can understand emojis and abbreviations.
- Capital One stated that it lunched Eno to establish a personalized relationship with its customers. The bank claims this is already working as several customers are beginning to form an emotional connection with the bot.
- Capital One initially introduced its own Amazon Alexa app, which accepts voice command inputs. This voice-enabled bot allows its customer to inquire about account balances and upcoming payments with their voice.
3. Ally Bank
- In 2015, Ally Bank introduced Ally Assist to its mobile banking app, making it one of the first banks to integrate a chatbot. With the virtual assistant, customers can perform functions like transferring money, making payments, and making deposits using voice or text.
- Ally Assist can also predict the needs of customers by examining their transactions and accounts to present them with “context-aware topics and messages to customers.”
- The virtual assistant learns from individual interactions and behavior in offer to offer customers information on spending/saving patterns and interest earned.
- Ally Bank launched Ally Assist to offer customers a deeper awareness of their banking activity and allow them to have more control of their money right at their fingertips.
- In 2017, USAA rolled out its Alexa Skill, a tool that allows members to bank through Amazon Alexa, without the typical command memorization required for learning a new skill.
- The innovative conversational artificial intelligence tool was built by Clinc, an AI platform. USAA customers are able to talk to the tool, similar to how they talk to human bankers.
- The bank introduced the tool to share spending insights with its customers, thus promoting good spending habits and making the life of its customers easier.
- Since the artificial intelligence conversational banking tool depends on neural network technology, rather than standard natural language processing, USAA customers are able to ask complex questions that a normal chatbot would not be able to answer.
- Mastercard launched artificial intelligence bots that enable customers to manage finances, in 2017. The company rolled out a bot for bank partners and one for merchants.
- The Mastercard bot for banks called KAI, offers customers the ability to request financial information on messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger. Mastercard KAI fulfills customer requests and can solve simple issues, thus enabling financial institution to create new and improved customer experiences.
- Customers can also ask KAI questions about their spending levels, purchase history, accounts, and learn more about cardholder benefits. According to Mastercard, the main aim of KAI is to offer personalized and contextual customer experience.
- Mastercard’s bot for merchants allows consumers to shop on messaging platforms and then “check out with the Masterpass global digital payment service.” Consumers can easily begin a simple conversation with a merchant and perform transactions without having to wait in line, visit the merchant’s app, or open their wallets.
- The company claims this bot was created to accelerate the “development of conversational commerce among merchant partners.”
- Both bots can be deployed to multiple channels, including websites, mobile, and messaging. The artificial intelligence bots can be used with Internet of Things devices as well.
6. American Express
- American Express unveiled its Facebook Messenger bot in 2016 to offer customers easy access to their accounts. American Express cardholders are able to get up-to-date information about purchases made on their cards through this bot.
- It also offers contextual recommendations, credit card benefit reminders, loyalty program messages, and information about past purchases by cost and industry.
- The company introduced this tool to streamline customer service for on-the-go consumers and to personalize credit management for cardholders.
POPULAR TECH SOLUTIONS FOR CONVERSATIONAL BANKING
- Kasisto’s artificial intelligence platform is called KAI. It helps financial institutions develop chatbots that their customers can use to review account information and make payments.
- The company claims its KAI chatbots can enable users to manage funds from more than one account. Its chatbots integrate into websites, smartphone apps, and dashboards for backend staff.
- Kasisto also offers a deep learning tool that banking chatbots can use to train new and advanced machine learning models. The company’s goal is to humanize digital experiences.
- It claims its chanots can answer over 80% of queries and has allowed some of its clients to reduce call center staff by 50%.
- In March 2020, Kasisto was named one of the world’s top ten most innovative artificial intelligence companies by Fast Company.
- Kasisto has flourished in countries like the UK and the UAE. It is only just gaining traction in the US. Mastercard and TD Bank are some of the financial institutions using Kasisto.
2. Nuance Virtual Assistant
- Nuance has an intelligent automated virtual assistant technology that its clients can use for customer self-service called Nina.
- The virtual assistant can answer questions with voice or text and can be integrated into company websites or mobile apps. It is compatible with texting applications and smart TVs.
- Nina can also be integrated into “human-assisted customer service engagements to help service agents.”
- Nuance claims Nina optimizes helps financial services companies foster excellent customer relationships via “transformative technologies that save time, heighten security, and personalize service, delivering optimal share of wallet.”
- The company’s software is developed for customer service for enterprises or larger companies. Financial services companies use Nina for customer onboarding and advisory.
- According to Nuance, over 90% of the 20 largest financial institutions worldwide use its solutions. These companies have seen a 15% decrease in average handle time.
- Virginia Credit Union, Barclays, and Royal Bank of Scotland are some of the financial institutions using Nuance.
- Clinc claims it is the “world leader in conversational AI research and its application for the enterprise.”
- The patented AI technology allows clients to accurately process requests, customize and personalize responses to fit their unique brand, and cater to a variety of audiences.
- Financial institutions like Fiserv are using Clinc’s technology to engage consumers in innovative ways and to enable effective online communication.
- USAA is another financial institution using Clinc. It is able to offer fully conversational and intelligent human interaction with the help of Clinc.
4. Finn AI
- Finn AI claims its best in class AI-powered chatbots for banks are thoroughly changing how banks cater to customers. It can be enabled for multiple languages and “sentiment analysis that allows the client company to detect the quality of the customer’s experience.”
- The chatbot can offer helpful responses based on customer queries, such as managing funds, making payments, and applications.
- Financial institutions using Finn AI have access to trends around the questions they get from customers. This can help them update their available data to match customer needs.
- Some of the financial institutions using Finn AI are ATB Financial, TymeBank, Fidor Bank, and Banpro Grupo Promerica.
5. Kinvey & NativeChat
- Kinvey is Progress Software’s chatbot technology. The company claims this technology enables financial institutions to develop chatbots for customer self-service transactions.
- According to Progress, Kinvey offers truly native digital experiences that adapt to the “most demanding users by using best of breed technologies for creating native apps across web, iOS, Android, PWAs and chat.”
- NativeChat is another artificial intelligence-driven chatbot by Progress. It allows financial institutions offer speedy 24/7 resolution across multiple channels, including web, voice, and mobile.
- Progress claims NativeChat improves call center performance by more than 30% and allows financial institutions to focus human customer support on complex tasks.
- NativeChat allows customers of financial institutions to find ATMs, negotiate late fees, and navigate banking offerings in order to find the ideal one for them. For insurance companies, NativeChat enables “customer self-service for claims, renewals and more, with a level of personalization that goes far beyond static web forms.”
- Some of the financial institutions using Progress’ artificial intelligence-based chatbots are Cashere, DBS, and Bank United.
- Botcore allows financial institutions to build bots that offer customers 24/7 personalized banking experience. The bots can also manage customer queries like human bankers and send out notifications to customers to strengthen engagement.
- They help with “processes like new customer acquisition, financial recommendations, customer behavior analysis, and fraud detection.”
- A few of the financial institutions using Botcore are Baja Finserv and ICICI Lombard Insurance.
CHATBOTS IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
Advantages of Chatbots
- Chatbots allow financial institutions to offer faster and more efficient customer service.
- Over 60% of financial advisors agree that chatbots solve simple problems, thus allowing them to spend more time on complex problems.
- Chatbots save banks more than 25% in customer support costs as some of their work can be delegated to these bots.
The State of Chatbots in Financial Services
- Financial institutions are reportedly bullish on chatbots. A survey by Personetics showed that the “financial services industry is getting closer to supporting conversational commerce and supporting projects that use chatbots to improve the overall customer experience.”
- More than 75% of financial institutions see chatbots as a feasible commercial solution now or in the nearest future (the next one to two years).
- At least 50% of financial institutions already have chatbot projects in place and most see a significant share of customer conversations handled by bots in five years or fewer.
How Chatbots are Viewed by Financial Institutions
- Financial institutions were asked about the “overarching view of the state of chatbots in financial services today” and exactly 62% surveyed stated that they see it as an exciting opportunity, one will become a reality in two years or less.
- Roughly 15% surveyed mentioned that chatbots are ready for primetime, while only 2.5% consider chatbots all hype and mentioned that it will “eventually die out.”
- At least 80% of financial institutions worldwide view chatbots as more of an opportunity, with less than 17% seeing it as equally a threat and an opportunity.
- Only 2% of financial institutions globally believe chatbots are more of a threat. Another 2% consider it to be neither a threat nor opportunity.
Financial Institutions with Plans to Implement Chatbots
- When asked whether they had immediate plans to use chatbots, 31% of financial institutions in a survey cited by The Financial Brand made it clear that they have an active chatbot project in place.
- Only 15% stated that they currently use chatbots, while 26% said they have plans within the next 12 months to use chatbots.
- Exactly 15% mentioned that they have plans to use chatbots within the next two to three years, with 13% having no plans to use the technology at all.
- These financial institutions were also asked what percentage of conversations would be managed by chatbots within the next three to five years. Exactly 32% implied that bots will take over 11% to 25% of conversations.
- Around 25% mentioned 25% to 50% of conversations, while 24% asserted that 51% to 75% of today’s customer conversations will be taken over by chatbots.
- Less than 12% believe chatbots will take over little to no customer conversations, with 7% of financial institutions implying that 76% to 90% of customer conversations will be taken over by chatbots. Only 1% stated that 91% to 100% of customer conversations will be handled by chatbots.
Shortfalls in Implementing Chatbots
- The main reason most financial institutions have not integrated chatbot is because they believe it comes with a significant risk of negative customer experience.
- Others claim response time by chatbots is inadequate as evidenced by the fact that 50% of banks using bots on Facebook Messenger take more than an hour to response.
- Regarding why more financial institutions have not implemented chatbots, 42% of financial organizations think they need external help to fully implement it.
- Up to 26% believe they are not ready to move forward with chatbots.
- Based on a study by Juniper Research, chatbots can save banks up to four minutes or $0.50-$0.70 per injury.
- In 2019, chatbots saved banks about $209 million. By 2023, bank cost savings through chatbots is expected to surpass $7 billion. This represents a 3400% growth in operational savings from 2019.
- Roughly 43% of customers mentioned that they handle their banking issues through a chatbot as opposed to going to a bank.
- Up to 85% of consumers will “interact with businesses without even speaking to a human.”
- In a survey of US banking customers, 44% mentioned that if chatbots could reliably answer their questions, they would prefer speaking to these bots, while 56% stated that they would prefer a real person either way.
- Exactly 43% of consumers will rather address issues with their banking provider using the bank’s live chat or chatbot.
HOW COVID-19 HAS AFFECTED THE USE OF CHATBOTS IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
- More financial institutions are turning to chatbots to manage the increased customer service queries precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a study by Dock9, roughly 70% of financial institutions are considering chatbots due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Due to stringent social distancing orders caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the call centers of several financial institutions are understaffed, especially since they have seen a 40% to 50% increase in call center volume.
- While call centers have long been a “frontier of workplace automation, the pandemic has accelerated the process. Organizations under pressure are more willing to try new tools. AI firms keen to take advantage are sweetening the incentives.”
- Although most of the largest banks in the US already have chatbots, they are finding that customers now have more complex questions, related to the pandemic. As a result, these financial institutions are updating or training their chatbots to handle these tricky questions.
- This would normally take time, however, chatbot providers like Kasisto and Finn AI “started drawing on their data about common new queries to equip their bots with the ability to handle basic questions about coronavirus, branch operations, hardship-relief options and applications to the Paycheck Protection Program.”
- Financial institutions with conversational banking tools are seeing a 50% increase in chatbot usage due to the pandemic.
- Since the pandemic, the “need for digital transactions has only soared higher.” Not only are consumers demanding more digital services, they want 24/7 service, which can only be efficiently offered through chatbots.