Why Bankbots will Shape Finance’s Future

For many, customer service is lacking at banks. Learn how artificial intelligence and chatbots are helping customer service in banking evolve.

Published on 1 August, 2017 | Last modified on 1 November, 2022

It’s not an uncommon complaint to hear that customer service is lacking when it comes to banks, given that financial institutions are, by nature, centers of finance and numbers. To think like a banker is often associated with a disconnect between emotions and reasoning, and with customer service, both of these skills are critical.

With more consumers choosing mobile and web-based apps to do their transactions, the gap continues to widen and the disconnect only becomes greater.

Thankfully, technology does provide a solution that can be used to enhance the image of customer service in banking:  artificial intelligence or chatbots.

Web Monitoring

At a very simple level, chatbots can be programmed to introduce themselves whenever a visitor comes to the page, giving the bank website a personal teller feel.

Chatbots can also be programmed to perform key actions on the site, like selecting the “forgot password” option when someone chooses the frequently asked questions page. If someone is having trouble accessing a certain page, the chatbot can be programmed to include a click-to-call button to connect the user to a live technician.

Abandoned Applications

Another area that chatbots are helpful is in intervening during an online loan application. Often, the information may be incomplete, or in some cases, the field being filled out may not be clear.

Having the ability to summon an AI support can ensure that applications are fully filled out before submission, avoiding time in delay and mistakes.

bankbots are changing the future of financeCross Selling

A lot of financial institutions have found success with programming chatbots to cross sell products based on the end user behavior.

An example would be if someone opens a business account online or applies for one. The chatbot then informs the user of the small business loan products that are available with the interest rates and then offers to walk the user through an application or to connect directly to a bank representative.

Voice Bots

While chat-based customer service is a well-developed market, voice-based AI is still in its infancy. Good examples of this are Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Echo.

The technology is being developed now to embed a virtual assistant in your phone that is linked to your banking information, allowing you to have a conversation with a virtual teller.

And Beyond

To take these ideas further, begin to imagine the unique applications AI has to offer finance.

For example, in personal finance, you could have a budget bot that won’t allow you to perform transactions past your set limits or outside of your pre-programmed budget. This can be an effective way to save money if you are willing to give the machine some level of control.

In personal finance and investing, a chat bot could monitor real-time stock information and move investments and perform transactions based on the user’s investment risk profile and desired rate of return. Machine-based investing on a personal level could analyze the data patterns infinitely faster than a human could.

The applications for AI and chatbots in the financial industry are unique and challenging. While their intent is to assist in engaging with the customer at a deeper level and streamlining efficiencies, financial institutions need to ensure that the software is an additional support stream rather than the only support stream. Removing humans from the customer service equation will only serve to further damage the image of banks and customer service.

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