Does your bank have an AI-powered conversational program that interacts with clients? Don’t worry, this techno-style description refers to simple chatbots. They replace human operators in the role of a helpful intermediary that knows everything about target products/services. Conversational machines are useful.
Moreover, chatbots are pretty popular. Gartner predicts that 85% of customers will interact with enterprises via bots by 2020. Particularly, that’s valid for the banking sector. With thousands of customers and tons of valuable data, humans just can’t handle it all. Chatbots help by taking care of customer support, and omnichannel connections.
So, what to do if your business requires a boost but the tech looks too complicated? It’s not a big deal. We at DICEUS have enough experience in building chatbots for banks . Our clients are financial institutions from Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Today, we want to share a bit of our knowledge to help you understand the concept.
Basics of chatbots
Let’s start with a key point. What are chatbots? In a nutshell, they are software programs designed to interact with humans through one or a few channels. Most often, bots can talk to customers via text or by voice. Exact objectives depend on the industry but the main goal is always the same: to help people in something.
When we talk about banking, bots have a lot of use cases. Being deployed as personal assistants available at any time, they provide users with actual financial data, help to manage their money, grant access to banks’ interfaces, and so on. Today, chatbots aren’t odd toys. They’re almost inevitable parts of the banking infrastructure.
If you’re interested in bot development but don’t have enough IT skills, check out the guide dedicated to IT outsourcing for banks .
Benefits and opportunities
Get us right: even the most tailored software can’t solve all the business problems. But it’s way simpler to solve them with powerful and updated programs than without them. Bots can boost your bank’s success greatly. Further, we list five crucial advantages and potential benefits of conversational bots in the banking industry:
- Cost savings. If developed properly, a chatbot can replace all your human operators. Respectively, the bank saves on salaries and social security. In maintenance, the software is cheaper than humans, you know.
- Ease of use. It’s like a text or voice chat with a human. By using advanced AI-based chatbots, customers can talk naturally and don’t be afraid of being misunderstood. Moreover, thanks to machine learning, bots become better and better over time.
- Instant and round-the-clock support. Machines don’t need to rest and don’t fly on vacations. They’re in your smartphone or at the bank’s website all the time. And they’re insanely quick when compared to humans.
- Next-gen personalization. Chatbots get access to personal data, analyze it in no time, and deliver responses that are the best for each particular client. They can even help with financial management, not only basic requests like a credit score check.
- United channels. The FIS 2019 report shows that 75% of bank connections are either online or mobile. Still, there are branches, phones, ATMs, etc. One bot for all channels can provide the best experience regardless of the chosen interaction way.
Together, these benefits lead to higher customer engagement and retention, as well as lower expenses. What’s more important, chatbots become a new industry best practice. Soon, the world will shift from «if a bank has a bot, it’s a valuable advantage» to «if a bank doesn’t have a bot, it’s a significant flaw».
Still, chatbots aren’t flawless. Similarly to any software product, they come with bugs, lags, and performance dips. Developers improve programs constantly but they need more time to create a perfect tool without issues at all. That’s why it’s important to understand not only advantages but also drawbacks and weaknesses. Let’s look at them:
- Accents and languages. It’s a critical issue for multinational banks with voice-based bots. When a text system can be paired with a translator, voice machines are more tangled. Reliable AI voice translators are still expensive and difficult.
- Conversational aspects. Sadly, the systems we see today aren’t ideal. For example, they can’t answer several questions simultaneously so it imposes extra restrictions. You should foresee the required processing power based on the number of customers.
- Customers that don’t use bots. While millennials and homelanders are familiar with digital stuff, there are a lot of users who prefer more traditional ways: phone calls, personal interactions. It’s pretty meaningless to target them with chatbots.
- Limited dialog options. Sometimes, basic bots don’t have a free dialogue option. Instead, they offer a customer to choose from a range of questions or issues. This approach is already a bit outdated as devs can create more advanced software.
- Usage and development. While bots and AI systems aren’t totally new things for employees/developers, it’s still not a simple task to find experienced users. Thus, banks can face implementation problems.
Remember that it’s possible to get rid of some limitations. It all depends on your requirements and budget. Our experts can analyze your banking infrastructure along with market demand/supply to find the best development solution.
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Chatbots in modern banking
Moving further, what do you think about the exact best practices of chatbots today? We’ve reviewed their strengths and weaknesses but how these systems can help in the real world? This section is all about it.
With the constant rise of AI-driven systems, more and more banks start thinking about these tools. To choose or develop everything with the highest efficiency, you want to understand ways in which chatbots boost business processes. Here they are.
Our experts can tell more about AI systems for all interested clients. To begin with this topic, read about our AI-focused services.
1. Customer support
Chatbots can become a viable alternative to human operators in support centers. Thanks to machine learning opportunities, bots can process numerous requests and become more professional in responses. It’s also easy to integrate support systems into messenger apps and/or social media.
2. Feedback aggregation
As we approach the era of evolution, users’ feedback becomes more and more important. Through bots, banks can gather valuable data more efficiently. For instance, a customer can be asked to complete a quick survey after the conversation. More comprehensive approaches include automated data collection from all interactions.
3. Lead generation
Chats are wonderful when it comes to initial acquisition. They are faster than email responses and more convenient than phone calls, especially for younger generations. Moreover, it’s more profitable for banks. Employees can easily collect and analyze data to deliver better follow-up offers.
Prominent use cases
Fine. It’s clear that chatbots can help a lot when it comes to customer satisfaction, response speed, and overall convenience. They save the business money and time. To understand the importance of bots, we propose you to look at a few examples – already implemented software programs that work in modern banks successfully.
These examples are divided into two large categories by the development principle. The first one includes systems created by internal bank IT teams. Most often, the largest and richest banks can afford the creation of powerful bots. Alternatively, the second category includes tools developed by external groups. This approach is simpler and more cost-efficient.
Want to understand mobile and online bank development better? Take a look at another article that tells about banking apps .
1. Native bank bots
These chatbots are the results of hard and long work. A bank can create such bots when it understands that it has enough IT professionals with relevant skills in AI, machine learning, conversational systems, natural language processing, and so on. On the one hand, in-house development provides for better control and flexibility. But it’s pretty expensive and requires access to a large talent pool.
Some of the notable internal bank chatbots are as follows:
- Eno by Capital One. A text-based bot that helps users to check balances and transactions, get due dates, pay credits, etc. Eno recognizes several styles of communication, including full sentences and shortened appeals.
- Erica by Bank of America. It’s another text bot. It allows checking credits and debits, transferring money, paying bills, and more. It’s interesting that in two months after the launch, Erica got 1 million users.
- Aida by SEB. The third example is a text-based platform, too. Aida works for both end-users and internal employees who can ask her various questions about the bank. Sadly, this bot is integrated into the website, not in the app.
As you can see, internally-created bots are pretty simple. All of them utilize text conversations. While internal products can be a viable option for wealthy companies, outsourced development is more popular and more affordable for SMBs.
2. Third-party systems
These chatbots are created by external teams for one or several clients – different banks, financial institutions, and other firms. The concept of outsourcing is more beneficial in terms of money/time expenses because external workers are usually cheaper than internal IT groups. Still, it also requires proper planning and control. The key challenge is to cooperate with a reliable and experienced outsourcing firm. A-and we know one. DICEUS, to be precise.
Okay, now, let’s check out these prominent products from third-party devs:
- Clinc. There are a few products from this team. For instance, Finie Personal delivers detailed reports and advice. Finie Wealth recommends investment options and analyzes portfolios. Both apps are available as bots for text/voice interactions.
- Finn AI. Based on AI and machine learning power, this program recognizes text messages and can provide relevant answers. It’s perfectly-trained with thousands of iterations. Among the clients, there are teams like Banpro and Bank of Montreal.
- KAI. Developed by Kasisto, this bot handles both text and audio conversations and even understands intents. It can be deployed on mobile and web platforms, as well as in messengers. The clients include DBS, Standard Chartered, and Mastercard.
- Personetics Assist. Apart from voice/text processing, this chatbot comes with advanced prediction tools. It can analyze each customer’s activity and financial history to deliver the best suggestions. The brightest client is Royal Bank of Canada.
- Trim. As for now, Trim is a separate app that helps users to manage subscriptions. It deletes duplicates, looks for more profitable options, and negotiates payments. Further, authors promise to add financial management and literacy functions.
What’s more important, the cooperation between banks and other parties is one of the main points of open banking initiatives. Basically, it requires banking groups to allow developers to access customers’ data (with preliminary consent, of course) via open APIs. This idea foresees turning bank infrastructures into analogs of app stores. Thus, devs will be able to launch new innovative apps and services using banks as launch platforms.
Upcoming trends of chatbots in banking
In addition to previously-mentioned reports, Outgrow with links to Business Insider, Foye and Mindbrowser list a few intriguing stats. For instance, they say that 96% of all businesses think that chatbots will be used in future actively. By 2020, 80% of enterprises are predicted to integrate an automated bot system of any type. Finally, by 2022, up to 90% of all chatbots in banks will be automated for even higher efficiency.
Further, chatbots will evolve. We can expect for more voice-based systems that will replace operators, for IoT-integrated bots that share functions with smart assistants, more advanced software programs that will be able to process more requests and handle simultaneous conversations, etc. Regardless of the needed type, we can help you with these bots.
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