Chatbots : The Name You Can Bank Upon

As computing power expands and smartphones become more ubiquitous, artificial intelligence algorithms get better, it is but natural that chatbots and conversational commerce are being applied in all domains.

The banking and financial industry traditionally tends to be the largest spenders on technology given the performance needs of the industry and the complicity of most financial transactions.

Chatbots are going to change the basic nature of the industry and the way we bank in the future (being created today)

Chatbots have been quite popular in the banking industry recently from answering queries to making and scheduling payments and other financial transactions. Swedbank AB’s Nina answers 40,000 customer calls every month, and resolves about 80% of queries at first contact. Also, HSBC’s virtual assistant “Amy”, was recently introduced to respond to general customer queries.

Banks are aiming to cut down operational costs and make services more accessible and convenient to perform 24x7x365 without the need to go to a branch. This automatically provides for an expansion of the services and offerings at the same time increasing capacity.  

According to a report by Juniper Research, chatbots are expected to help save global banks over US$8 billion per year by 2022. The report also estimates that a single chatbot inquiry will save approximately four minutes in comparison to traditional call center inquiries.  

Let’s look at the pain-points in the banking industry:-

  • Long on call waiting time
  • Inconsistency : Different customer service agents give different answers (41%)
  • Customer service agents don’t know the answer (34%)
  • Can’t find answer on website (31%)
  • An exponential increase in the number of new applications

Many of them can be resolved with right implementation of chatbots and will bring better customer satisfaction and hence, better business results with lower operational costs and better retention.

Now let’s take a look at the features that can be implemented in a chatbot for banking purpose:-

  • Current Balance inquiry
  • Transaction History
  • Payments and reconciliations
  • Locate nearest ATMs and branch based on the user’s location or zip code entry
  • Transfer Funds
  • Customer feedback & measurements
  • Switch to categorized hotlines for exceptions
  • FAQ – Customer Service Queries across Categories

These are just some of the basic ones that are currently being targeted. There are many more that can be implemented to provide for an always available intelligent interface for a customer to transact on to fulfil their banking needs.

Chatbots can be extremely beneficial for banks to reduce their service volumes to more automated channels

For customers

  • Chatbots promise a better, faster experience
  • Less time spent waiting for call center service or ineffective web chat support
  • Accessible via a conversation medium from a ubiquitous smartphone

For banks

  • No need to setup tech personnel and infrastructure
  • Out of the box / cloud hosted or on-premise technology solution
  • Minimal setup and easy integration
  • A rich set of analytics, utilization & trending reports
  • High Operational efficiency
  • 24/7 always on intelligent customer service
  • Eliminates the issue of mobile app uninstalls

There has been lot said about the potential of chatbots in the Finance industry,

We have already seen many of the banks like SwedBank & HSBC taking the initiative and cutting their costs with more operational efficiency. Banks still have to improve the chatbot experience further to make it the channel of choice for customers. Rest assured chatbots are here to stay for obvious advantages and will soon become an increasing part of our lives as consumers, employees and surely will be the primary access path for satisfying all our banking needs in the not too distant future.

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Engati – A Coviam Technologies Platform.