7 Chatbots to Enhance Real-Time Customer Experience for Banking (Part 1)

Mike Togle
June 14, 2017

There has been a significant increase in the use of chatbots the past few years, and one reason for this can be attributed to the rise of 1:1 messaging applications. With more of these 1:1 messaging apps supporting chatbots, more people are now using them than social networks. In 2016, there were more than 11,000 chatbots in Facebook Messenger alone.

Results from eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark survey show that 73% of respondents shared that they are highly satisfied with live chat across various customer service channels. Customers prefer such channels because their questions can be addressed quickly, and it is arguably the most efficient way to communicate.

In terms of enhancing User Experience, conversations have become a necessary ingredient as they allow customers to seamlessly connect to brands; their products and services. Customers will not need to download, learn new interfaces, or understand how to navigate complex menus. The experience becomes natural for the user since it flows just like any normal conversation.

Several industries are already making use of chatbots, whether in-app, Facebook Messenger, or SMS. Even the conservative, ‘offline’ industries are affected by this recent digital disruption.

Check out how these 7 chatbots provide better customer experience for banking customers.

Chatbot 1. POSB Digibank Virtual Assistant – DBS Bank (Facebook Messenger)

South-east Asia’s largest bank The Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) launched its chatbot POSB Digibank Virtual Assistant on Facebook Messenger. The chatbot is powered by KAI, a conversational chatbot by Kasisto. For now, the chatbot can only address queries on DBS products and banking services. Customers can inquire the location of the nearest self-service banking machines or DBS/POSB branches and the corresponding operating hours. The chatbot can also provide information on how to avail of banking services such as checking the account balance or making credit card payments.

The chatbot is unable to assist the customer in making any banking services but by the middle of 2017, customers will be able to manage money across accounts, track expenses, ask for account balance, transfer funds, and make card payments. There are also plans to allow users to access the chatbot in other messaging apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat, freeing it from a dependency on one social media platform.

Chatbot 2. ABSA ChatBanking – ABSA Bank (Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Message)

ABSA Bank Limited, a subsidiary of the Barclays Africa Group, created the ABSA ChatBanking on Facebook Messenger and Twitter. The chatbot allows customers to do their banking on their favorite social media platforms. Upon registering to the bank’s online channel, and adding their profile for ChatBanking, the chatbot can help customers check their balance, purchase airtime, data and electricity, and pay beneficiaries.

ABSA assures customers that their data is safe. In the event that the customer’s cellphone is stolen or should the account get hacked, the thief or hackers will not be able to access sensitive information since the chatbot will never display account numbers nor personal details in the social media platforms.

Chatbot 3. Digibank India – DBS Bank (Application)

Unlike DBS Bank’s POSB Digibank Virtual Assistant on Facebook Messenger, the Kasisto chatbot in Digibank Application for India offers more services. Digibank is DBS Bank’s ‘mobile-only’ bank that requires no physical branches and is completely paperless. The mobile-bank operates digitally since the application makes use of biometrics, artificial intelligence (AI), and natural language recognition and processing.

The chatbot, which is integrated in the mobile app, makes use of the AI-powered virtual assistant KAI by Kasisto. Customers can ask the chatbot for customer-service related questions, to make payments, and even transfer money. This chatbot also has the ability to converse with customers. If a customer suddenly asks an unrelated question, the chatbot will respond if it knows the answer and then returns to the banking-related topic that was being discussed.

Chatbot 4. Erica – Bank of America (Application)

In 2016, Bank of America unveiled an in-app chatbot named ‘Erica’ — a digital assistant that helps customers manage their finances through the bank’s mobile app. Erica makes use of artificial intelligence and cognitive messaging to help customers check balances and make payments.

Erica is available 24/7 to execute transactions and provide guidance. The customers can ask for help with looking up their FICO score, and ask for suggestions on educational videos and other content that they should watch. Using predictive analytics, Erica can identify the customer’s spending pattern and then provide recommendations on ways they could increase savings, reduce debt, and more. In 2017, Bank of America will upgrade Erica’s features to include P2P and bill split functions.

In Part 2 of this article, we share how more chatbots are changing the face of different financial service brands in the banking sector. Watch for our conclusion on the benefits that chatbots bring to customers.


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