AI-powered chatbots are the next big trend in emerging technology, with Venture Beat reporting there are currently 11,000 messenger chatbots live on Facebook. Several industries, from eCommerce to athletics to medicine, are looking for ways to implement artificial intelligence into their operations. While these chatbots are relatively new, they’ve already attracted a lot of attention in finance.
The Benefits of AI Bots for Banking
Historically, banking has been among the most resistant industries to embrace digital transformation, but technology-driven customers want to interact with banks on their own terms. Calling in or waiting in teller lines is no longer a reasonable customer expectation, any online and mobile services have taken banks in the right direction. However, customer service is often limited along with business hours.
The solution? AI-powered chatbots fill in the gap between humans and websites. Banks can rely on AI to better understand their customers, cutting down on the amount of basic inquiries taking up teller and support time. How do they do it? Natural language processing. A customer asks a question, and the bot processes their request to deliver the most relevant information. Machine learning improves the accuracy of the chatbot responses.
Direct employee engagement is still necessary for questions outside of the bot’s parameters, but inquiry volume is cut down drastically for a more efficient use of resources.
Bank Bots IRL
MasterCard is one of the first adopters of an AI bot intended for banks and other financial services companies. Their bot can handle several customer problems and inquiries through a conversational processing algorithm. The algorithm monitors a customer’s spending habits, answers their questions about personal finance and answers account questions via third-party messaging services. Other large financial processors will keep a close eye on MasterCard’s offering to determine how they should shape their own.
Bank of America is another company taking the bank chatbot plunge. Their bot “Erica” aims to help customers make better financial decisions. It receives personalized information about customer spending categories, and dispenses advice for how to address debt problems and money-saving tips. Bank of America’s approach moves away from strict customer service, and explores the possibility of creating a value-added experience for consumers. The organization benefits in the long run—the bot enables customers to make better financial decisions, resulting in their qualifying for more credit cards and mortgages. It’s a win-win.
AI Bots’ Future in Banking
Banks, startups and venture capital firms don’t have a clear view of AI bots’ future. The first forays into this area seek out ways to automate many processes, incorporating predictive analytics and improving natural language processing through machine learning. As this technology matures, the business world will watch which AI bots rise and fall to determine the right direction to take development.
For now, it’s an anything-goes field with a lot of experimentation. Banks took their time to embrace digital transformations, but they’re making up for it now in the quest to win over millennials as they buy homes and invest their money.