Banking AI

How Banking Virtual Assistants will upgrade client experience through automation

In the age of automation, artificial intelligence has changed the face of the banking sector, like several other industries. Modern consumers expect organizations they trust with their money to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technological and digital security solutions. Customer services should not be an exception to this rule. Implementing automation in terms of virtual assistants or chatbots will not only improve the brand image but will also help in terms of operational efficiency and costs. However, the age of a regular virtual assistant is pretty much the talk of the previous decade. We have reached the age of the fourth generation, which will use the most advanced and future machine learning mechanisms to deliver a realistic user experience. To quote Dhananjaya Tambe, the Deputy Managing Director, and Chief Information Officer of the State Bank of India from an article in FinTech News, “Gen-IV is where we’re likely heading – chatbots powered by state-of-the-art voice recognition technology, so that the assistant can recognize me beyond doubt based on my speech mannerism and voice patterns, and conduct all types of transactions.”

The relevance of such advanced chatbots is not hard to understand for a user unfamiliar with the concept. It works just like popularized virtual assistant products such as Alexa or Siri, albeit with algorithms set by the banking service on its website. And leading banks are already following similar branding techniques to make the virtual assistants accessible and humanly relatable to their consumers such as Erica from Bank of America and Eno by Capital One. Virtual assistant characters with a more anthropomorphic design such as Amy by HSBC and Amelia by IPsoft have also been introduced for a more life-like experience.

The presentation and execution of these virtual assistants depend on the bank and its brand image in the eyes of its customers. The common factor of these chatbots remains to be useful guidance via intelligent conversations, taking voice commands, and performing financial transactions, such as online transfers, bill payments, and even sending loan applications and respond to queries and complaints.

The new technology means a far more sophisticated and personal response instead of a template-based text prompt. Not only are the next generation chatbots with improved machine learning language processing abilities will be able to make transactions on voice instructions, but they can also analyze data and initiate action on their own. It is a win-win for the banking industry, which offers quality, intelligent 24-hour automated customer service without adding to its human resource expenditure. Especially because consumers also overwhelmingly favor resolution to their problems without human interaction. According to the Aspect Consumer Experience Index, at least 70 percent of millennial females prefer an automated customer service solution.[1] 65% of all Americans prefer resolving issues without having to talk to a customer service representative.

If anything, such automation will help banking corporations cut redundant positions and save on the current cost of customer service. Human customer service representatives are timebound and compared to the current advances in artificial intelligence, even inefficient. A comparison of the projection of the annual costs of the current live chat support representatives with an investment in a chatbot platform can clearly show what monetary benefits switching to the AI model will entail, both in the short and long term. A study by Juniper suggests that the success rate of bots will exceed 90% for the banking sector by 2022.[2] The same report estimates no less than $8 billion industry cost saved by the chatbot innovation.

It is simple physics more than anything else as chatbots can efficiently handle countless other queries and conversations as compared to human customer service representatives. There is little surprise that corporations are increasingly investing to incorporate chatbot mechanisms for their customer relationship model. This is a ripe time for corporations of all kinds - banks, in particular, to respond to the wave of the future. That is what automation in live chat support means, and the odds are that your competition is already at it.

However, this by no means implies that chatbots necessarily mean doom for the customer service professionals in the industry. We surely are pacing toward that direction, but organizations can also make it a strength to have a strong AI foundation complement a vigilant human customer service team, who can rely on the technology for delivering a more efficient service.

Michael Hausman, the Chief Data Science Officer at RapportBoost.AI, very rightly points out the kind of mix corporations need in this day and age. "In the same way that bots need humans behind them, we believe that humans need artificial intelligence behind them as well. We've found that human agents can engage customers more effectively when they've been coached by algorithms trained on large volumes of chats and when they're offered up real-time recommendations about what to say and when. The agents improve their performance, and the artificial intelligence gets smarter with each interaction, so it's a win-win."[3]

My team at SDS helps out corporations with these very solutions. We offer full-service consulting and code implementation for executives and businesses and prepare tailored solutions for your business using data science methodology. You can consult SDS for discussing the right chatbot solution for your banking service and get a solution crafted just for your brand.

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