Why are Bots Becoming the Front Face of Banks?

by March 7, 2018 0 comments

Capitalizing on technology for customer experience, starting by mapping the vision of clients and matching it with their knowledge to make personalized products and services in real time, is what the Fintech movement is all about. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Alibaba have the best customer relationship models today. They’re on the top because of their extensive use of digital technology and analytics to improve their marketing and sales process, reduce costs, increase efficiency and enhance customer experience.

According to Gartner, by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with an enterprise without interacting with a human. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella mentions bots as being the ‘new app’. Chatbots are being rightly seen as a threat to their human counterparts, because of their ability to endlessly and tirelessly pursue long conversations. Juniper predicts that by 2022, all major sectors deploying chatbots will witness a US$8 billion of cost savings on a whole. To add to that, it’s also been proved that on an average and in comparison to traditional call centers, a chatbot saves 4 minutes on a call.

Automation in the banking industry helps to streamline processes and ensures that new AI-based business models transform the distribution and consumption of banking products. On an average, consumers are now more willing to let computers guide and advise them about their financial lives. Banks should achieve a relevancy in both physical and digital spaces and for all financial and non-financial services. With the advent of digitalization, the banking industry has now become a consumer-to-business (C2B) industry. According to a survey conducted by Accenture in 2017 covering about 33,000 users across 18 countries, 71% of the consumers were willing to switch to robo-advisors for guidance and 1 in every 3 was open to the idea of switching to the “Bank of GAFA” (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple). Being one of the most promising and conversational interfaces available today, the AI backed platforms are being aggressively harnessed by banking industries today to set the customer experience bar higher.

A huge market opportunity exists for chatbots because mobile now plays a crucial role in financial services and particularly in banking. The machine learning capabilities of the chatbots along with the abundance of data available to the financial services firms will help provide highly targeted offers to users. Right products being delivered at the right time to the right consumer can help increase conversion rates as a result.

Also, for users already hooked on to some or the other applications like WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and the likes of them need not alter their mobile behavior to which they are used to. Financial services chatbots can be seamlessly integrated with such apps thus removing an important barrier to entry. Facebook Messenger has around 1 billion active users and last year it opened its Messenger platform to chatbots as a part of a well thought out omnichannel strategy.

Accessibility issue is a leading factor that prevents millennials from relying too much on mobile banking services. But now with ‘lifestyle banking’ taking over, imagine having a conversational interface with predictive systems plugged into your bank account, keeping a track of your balance, bills to be paid, analyzing spending patterns meanwhile also guiding on how to save better or where to invest. A banking bot will thoroughly ease out the lives of its users by handling their finances and explaining complex concepts to them. For instance, MasterCard has a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that allows its customers to review their purchase history, spending habits, and account balance.

Chatbots can implement various techniques like end-to-end encryption, self-destructing messages and authentication timeouts that will help improve security immensely and prevent fraudulent practices as well. Operating on a 24*7 basis, chatbots can help users avoid navigation issues with users giving a simple command to their bot transfer funds or initiate a bill payment at a given date and time.

Apart from automating mundane tasks for customers, chatbots have not yet evolved to the point of becoming a bank’s face. Automated programs for helping consumers meet their financial goals is what the banks should be really targeting. Thanks to digitization, understanding the consumer’s latent needs and redefining their touchpoints has become a priority for the banking industry. And with bots getting more intelligent due to AI advancements, it’ll be of great importance to the business of banks to build more intimate customer relationships.

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