Financial institutions are facing increasing competition, bigger demands from customers, and the need to reduce costs all at the same time.
It’s no wonder they are turning to technology – including advanced artificial intelligence – to achieve all of these goals. Chatbots are perhaps at the heart of this.
This seemingly “simple” technology is far-reaching, providing an opportunity for banks to be able to provide near one-on-one service that comprehensively changes the playing field. There are various applications to the use of chatbots and, of course, there are some situations in which true human interaction is necessary. Yet, increasingly, chatbots are filling some key areas with a profound impact.
How Chatbots Fit Into Banking
Chatbots are computer programs designed to provide a live chat environment to consumers on behalf of a company without the need of a customer service representative to be behind it. It is a form of artificial intelligence. These digital tools work to take in the information being provided and create solutions, information, and answers to concerns in real time. They operate around the clock, consistently providing a good level of communication and service to customers and clients. Take a look at a few companies that are using them and the various ways they are filling the gaps in communication.
Bank of America’s Erica
Perhaps one of the most interesting and well-known ways that chatbots are working in this field is through voice- and text-enabled chatbots. Bank of America launched Erica in this area. Erica is a digital, intelligent assisted. It helps the company’s customers to make banking decisions at a higher level. Erica is very diverse in that it can offer a range of tools to the customer. It sends notifications. It shows consumers where they can save money. It can even help with bill pay and FICO score management.
Capital One’s Eno
Eno is a text-enabled chatbot from Capital One. Consumers can ask Eno a wide range of questions. This is a smartphone application that allows the bank to provide on-the-go support to the customer. The user can ask for a balance. They can search payment history. They can pay their credit card bill. They can also request a credit limit increase. All of this is done through a text message sent to the Eno app. Capital One launched an Alexa skill in 2016 (to enable Amazon’s Alexa to provide information). Eno is a step up from the company. Imagine a customer asking the app how much they spent on a specific type of purchase in the last six months.
Ally Bank was one of the first financial institutions to put in place a chatbot feature. It launched its initial chatbot in 2015. It is called Ally Assist, and that is just what it does. This chatbot is a virtual assisted that works within the company’s online banking app, Ally Mobile Banking. With it, customers are able to through voice or text to handle various bank functions. This can help with account monitoring, spending tracking, transfers, and deposits. It also offers several options for saving – teaching the consumer how to save money. A nice feature here is that Ally Bank uses a natural language component which allows it to grow it to address the most common service queries.
JPMorgan Chase’s COIN
Not all applications for chatbots are customer-focused. There are many ways in which chatbots can work on the other side as well. For example, JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the United States, is using COIN as a back office tool. It is a highly intelligent bot in that it can take complex amounts of data including legal contracts and analyze it within a matter of minutes. This is far more efficient than the use of an attorney, for example. And, with it, it can produce very accurate information that can then be used to make key decisions. COIN technology goes further, too. It can help to manage employee emails, reduces expenses, and helps companies to monitor access to computer software programs. It’s also designed to handle the most common tech questions.
Today, the use of artificial intelligence through chatbots is growing. It is reliable, cost-effective, and even profit-boosting. With such a diverse number of ways in which chatbots can help businesses and consumers, it is likely their applications and presence will only continue to grow.