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In our digital age, banks need to constantly improve user experience by adopting innovations within IT budget allowance to remain competitive. Up for consideration are chatbots and virtual assistants, which can provide real-time customer assistance and support, while reducing costs for banks.
They come in different shapes and sizes – including different voices – and are predicted to be widely used in the future.
As of early 2020, pre-pandemic, the number of financial institutions that had deployed chatbots had only risen from 4 percent to 13 percent, according to Cornerstone Advisors research. However, 16 percent of the surveyed institutions said they planned to invest in chatbots in 2021.
The added value of AI
To offer an optimal and personalised user journey with chatbots, the value of data must be explored. Understanding customer demands is crucial to implementing bots in the critical stages of the customer journey. This can be achieved when Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms are used to support data analysis for a customised experience.
The chatbot is not a replacement, but an assistant that optimises and speeds up the work of customer service staff by filtering incoming requests and handling the most frequent ones. In banking, AI and machine learning thus become an added value for everyone involved, from users to specialised operators.
Making lives easier for the customer
Many of us are already familiar with virtual assistants to play music – voice instruction can be very useful not just at home, but also within a bank branch. When designing voice AI for banking, the main objective is to assist customers to complete their transactions, especially in the absence of a human personnel.
At the heart of this innovation is customer ease and humanisation. It can personalise communication and promotions to strengthen brand messaging and interaction. The voice combines multiple elements including the name and characteristics of the customer with dynamic fluidity, and quickly unravels doubts with a positive effect on the conversation to boost engagement.
By using a banking virtual assistant, banks can benefit from a reduced number of costs related to customer assistance and an improvement in the service offered.
For example, operators can handle fewer calls to boost productivity as they can focus on completing other tasks. Moreover, a virtual assistant can significantly reduce waiting times by dealing with customer queries, thus further enhancing user experience.
Advantages for the end customer
Providing customers with an emotional connection improves the banking experience and can be helpful when making critical decisions. The continuous availability of the virtual assistant creates a sense of trust by being available 24/7 and increases customer loyalty.
Older banking customers, that are accustomed to being led by human staff within the bank, will more easily adapt to new technologies thanks to the human touch provided by voice AI.
Furthermore, the voice guidance system could be a valuable aid on the subject of accessibility. The beacons, motion sensors and onboarding on the welcome pad could help identify blind and visually impaired people; also, it could enable customising voice dialogues and interfaces based on the needs of specific categories of the population.
Auriga aims to improve its products by integrating AI modules where it is necessary. We are equipping products such as ATM, ASST, and the kiosk channel with virtual assistant and chatbot capabilities to support users and leverage the existing data as a knowledge base.
If properly trained, AI can also support the internet and mobile channels. For example, a remote banking assistant service is currently being worked into our Bank4Me product to provide voice banking.
Conversational banking can therefore play a vital role in taking the customer banking experience to the next level. Not only do chatbots and virtual assistants protect customers against fraud using voice authentication for their transactions, but it also generates trust.
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