Live Chat and Messenger as a Starting Point
Many people think of chatbots when they think of conversational banking, but chat dialogs with bank employees also fall into this category. In this country, for example, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg has integrated a messenger channel into e-banking with ubichat. This allows bank customers to chat directly with their bank via the e-banking application and thus initiate a dialog at eye level to clarify their concerns. Messenger and live chats are also an excellent starting point for more advanced conversational banking, such as consultations via video chat. In this way, people who do not want to visit a branch in person for health reasons or because of their overcrowded schedule can conveniently talk to a customer advisor via video. Thanks to image transmission, the emotions of the counterpart are conveyed very well despite the physical distance. This helps to avoid misunderstandings and allows the participants in the conversation to adapt to each other individually.
Use Chatbots correctly
PostFinance was one of the first Swiss banks to introduce chat with a machine instead of a chat with employees. The chatbot is publicly available on the website and helps to clarify concerns about new and existing products around the clock, on the one hand in self-service and at the same time in natural dialog. The automated chat is intended to relieve customer service so that they have more time for complex inquiries. This example shows that automated chats must be adapted to the use cases to be answered. At Swiss PostFinance, the chatbot is very general and can answer a wide range of questions. By using artificial intelligence, the chatbot understands free text input well and can also usually provide a suitable answer. If, on the other hand, very specific queries were involved, this type of chatbot would not be very suitable: Here, the input of free text often leads to misunderstandings.
Talking about Finances with Voicebots?
In addition to live chat, messenger and chatbot, there are other forms of conversational banking: For example, anyone who doesn’t like to write is well served by a voicebot. The voicebot responds automatically and in natural language to typical customer queries such as “When is my branch open?” or “Where is the nearest ATM? In this way, bank customers can also control their e-banking app or check their account balance, for example. But what about the protection of sensitive data with voicebots? The St. Galler Kantonalbank, which already offers this feature, emphasizes that the audio files are not stored and that data protection remains intact. So maybe we’ll all soon be asking Alexa, Siri or Google for our account balance.
Do you want to get started right away? Even if this all sounds great, you should plan the use of conversational banking well. In the next article, I will explain the most important steps on the way to conversational banking.
Sophie Hundertmark is a PhD student at the Institute of Financial Services Zug IFZ and also works as an independent consultant for the strategic support and implementation of chatbot projects. She is doing her PhD on the use of chatbots in the banking and insurance sector.