Banking Bots: Is it the right time to cash-in?
Posted: Jan 16, 2017
"What will banking be in two, three years? It’s going to be this." declared Michelle Moore, Digital Banking Head for Bank of America, as she unveiled Erica. Master card followed suit, as they formally launched Kai to their customers across the globe. But who or what are Erica and Kai?
They’re chatbots just like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, except they’re very good with numbers. Especially the ones in your bank account.
Siri, Cortana and their compatriots are fun, but what if bot platforms could offer functionality too? Like telling you about your monthly credit limit, your average spend on groceries, or even calculating your tax? That’s exactly what banking bots can do, and a lot more. They can emulate any of the functions of your personal financial accountant, and that too with a big smiley face. Their turnaround time is significantly smaller, or as efficient as that of a human banker, but at much cheaper rates, which makes them the proverbial ‘Golden Goose’ of the banking sector.
Presently, the consumer experience in banking is either depersonalized, expensive, or both. A typical redress via telephone can cost $5–10 on average. Websites and apps give an impersonal touch with the same interface and drop down menus. Banking bots offer a refreshing change with their friendly and conversational approach, without compromising on the efficiency part. Bank statements, account savings, tax calculations, mortgage reminders, all just a question away. It’s like dropping your friend a message, only more secure.
However, timing is always the key. There is wide-spread skepticism whether the world is ready for this technological jump-up. The numbers beg to differ. Millions of Chinese people actively use WeChat not just for messaging, but for its in-chat transactional services like cab hailing. Globally, over 2.5 billion people have at least one messaging app installed on their smartphone. Facebook’s Messenger itself accounts for 1 billion of that. An average person spends around 200 minutes every week on a messaging platform, and not on a social media site. In 2016, chatbots for businesses raked up a cool $2 billion exclusively in online sales. The numbers can go on and on. Clearly, the world is not apprehensive, but raring for banking bots to take over.
Using chatbots in banking is the smart way forward, but what can make it ingenious is integration with existing conversational platforms. Dialogue is one of the bedrocks of human interaction. A consumer loves nothing more than engaging in transactions that have a human and personalized face to it. They don’t find that in apps and websites. That’s the cue for banking bots to step in. If you want to bet big, bet on chatbots.
My mission is to reinvent the way we communicate, transact and get work done in today’s mobile first world.We believe that chatbots are going to change the way customers, employees, and stakeholders interact with your business.