How 10 Big Banks Are Using Chatbots to Boost Their Business

March 13, 2017

Chatbots are exploding in the finance industry, and it’s no surprise why. With the ability to automate operations, reach more customers, and provide a more friction-free banking experience, chatbots are streamlining and optimizing many banks’ digital services.

Here’s how the world’s biggest banks are using chatbots to boost their business.

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1. Bank of America

As one of the largest U.S. banks, Bank of America (BofA) is leading the charge for artificially intelligent chatbots in financial services. Last year, the company announced Erica, a voice- and text-enabled chatbot for BofA customers. Erica is being touted as an intelligent digital assistant designed to help customers make smarter banking decisions.

Erica sends customers notifications, identifies areas where they can save money, provides updates on their FICO score, and facilitates bill pay within the BofA app.

As yet, there is no official date for Erica’s launch. When the project was unveiled at last year’s Money20/20 conference, a company spokesperson announced that the bot would be available sometime in 2017. No doubt the millions of BofA customers are eagerly awaiting Erica’s arrival later this year.

2. JPMorgan Chase

Rather than offering customers a virtual assistant on mobile messaging apps, the largest U.S. bank is using bots to streamline its back office operations.

JPMorgan Chase recently launched COIN, a bot capable of analyzing complex legal contracts faster and more efficiently than human lawyers can. Since its launch in June of last year, the bot has helped JPMorgan save over 360,000 hours of manpower.

COIN is the latest bot to be launched by JPMorgan, which also uses the technology to parse emails for employees, grant access to software systems, and handle common IT requests like resetting passwords. In the future, the company plans to continue to use bots to identify new sources of revenue, reduce expenses, and mitigate risk.

3. Capital One

This week, Capital One launched Eno, a text-enabled chatbot that helps customers manage their money using their smartphone. Customers can ask Eno questions about their account balance, recent transactions, payment history, and credit limit via text message. It can even help customers pay their credit card bill.

Eno is the second of Capital One’s virtual assistants, after the company launched its very own Amazon Alexa skill last year. The skill allows Capital One customers to find out when upcoming bills are due, check account balances, and pay their credit card bill using their voice. Customers can even review recent transactions and get a breakdown of their spending habits by asking questions like, “Alexa, how much did I spend at Starbucks last month?”

4. MasterCard

In an effort to make their digital services more conversational, MasterCard now offers a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. The MasterCard bot enables customers to access their accounts through one of the world’s leading messaging apps.

MasterCard customers can use the bot to review their account balances, purchase history, and spending habits, as well as make payments. The bot also provides customers updates about cardholder benefits and makes contextual offers.

5. American Express

Like the MasterCard bot, the American Express (AmEx) bot lets AmEx customers access their account through Facebook Messenger. The AmEx bot gives customers real-time purchase notifications, reminders of cardholder benefits, and contextual recommendations. AmEx customers can even link a credit card to their Facebook account using the “Add a Card” feature to enable in-app purchases on Facebook.

6. Ally Bank

Ally Bank was one of the first banks to implement a chatbot, with the launch of Ally Assist in 2015. Ally Assist is a virtual assistant within the Ally Mobile Banking app.

Ally customers can interact with the assistant using speech or text to accomplish a range of banking tasks. The feature helps customers monitor accounts and transactions, pay bills, make transfers and deposits, and track spending and saving patterns. The assistant also uses natural language to address common customer service queries.

7. Barclays Africa

Last year, Barclays Africa (Absa) launched a chatbot to meet customers where they are: on the world’s most popular social media channels. Absa’s ChatBanking feature extends the bank’s services to Twitter and Facebook Messenger, allowing customers to bank within their preferred social media app wherever they are.

The service enables customers to check their bank balance, make payments to friends, review recent transactions, and even purchase electricity and cell phone data within a convenient conversational interface.

8. DBS Singapore

Digibank by DBS, Asia’s only digital-only bank, offers customers a 24/7 virtual assistant within the bank’s mobile app. Touted as a personal banker at the customer’s beck and call, the assistant helps DBS customers complete banking tasks and get fast answers to their questions.

DBS customers can interact with the assistant via voice or text to check their current interest rate, review their transaction history, and make payments or money transfers. The assistant can also anticipate and answer over 10,000 common banking questions and for difficult queries, can connect customers to a bank agent via live chat.

9. Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is using a chatbot called Luvo to automate and streamline its online customer service.

Developed using IBM’s artificial intelligence platform Watson, Luvo handles simple customer questions, freeing up the bank’s customer support staff to focus on more difficult customer issues. Unlike IVR, Luvo understands customer requests made in plain English rather than forcing them to select from a list of options. In the future, the company plans to expand Luvo’s functionality to include increased personalization, emotional understanding, and predictive analytics to help customers avoid problems before they occur.

10. Santander U.K.

Last month, Santander U.K. launched voice recognition technology within their SmartBank app to enable customers to use speech to manage their money. The feature is an expansion of the company’s voice assistant banking technology, which was introduced last year.

Using voice biometrics, customers can find out their current balance, set up account alerts, make payments or transfers, report a lost card, and get intelligent answers to common banking questions. The feature can also identify spending patterns so customers can understand where and when they’ve spent the most money.

The feature is currently available to a segment of Santander U.K. customers but will eventually be rolled out to all of the bank’s customers. By offering this technology, Santander hopes to make their digital banking experience easier and more seamless for customers.

Conclusion

Artificially intelligent chatbots are rapidly transforming the financial services industry. As the technology becomes more advanced and less expensive to develop and implement, it’s never been easier for banks to leverage this technology to optimize their business.

The largest banks in the world are already taking advantage of the benefits of chatbots to streamline their operations, automate customer support, and provide a more convenient and enjoyable customer experience. As these banks see increased revenue and decreased expenses, no doubt the rest of the banking industry will soon catch up.

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