When demoing or discussing our Conversational AI solutions with prospective financial institution (FI) clients, one of the first questions we typically hear is “Can’t our customers already do these things with online banking or the mobile app?” The answer is of course, “most likely,” but it leads us to ask them the real question – “are they?”    

While the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption, there is still room to grow usage of digital tools, especially for more advanced use cases.  Conversational AI shouldn’t be viewed as an alternative to an FI’s online banking or mobile app, but an enhancement to them…one that can drive increased usage, engagement and opportunities.  

Conversational AI makes utilizing digital banking tools easier by using an interface that we are all experts in – natural language. It makes complicated tools more simple by guiding users through them and answering questions about a process or action directly without abandoning the process, which is what normally happens when a user is confused or has a question. Conversational AI supports the value of investments the FI has already made to boost the customer experience. In addition to simplifying transactional banking activity like checking balances, reviewing transactions and sending money, here are a few other areas that Conversational AI truly enhances:  

Financial Wellness

Financial wellness tools are seen by many FIs as the key to driving value to their customers, but like their predecessors, Personal Financial Management tools, still present challenges in gaining adoption. Whether too complex or too annoying, setting up budgets or reviewing a list of insights and transactions was not at the top of many users’ to-do lists. Conversational AI eases this burden and increases adoption and usage. Having insights delivered in message format and with the ability to ask questions or even take action from within the message is a game-changer.  

Advanced Credit Card Controls

Rather than needing to search or navigate to lock cards, report fraud or set a travel notice, customers should be able to do that easily and seamlessly in a conversation. Instead of navigating multiple menus in the app, the user simply opens up a messaging session with the virtual assistant and says “Hey I’ll be in Spain next week, please put a notice on my card”, and it’s done. Or even better, the virtual assistant sees a purchase at American Airlines and initiates a conversation with the user to ask if they will be traveling in the near future and would like to set a travel notice, adding real value. 

Automated Goals-Based Savings 

Automated savings programs are a tremendous example of a concept that everyone can understand, and even one that a lot of FIs have invested in. Just offering this to your clients with a more convenient UI changes things for them, making it less of a chore and enrollment more likely. Conversational AI can also offer these programs at the right time, like when a paycheck increases, by integrating with financial insights technology. To learn more about how hyper-personalized financial insights and goals-based micro-savings applications can be effectively delivered via our AI-powered Virtual Financial Assistant, check out our recent demo from Finovate Fall 2021.  

Choose Your Journey 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Conversational AI can transform your digital banking experience, request a no-obligation demo/meeting here or drop me a note at Warren.Dunton@envestnet.com.