How to Pick the Right Channel for Your Virtual Financial Assistant

July 1, 2018

Virtual Financial Assistants

A Virtual Financial Assistant personifies the interactions between a financial institution and their consumers.

Choosing the right channel to deploy your virtual financial assistant is one of the most important decisions your financial institution will need to make. For instance, Bank of America launched Erica, which they embedded inside their mobile app, and Capital One launched Eno, which is accessible through Amazon Alexa and text-message, while Ally Bank launched Ally Assist, which is embedded inside their mobile app and available through Alexa.

Taking a more comprehensive approach is Mercantile Bank of Michigan, which launched the MercMoney Chatbot across Google Home, Facebook Messenger, and SMS simultaneously.

The channel your financial institution chooses will ultimately impact the promotion, customer discovery, onboarding, and much more.

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Choosing a Channel for Your Virtual Financial Assistant

The channel your financial institution chooses will ultimately impact the promotion, customer discovery, onboarding, and much more.

So how do you choose a conversational channel that makes sense for you? Begin by evaluating how a particular channel compares to the following factors.

Consumer Discoverability

First, you need to evaluate what is most likely to be adopted by your consumers. Take into account where your user base already is digitally active and what other devices they might own.

For instance, the voice-enabled smart speaker market is growing exceptionally fast. But do your consumers own an Amazon Alexa and Google Home? Do they use them? How do you know for sure? Simple email-based surveys can help surface device ownership and willingness to adopt.

If you have strong engagement with your mobile application, it makes sense to layer in your virtual financial assistant there. Regardless of which channel you choose, strong promotional campaigns are critical to building awareness and generating excitement around this new virtual assistant.

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