In this installment of “Questions From Our Last Meeting,” we cover a common question that we receive from financial institutions that are considering integrating a Virtual Financial Assistant into their digital banking mix.
Setting the Scene:
Date: April 2021
Financial Institution (FI) Type: Credit Union
Size: $1 billion-5 billion in assets; > 100,000 Members
“Aside from the technology itself, what else should we consider when choosing a Virtual Financial Assistant vendor?”
While a Virtual Financial Assistant (VFA) is a technology solution, it’s important to learn about the team and services behind that technology:
- The features and functionality that are sometimes presented by potential vendors aren’t always compatible with your FI. For example, many features are dependent on the ability of multiple APIs to communicate with each other – sending the right data, to the right place, at the right time. Will your VFA vendor take the time and have the expertise to assess your technical landscape to understand what can be realistically implemented? Make sure you have the answer to that question before engaging with a vendor. You will be sure to save yourself considerable frustration by aligning on capabilities and expectations from the very beginning.
- Virtual Assistants and Natural Language Understanding are relatively new technologies that are evolving at a rapid pace. This is a new frontier which will require some education and buy-in, both with customers and within the FI. Will your VFA team act as a resource to help you move the ball forward? Abe.ai offers templates, sample content and strategic consulting for everything from marketing to education – both for internal and external use. Make sure your vendor will be there for you beyond the initial implementation.
- Once implemented, a true VFA evolves on its own. It learns about how your customer talks and engages, what types of questions they ask and how to best answer them. While the VFA does the heavy lifting, it’s important to have the right team analyzing the data behind the scenes. For example, if there was a seasonal uptick in customers looking for “snowmobile loans” would your VFA team be able to surface that to your FI?