Chatbots for Banking are Growing
When it comes to chatbots, few industries may be in a better position to use them than the banking and financial sector. We’re already accustomed to using ATMs and managing transactions via our phones. Chatbots for banking build upon both these experiences to make things even easier. It’s also worth noting that chatbots can save billions for financial institutions.
Dealing with banks through other channels can be annoying. For example, it can be frustrating (and time-consuming) to get in touch with a rep via phone and verify your identity just to ask a simple question. And while apps are useful, navigating their menus to retrieve information can be a chore as well. But customers of banks using chatbots can bypass this through the use of conversational UI.
So, who’s doing it best? Let’s take a look at some of the big names in chatbots for banking.
Digibank Virtual Assistant
It shouldn’t surprise you that India’s first mobile-only bank operates on the bleeding edge of tech. This includes experimenting with a chatbot, who comfortably lives within the app. Framed as your personal banker who’s available 24/7, the assistant answers complex questions about your account. Because it will carry out tasks as you dictate, this assistant goes a step above others that merely retrieve information.
ImaginBank on Facebook Messenger
Another digital-only bank, ImaginBank aims to help millennials save money. One way the company approaches the younger crowd is with a Facebook Messenger chatbot. This bot offers promotions based on user location and interests. Things like events, dining, shows and more. Because millennials privilege experiences over material objects, offering ways for bank customers to save money on personalized activities happening nearby is a smart move.
Erica by Bank of America
Erica—who takes her name from the last five letters of “America”—is easily accessible from the Bank of America app. Or at least it will be. The assistant hasn’t yet been released, but already looks promising. Not only does Erica not only answers complex queries about customer accounts, but also provides advice on better spending and saving habits in partnership with Khan Academy. For example, she’ll suggest how you can pay off a debt or begin saving more. This positions Erica as an actual, true assistant—not just a question-and-answer interface.
This chatbot for banking is multiplatform and not affiliated with a specific bank. Users who want to use it just need to connect their account. MyKai helps users track their spending habits and check their account info. To make purchases easier, it even connects with Venmo. MyKai is built by Kasisto, an offshoot of the research lab that made Siri (so you know you’re dealing with a sophisticated assistant here).
In addition to providing a chatbot service to individual customers, Kai powers other chatbots for banking as well. Val by Varo Money is one example. With this bot, users can set savings goals, prepare emergency funding and wrangle control over their spending. Mastercard’s Facebook Messenger bot is also powered by Kai, and offers contextual offers in addition to the standard features you’d expect from banking bots.
Ally Assist from Ally Financial
Ally Assist puts all your banking needs at your fingertips. It initiates transfers, lets you pay bills and make deposits all via voice. In addition to providing customer service, Ally Assist offers key insights to help reign in your spending. It identifies your spending habits and surfaces up information based on your behavior. The focus on personalization here is a key strength that sets Ally Assist apart from other banking bots.
AmEx Bot by American Express
If you’re an American Express cardholder, you might want to chat up the company’s bot on Facebook Messenger. This always-ready chatbot chimes in with real-time purchase notifications and keeps you up-to-date with member benefits. Finally, you can link your card to make in-app purchases.
Imagine this: you find something you want to buy on Facebook. Because you linked your card, AmEx Bot can give you card benefit information related to the purchase. Thanks to the bot, you’ve made a more informed purchase. All within a single app: Facebook. Of course, you can receive alerts on any purchases you make with your linked card, online or off.
Capital One Eno
One of the simpler chatbots for banking, Capital One Eno offers many of the standard features you’d expect. But what sets it apart is its stunning ease of access. Unlike other banking chatbots, you can talk to Eno via SMS. This means you won’t have to worry about data or sharing your data with other platforms.
Absa’s ChatBanking feature lets users manage their money via conversational UI on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. The bot is capable of performing tasks like making payments to beneficiaries you’ve paid before. It also handles the typical features covered by chatbots for banking. However, it has a few added perks. For example, customers can purchase airtime for their mobile device through the bot. Also, they can even purchase electricity in certain municipalities. Thanks to its cross-platform nature and ease of use, Absa is one of the stronger examples of banks using chatbots.