For banks, the goal of better chatbots sounds like a paradox: to empower people to spend less time thinking about their financial obligations while nevertheless making better financial decisions. Banks benefit too. They learn more about customers from their interactions with bots, and this allows the bank to offer targeted products and services.
Typically, a bank’s data on a customer is fragmented across departments. The mortgage business doesn’t necessarily know that a customer consistently pays her credit card bills on time, for instance. But to interact with a bot like Wells Fargo’s, customers have to share their accounts with it. With the full breadth of a customer’s financial life open to the bot, it should be possible for a financial institution to attain the long-sought bird’s-eye view of the customer’s behaviors and act on it.
Amex’s the new-and-improved chatbot, launched earlier this year, can answer customer questions about account and rewards point balances and even help them choose a new card to apply for.
Even as consumers benefit from the data and predictive analytics powering chatbots, then, their interactions with bots are empowering the financial institutions to make better decisions.
Another role chatbots may take on is that of transaction agents. In 2016, Facebook users gained the ability to use PayPal as a payment option in Messenger and on the social network itself. They can also link their PayPal accounts to the messaging platform if they want to have transaction receipts delivered directly into a chat thread.
Bill Scott, PayPal’s vice president of consumer engineering, praised the “flexibility” of the Messenger platform and “the simplicity of the [its] code” in a collection of quotes from partners released by Facebook last month.
American Express is also dipping its toes into bot-assisted transactions. Last fall, the card company updated its chatbot so that it could store card information for users, making it possible for them to use the card for purchases on Facebook. And Bank of America executives say the bank’s erica bot will be able to transfer money from one account to another.
Clare.ai provides a white label end-to-end digital assistant solution powered by Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. Interested for more? Get in touch! www.clare.ai