“Alexa, play relaxing music.”
“Alexa, where is the nearest Chinese food?”
“Alexa, play Netflix.”
Over 47 million U.S. adults now own virtual assistant speakers like Alexa, Siri, and Google that are asked questions like this every day. However, according to a recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research, customers aren’t asking Alexa for banking help. More than 50 percent of customers surveyed said they had no interest in getting banking information like transaction details and account balances from speaker assistants like Alexa. While customers aren’t ready to embrace a screen-less banking system, customers are flocking to chatbots to handle everything from loan inquires to bill payments.
“It’s very rudimentary tech right now,” said Robb Gaynor, North America head of digital at Malauzai, a Finastra company, on virtual assistant skills. “You have to program it. This stuff doesn’t naturally learn. We’re writing code so that it’s better at understanding what people want it to do.”
Over 2 billion messages are exchanged per month over Facebook messenger. By 2019, over 3.6 billion people around the world will engage in the use of messaging platforms. Financial institutions that embrace chatbot technology saw a 4-minute average time savings per chatbot inquiry compared to existing means of customer service like a call center. By 2022, financial institutions could save over $8 billion by implementing chatbot technology.
“For most of the voice interactions we have, however, the payback the customer is getting is not worth the pain of getting there,” said Emmett Higdon, director of mobile for Javelin.
Chatbots offer customers fast, accurate, data-driven responses using artificial intelligence. Financial institutions that utilize this technology can expect to see a boost in customer engagement, decreased cost, and increased employee productivity. Other industries are also reaping the benefits of chatbot solutions, Globe Telecom, a telecommunications provider, decreased call volume by 50 percent, increased customer satisfaction by 22 percent, and increased employee productivity by 350 percent.
In the far future, virtual assistants may become a banking platform, but for now, chatbots are handling customer inquiries with little effort or cost. Getting approved for a mortgage, paying a bill, and checking balances have never been easier.
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