According to Bankrate, 27% of Americans use digitally-native banks. This figure is only going to go up as digital banking becomes more common. Facing greater competition from challenger banks, traditional banks need to quickly implement virtual initiatives to stay relevant with the modern consumer. Leading the way, traditional banks from Chase to HSBC and Bank of America have all recently launched a virtual banking assistant.
These artificial intelligence (AI) tools can answer simple banking queries your customers may have. They can also help with tasks like sending payments or locking bank accounts. You can even integrate your virtual agent with your Appointment Scheduling and Queue Management systems to redirect users to human customer service agents when needed.
Keep reading to learn why mobile banking assistants can make your digital offering more engaging.
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Top reasons to use a virtual banking assistant
Typically, leading banks invest in virtual banking assistants for one of five reasons:
1. Increased convenience for customers
Arguably one of the greatest benefits of using smart virtual assistants for banking is that you’re creating a more convenient experience for customers with simple inquiries.
Your customers won’t have to call your customer service line to access basic information about their bank account. They only have to connect to your electronic virtual assistant and they’ll receive the support they need.
Generally, mobile banking assistants like Chase Digital Assistant, can help your customers to seamlessly pay their bills, view their account balance, lock or unlock their cards and many more routine tasks.
Since Bank of America launched their virtual assistant in 2018, 32 million customers have used it over a billion times.
2. Reduced administrative work
Given that customer service wait times in call centers have tripled in recent years, the need to reduce the strain on your centers is greater than ever. Your customer service team spends hours upon hours typing responses to customers or talking to them on the phone.
Certainly, it’s important to make your staff easy to reach for complex queries. However, a virtual assistant can save your team a lot of time by solving straightforward customer queries.
As Verint highlights in the Suncorp conversational AI case study, the banking corporation has increased self-service adoption. Significantly, they’ve also reduced call volumes since deploying their3 virtual assistant.
3. 24/7 availability
If there’s anything we’ve learned about the modern consumer, it’s that they don’t like to wait to receive service. This is proving to be a real problem because customers are currently calling banks outside of usual working hours for support more frequently than ever.
Evidently, it’s not always possible to have a customer service team that is reachable at all times. It is, however, simple enough to set up a virtual banking assistant that is available 24/7.
Making your banking support services easier to access online is a great way to improve the customer experience. It’s also an effective way to turn callers that would otherwise have been disappointed with your customer service team’s unavailability into ambassadors for your bank.
To create a strong digital offering, banks, credit unions and other financial institutions have naturally put more information onto their websites. Yet what you may not have considered is that having lots of content on your website can make it harder for your online customers to find the information they need.
The solution isn’t usually to start taking content off your website. Instead, it’s much more effective to add an AI-powered smart banking assistant to your website to send customers to the right pages.
4. Stay competitive
Digital banks and neobanks are seeing stratospheric growth, primarily because digital innovation is at the core of their business strategy. Naturally, it can feel daunting to compete with digitally native banks on their turf. Yet, for top banks to retain their market lead, digital innovation is essential.
Deploying a virtual banking assistant is a smart way to signal to your consumers that you’re digitally-savvy while simultaneously increasing your operational efficiency. It can also help you to lay the foundations for more digital initiatives in the near-future.
Remember, digital virtual banking assistant technology will only become more advanced in the future. In other words, the innovation gap between banks that utilize them and banks that don’t will become even greater.
5. Optimize operational costs
Despite being in a time of economic downturn, banks must continue to invest in new technologies if they’re to remain competitive and retain customers.
The great thing about using a digital banking assistant is that you’re optimizing operational costs to offset the cost of implementation. For instance, your customer service team won’t have to work overtime to answer basic customer queries that your electronic banking assistant can answer.
Ultimately, your virtual assistant may end up increasing your margins during the recession.
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Banking virtual assistants vs. chatbots: what’s the difference?
While chatbots and virtual assistants are both conversational AI applications, there are some key differences.
Typically, chatbots are automated programs that follow a set script. They can help your banking customers with simple tasks like getting product details.
Meanwhile, virtual assistants tend to be able to help customers with much more sophisticated requests. From setting your alarm and scheduling appointments to making calls, a virtual assistant really is just like a personal assistant.
With natural language processing capabilities, financial virtual assistants are much better at deducing human emotions than chatbots, which make them particularly useful additions to your customer service team.
Which banks are using virtual assistants?
Some of the most notable banks that are using virtual assistants include:
- Bank of America: Erica
- Capital One: Eno
- Ally Bank: Ally Assist
- HSBC: Amy
- Federal Bank: Feddy
- Chase: Chase Digital Assistant
- U.S Bank: U.S. Bank Smart Assistant
- NatWest: Cora
- SEB: Aida
- Commonwealth Bank: Ceba
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