Banking Interest in Conversational AI Jumps During COVID Lockdowns

  • “Financial institutions are realizing that long-term adjustments will be required in how retail banking is conducted.
  • This dramatic shift has sharply increased interest in various types of conversational banking, especially as a means to ease the pressure on call centers.
  • The poster child for conversational AI in banking right now, however, is Bank of America’s digital assistant known as Erica. The mobile app that can respond to both voice and text-based questions was growing rapidly even before the pandemic hit the U.S. in March. Ten million users had downloaded the app as of yearend 2019, about two years after its launch.”

Bank of America’s AI Robot Learns 60,000 Ways to Talk About the Coronavirus

  • “North Carolina-based Bank of America, the digital push translated to more than 2 million customers using Erica for the first time since the beginning of March, bringing total active users to greater than 13 million.
  • The virtual assistant handled 15 million requests from clients in April alone, accounting for about 10% of all queries received since its June 2018 introduction.” Lands IBM Partnership and More Customers for its Artificial Intelligence and IoT Platform

“What most impressed me at’s event was the number and depth of customer presentations

  • Shell executive Daniel Jeavons, general manager of data science, updated attendees on a now-two-year-old deployment
  • 3M executive Jennifer Austin, manufacturing & supply chain analytics implementation leader, detailed progress on data-science-driven inventory optimization, pricing analytics and supply chain risk-management applications
  • Bank of America executive Brice Rosenzweig, co-head of the bank’s Data and Innovation Group, detailed progress on building out a more business-user-accessible data platform”

How To Open Account Or Do A Banking Transaction In Less Than Five Minutes

  • “The bank introduced its AI-powered chatbot, Erica, to speed transactions, including transferring and depositing funds. Erica works by understanding voice or text commands to complete these transactions in minutes. And, customers have responded. In the first three months, more than one million people downloaded Erica
  • Chase has rolled out numerous digital initiatives and introduced new branch formats. This includes self-serve teller kiosks within these “Everyday Express Branches.” They also feature a digital advice bar for digital products or new accounts, which helps customers get assistance without waiting in line.”

Bank of America scored 418 technology patents in 2019

  • “In 2019, the company obtained 418 patents, a 31% increase over the prior year.
  • Bank of America spends $10 billion annually on technology, $3 billion of which is on growth initiatives

Among the patents the bank obtained in 2019, notable areas included:

  • 101 patents dedicated to programming technology
  • 61 in the information security category
  • 45  in online/mobile banking
  • 40 in artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • 15 patents in the realm of blockchain and distributed ledger technology”

Photo credit: Mike Mozart/ Flickr