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.”

Beyond Chatbots : Conversational AI in Banking

  • “In 2017, American banks collected 34.3 billion dollars in overdraft fees. (link). The average value for an overdraft fee is $ 30 in the United States. This means that the average American ended up paying $ 125 in overdraft fees.
  • By 2022, about 90% of all client banking interactions will be handled by Automated Banking Assistants (ABAs), saving $8 Billion annually (source).
  • Bank of America introduced an Automated Bank Assistant, ‘Erica’. It reached 1 million users in 2 months, Facebook took 10 months. ‘Erica’ supports advanced functionality like money transfers, account lockdowns and detailed transaction summaries.”–conversational-ai-in-banking

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  • “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.”

How Bank of America uses AI to improve customer service and take on competitors

  • “Erica is proving very popular with customers. Less than 12 months after its launch, in May 2019, the chatbot was in use by seven million clients and had completed 50 million client requests. By December 2019, those numbers had risen to 10 million users and close to 100 million client requests. As for the predictive messaging, on average 150,000 customers tap on these alerts per week.”
  • Varadarajan’s analysis is born out by BoA’s own statistics: the vast majority of users (49%) who had signed up within the first 12 months of Erica’s existence were millennials, with Gen X making up the next largest group (20%). Baby Boomers and Gen Z – while they may sit at opposite ends of the generational spectrum – came in almost level at 16% and 15% respectively.