Middle East Finance Giant Launches Voice Banking Alexa Skill

“The value of voice banking is becoming well known enough for an ongoing flurry of related releases either by banks or in partnerships with tech developers. Wells Fargo recently launched a virtual assistant but is playing catch up to other American banks. For instance, U.S. Bank launched a voice assistant for its mobile app last year to allow users to carry out their banking requests using conversational language. And Bank of America saw its existing virtual assistant, Erica, become increasingly popular, tripling interactions over the last year to 104.6 million total. Credit unions are experimenting with AI too. Wisconsin’s Landmark Credit Union began working with conversational AI platform Clinc to create a virtual assistant, and Minnesota’s Wings Financial Credit Union started to work with Nuance to add voice AI and vocal biometric security to its customers.”


The Future of Conversational AI in Banking

  • “‘Virtual assistants can and should go well beyond a ‘point in the right direction’ or FAQ to handle complete transactions — from changing an address to cancelling a payment and updating a standing order to identifying a specific need and routing the customer to correct specialist,’ says Can Kekevi (Accenture).
  • The future of conversational AI in banking may not simply be only about banking, but rather banking would merely be one aspect of how the average consumer uses conversational AI in their daily life, says Peter Wannemacher, principal analyst, digital banking at Forrester.
  • Since then, mobile apps have grown twice as fast as chatbots. Both channels are on the rise compared with website usage, which has declined for customer service use, yet websites are still used by almost 50% of customers versus about 23% for chatbots.
  • Personalization is also something customers are asking for. Only about 30% of bank customers that use mobile banking report that their financial institution offers personalized content and recommendations, according to Javelin. Conversational AI should reflect this need.”


Landmark Credit Union and Clinc Launch Conversational AI Chatbot Clinc’s Artificial Intelligence technology to enable Web & Mobile customer support

  • “The new voice and text-enabled chatbot enhances the experience for Landmark’s 370,000+ members seeking convenient, 24/7 access to information and support resources
  • Members can inquire about product offerings, branch/ATM locations, refinancing, credit cards, opening accounts and dozens of other subjects that would previously result in a call to the contact center or branch visit. The technology results in over 85% of customer inquiries handled without waiting for a live agent.
  • ‘The use of Clinc’s AI technology is a great fit as we continue to enhance our member-facing technology capabilities both in-person and online,’ said Brian Melter, Landmark’s Chief Experience Officer.”


AI-powered chatbots: Evolution and expansion

  • “The $2.2 trillion bank is now deploying Erica as a digital assistant to support live chat agents in call centers as well as employees in commercial banking and wealth investment.
  • ‘Organizations are realizing that they can do things like automate 20% of their search service desk requests from employees and allow people to do something different than automating a few 100 password reset requests in a week,’
  • Chatbot vendor Finn AI saw increased chatbot adoption from COVID as smaller banks began implementing the technology, Jake Tyler, Finn AI chief executive officer told BAN. Among Finn AI’s clients are $521.9 billion Truist Bank, $55.8 billion ATB Financial, $3.2 billion United Federal Credit Union and Canadian challenger bank KOHO, which has raised $113.4 million over seven rounds. Finn AI has raised $14 million to date, according to Crunchbase.
  • ‘COVID has been five years of adoption happening in a year,’ Tyler said. ‘We’re still responding to that. I think what we’ll see over the next few years is just mass adoption of conversational AI.’
  • The Dover Federal Credit Union (DFCU), with more than 43,000 members, was among the financial institutions that adopted an intelligent ‘virtual assistant’ this year. The Delaware-based $465.8 million credit union chose Interface.ai for its call center after the pandemic led to call volumes doubling, said Tyler Kuhn, vice president of marketing & digital experience at DFCU.
  • DFCU plans to add Interface.ai to its website and online/mobile banking services, Kuhn added. Interface.ai markets its ‘out-of-the-box’ solution exclusively to banks and credit unions, counting $4.7 billion Gesa Credit Union, with 250,000 members, among its customers.
  • AI-powered digital assistant provider Kasisto is also seeing more adoption by smaller financial institutions. Kasisto’s partnership with digital banking technology provider NCR has helped, said Stephen Epstein, Kasisto’s chief marketing officer. Among Kasisto’s clients are the $499.3 billion Singaporean multinational banking and financial services firm DBS Bank, Mastercard, $1.9 trillion Wells Fargo and $1.3 trillion TD Bank.
  • Finn AI also changed its pricing to appeal to smaller banks and credit unions, adding three levels of AI-based conversational chatbots in June. The first level is a ‘quick start’ chatbot for small- and mid-sized financial institutions that runs visitors through a public dotcom site for live support to common questions; it’s designed to launch within a month. Level two is for mobile and online banking sites and offers a more concierge approach to help customers. Level three can run across any channel the bank designates for API integration to digital banking platforms that help customers via chat.
  • ‘For sure, it’s what I think most people will have — not a chatbot, but a virtual assistant, in the future and that’s what the virtual assistant will look like. It’s certainly where our product is going,’ he added.”


Harnessing the power of conversational AI for banking customer service

“In August 2020, This is Money found that – in some cases – it took three hours for customers to get through to a human when contacting their bank. Of course, this was in the middle of a global pandemic, so you can excuse a certain amount of disruption to services, but this is where conversational AI is a boon.

How can banks use it to improve customer service?

  1. Conversational AI can lead to faster resolution times
  2. Using conversational AI can result in a better resolution for the customer
  3. Conversational AI can help generate personalised recommendations”