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Chatbots in Banking: All You Need to Know


Roman Zhidkov

Improve the customer experience and reduce costs. Sounds like a dream? Then you know nothing about the chatbots and their potential in the financial industry. This solution can not only elevate your customer care service but also automate some routine tasks, help your employees, attract new clients, increase leads, etc.

So, it’s expected that the systems will save over $8 billion annual bank costs by 2022 according to the report by Juniper. Besides that, Gartner predicts that about 85% of user interactions will be held by the chatbots. However, there are a few things to keep in memory before implementing the solution. Let’s check out them.

The popularity of the solution grows among the enterprises as among the consumers. Due to the various researches, today about 69% of users prefer chatbots for quick communication with the brands. The advantage of AI-based technology is that it can operate numerous queries simultaneously without any delays. However, chatbots weren’t always as good as they are now. Here is a timeline of technology.

  • 1966 is a year when the first-ever chatbot named Eliza was launched.
  • 1972: Parry was launched. Though the bot failed the Turing test, only 48% of all users could distinguish that it’s not a human.
  • 1984 was a year when Ractor was created, a basic program that wasn’t publicly released.
  • 1988: Jabberwacky is one of the first chatbots with a voice. Yes, it wasn’t only text-based, it thought and sounded like a human.
  • 1992: An AI speech-synthesis chatbot named Dr. Sbaitso was released.
  • 1995 is a year of release of A.L.I.C.E. — the most sophisticated language processing chatbot of that time.
  • 2006: The famous IBM Watson was released. This bot was upgraded and now chatbots based on the IBM Watson are used for analyzing a large set of data by means of ML and neural simulation language.
  • 2010: iOS intelligent assistant Siri was released that can accomplish web-based service requests, find data, give quite human-like answers.
  • 2012: Google presented Google Now for mobile apps that utilizes a neural language to accomplish different search-based tasks.
  • 2015 is a year when chatbots of the next generation like Alexa/Cortana appeared.
  • 2016: Facebook Messenger Bot was designed to help users to get a prompt response and save support time.
  • 2018: Mutua Madrid Open launched AI-equipped MatchBot to improve communication with tennis fans.

The more and more new more progressive chatbots appear on the market and can be implemented in different industries, including banking. Being AI-based, they learn and upgrade constantly to improve the customer experience and increase the revenue of the enterprises.

So, now you know the technology evolution and know that there is a sheer number of variations. Hence, if you think about the development of the financial software with the chatbot implemented, then you’d take account of the key features and characteristics to built-in. Let’s observe the must-have options one by one.

Everyone remembers the time spent waiting for the answer of the free operator even if your query is not a big deal at all. Such a poor customer support system makes bank customers leave. It’s where chatbots are more than just helpful. The solution offers 24/7 availability with really fast answers. Therefore they can reduce consumer queues, provide high-class service without bad days and bad moods.

The simple and conversational interface makes chatbots so popular. They are fast and accurate but give the personalization at the same time. The solution offers a mix of speed and personal service that can be provided by the standard forms and emails. Being easy-to-navigate, even a newbie can use technology without a problem. That is bound to improve user experience making it positive.

Thanks to the progress of NLP, the chatbots can have more compelling and smarter conversations. Thus, they can handle different customer support queries staying a human-like. They can provide direct solutions or redirect to the right employee by specifying the user problem. That can save costs and successfully reduce the volume of queries and FAQs addressed by the bank staff and customer service centers.

The next advantage is that the chatbots can act as a mini-CRM by means of the user attributes applied to customers, basing on the user responses and actions. Thus, you learn your audience better. Therefore, use the data for specific retargeting to provide more personalized offers. Thus, you can tag users to related topics like a post about new credit cards, ways of payments, promotions, etc.

Banks work with large user bases. It used to be a true challenge to provide quick service, saying nothing about a personalized one. Chatbots do it easily — they customize the service for customer experience improvement at every stage and save your time and money in the process. What’s more, it’s much easier to embed the chatbots than the full-scale banking app. Let’s check what chatbot features are must-have.

The AI-based chatbots highlight is the ability to process large data sets in no time with highly accurate responses and solid advice provided. That’s because the chatbots are based on the human capability of self-learning and gaining information efficiently that allows them to remember previous requests and use them for personalization. Herewith, besides answering frequent and simple questions, complex dialogs can be handled by the bot to provide some replies using an API. However, there are still some limits of automation that can be revealed in the event of definite complex queries and/or requirements, when the intervention of humans is required.

In case you endeavor to refine your service, then customer feedback collection is crucial. Today your users don’t have to fill in long boring feedback forms, which they used to skip in most cases. Now they can do that by means of the feedback bots. Not only can you boost feedback collection, but also you will get more accurate data about the users’ wishes for future strategic decisions. In addition to that, feedback about the experience of using the chatbot will help you to keep your bot updated and complete.

Everything changes and now cold calls, email campaigns are not as effective as they used to be several years ago. The chatbots can be pretty useful for increasing leads, appealing to prospective clients. Link your bot to Facebook ad or embed it on the website and/or in your mobile banking app to start conversations with consumers. Thus, you fuel the users’ interest and find out if they’re going to buy your products or services, etc. What’s more, chatbot gathers the leads data and sends it to your sales team to follow up.

The banking becomes more self-assistant, online and mobile. Lots of processes are automated. Chatbots technology is the next step on the way of digitizing the financial industry. In this post, we showed you why you’d pay attention to the chatbots, what advantages they can bring and how they influence the market. Yes, today bots are not a dull program that replies the pre-written answers only — they learn, remember, and predict. That’s why the solution is a powerful tool for improving customer service as well as making your clients stay and new ones come. Therefore, technology is what you’d add to your digital channel strategy for 2020.

Roman Zhidkov is CTO at DDI development company. Roman is responsible for DDI’s technology strategy and plays a key role in driving new tech initiatives within the company. He understands the context of the technology in terms of other technical areas, the customer’s needs, the business impact, and the corporate strategy.

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