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It’s time to get that banking chatbot deployed

Does your bank still have legions of customer service agents bashing keyboards and phones? Most banks do.

The leading financial players are way, way ahead of you.

We deployed a chatbot at my bank a few years ago.

Customers responded really, really well to it.

The first-time resolution rates were utterly astonishing – and this was 5 years ago.

I checked in with my colleagues recently to see how the chatbot is doing today. I can’t give precise numbers – but think of a super-super-super high percentage rate (a rate you’d genuinely be astonished by) and that, dear reader, is how effective the chatbot is.

When you connect it to your systems with APIs (or, as many banks have to do, digital sellotape), the experience for customers is highly satisfactory.

– Change my address
– Send me a replacement card
– I’ve forgotten my PIN
– Explain this transaction
– Change this payment date
– Book me an appointment with a mortgage advisor
– Change that appointment

And so on.

It handles all the things you used to have to call the bank about, there and then.

A note on Digital Sellotape: This is sometimes needed in incumbent banks. Yes, ideally you should have straight-through fully digitalised processes, but often that’s either ‘coming soon’ or ‘very expensive’. So RPA – robotic process automation – is your friend here. Make it seamless for me, the end user. And ideally, make it semi-seamless in the back office, even if it’s digital spaghetti sellotaped together in the short term.

If you’re looking for a chatbot provider, go and check out I worked with them at a previous bank – they are specialists in supporting companies operating in highly regulated environments such as banking. Other vendors are of course available.

If you’re not quite sure about whether it’s time to be looking at chatbots, may I draw your attention to Simon Taylor‘s latest post here on LinkedIn?

He highlights the recent announcement from Klarna about their own chatbot experience. It now does the job of 700 support people. 24/7 in 35 languages. It’s solving customer queries in around 2 minutes – when it used to take human support teams an average of 11 minutes. I’m sure Klarna still have humans in the background because there are always edge cases where the chatbot can’t immediately help. Klarna reckons it’s saving $40M a year thanks to the chatbot.

If you need some initial perspective, give me a call. Or pick up the phone to the likes of

Ewan is Founder and Editor of FinTech Profile and Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of mobile and FinTech industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.
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