What’s trending now?
As technological advancements continually change the global banking landscape, the inevitability of conversational finance becoming a key channel between banks and consumers is closer than we think.
While still in its innovation infancy, conversational finance can be defined as the implementation of more chatbot messaging applications. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence this sees key tasks and client queries being handled directly through a messaging like interface on mobile devices .This technology communicates with clients through both text-based and voice-based interactions – with the ability to both ask and answer questions – with these virtual assistants having the capability to leverage off of existing messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Why is it important
The importance of conversational finance lies in improving the overall banking experience.
While the rise of technology in banking has allowed for new channels of communication and convenience for consumers, the relationships between banks and their clients has suffered as a result. The ability for the banking sector to initiate conversation with their clients – leveraging off of data makes these interactions more authentic and personal, whilst building a more loyal client base. Consumers expect their banks to deliver more and at a faster rate, and with more points of parity than difference at a product level, conversational finance becomes a key draw-card. Through the use of machine learning this could efficiently assist in giving context to spending patterns amongst an assortment of data; thereby giving more accurate client-facing responses in the process.
Not only does this technology offer serious consumer-facing benefits, it also offers back-end solutions. With chatbots handling an assortment of simple tasks through messaging platforms, this frees up human capital that can be redirected towards more complex issues, as well as using more consumer-facing staff in branch to provide a more private banking relationship management to preferred and mass clients, improving the overall relationship in the process.
As technology is informing this thinking, financial institutions are now more cognisant than ever of the effect of Silicon Valley – as well as aware of its power to become the competition. From 2015, the likes of Facebook and Snapchat have offered peer-to-peer payment systems on messaging applications. Apple Pay statistics show that almost 50% of US merchants now accepted the platform and transactions have grown 500% from 2015 to 2017. The fact that Siri now also supports this makes the idea of other Apple-centred financial product offerings more realistic.
Whilst conversational finance presents a host of key solutions for both banks and consumers , the overall user experience across channels and touch points will be of more importance. Experience design will be dictated by making products and the resulting service as bespoke as possible. Across all income brackets this will see machine learning and AI using data to curate products and accounts accordingly, with relationship managers aiding in the final step of tailoring.
In the United States we have begun to see early iterations of this from Bank of America with its ‘Erica’ offering, launched in late 2016 through its mobile app that aids in observing and improving customers’ spending patterns and habits. The tech uses AI in order to make predicative analytics that assist with payments, checking balances as well as paying off debts.
Mastercard has launched their KAI offering – an AI service that can respond to more than 1000 queries around personal finance. In addition to this, KAI is able to inform its users around checks and balances, as well as assist in making payments and identify and predict spending patterns.
By: Jordan Major
Image credit: Raw Pixel
Travel, in all its varied forms, is a concept that inspires and drives the ambitions of Jordan Major. From backpacking around Europe to exploring new professional territories his journey is one that knows no bounds. Having written for the likes of GQ and Between 10 and 5 this young creative sees this new chapter with Flux Trends as a way to speak to the present about the future in a meaningful way.