Virtual Assistants enhance Banking Experience
Over the past decade, Banking has transitioned from being viewed as an ‘old-school’ Industry to one that is CX focused and digital first. Technology investments by Financial Services firms in 2022 are estimated at $623B in 2022, and consumers have fully adopted digital as their primary channel for Banking.
According a report by Insider Intelligence, 89% of consumers use Mobile Banking and 41% of retail banking customers are digital only. Additionally, 61% say they would change banks if their bank offered a poor mobile banking experience.
The ability for Financial Institutions to differentiate customer experience and operate their businesses more efficiently through Technology will be a clear indicator of their success in the future.
One technology that offers an opportunity for Banks to differentiate is Conversational AI. Several market leaders have delivered Conversational AI solutions, and as consumers begin to expect it, it’ll be imperative for every Financial Services organization to have a plan to leverage the technology effectively in the future.
Market Leaders leveraging Conversational AI
The leader around Conversational AI in Financial Services has been Bank of America, who launched their Virtual Banking Assistant, branded ‘Erica’ in 2018. Erica is accessed via Bank of America’s mobile app and can help users accomplish their everyday tasks without needing to visit or call into a branch or spend time searching and clicking through their web and mobile apps. The result is an enhanced customer experience and reduction in service and labor costs for Bank of America.
The results with Erica have shown consumers are happy to engage with a Virtual Banking Assistant. According to a press release Bank of America put out in October, Erica has helped nearly 32 million clients with their everyday Financial needs, topped over 1 Billion interactions since its launch, and is now averaging around 1.5 million interactions per day.
Several other industry leaders have invested in similar solutions. Wells Fargo released their Virtual Banking Assistant, branded ‘Fargo’ earlier this year, while Truist also released an assistant called ‘Truist Assist.’
According to a study conducted this summer by Ipsos on behalf of Wells Fargo, nearly two thirds (65%) of millennials and Gen Z respondents prefer to use a virtual assistant for customer service needs rather than waiting for a customer service representative on the phone. Most (84%) who have used virtual assistants reported a favorable experience and 70% cited ‘saving time’ as a top benefit.
How Banks can get started
As Virtual Banking Assistants continue to see adoption in market, they will eventually be seen as table stakes as part of a Banks digital experience. It’s important for every Bank to begin to map out the role a Virtual Assistant can play in enhancing their customer experience. A common exercise we recommend is revisiting your customer journey’s and identifying the moments and jobs to be done where an assistant is a natural fit to help augment the customer experience.
We’ve also created a foundational strategy workshop toolset to help organizations create an informed, collaborative, and aligned voice strategy.
In general, a Virtual Banking Assistant should be able to be accessed in an omnichannel manner, across the Web, Native Mobile, Telephony and even be incorporated in some aspects of physical branches.
Some of the common tasks of a Virtual Banking Assistant include facilitating transactions such as transferring money and providing users with advanced insights into their banking activities, such as how much they’ve spent this month and what they’ve spent their money on.
It’s no secret that some of the Brands mentioned in this article have access to large technology budgets and engineering and design talent that has allowed them to successfully deliver a Conversational AI solution. That said, leveraging a Conversational AI platform for designing, building and managing Virtual Assistants can greatly accelerate a Banks ability to bring a solution to the market in an accelerated and cost–effective manner.
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