Will banking customers chat with chatbots?

Banks are constantly attempting to bring the human touch into the digital realm through services such as video banking and online messaging.

Will banking customers chat with chatbots?

These involve a human on the other side, but with developments in artificial intelligence, this may no longer be required. The result is chatbots

Messaging apps are incredibly popular. WhatsApp has over one billion people on the platform, while Facebook Messenger has close to 800 million active users.

Several banks already have this service in use. Bank of America, Citi, Ally Bank and American Express all have chatbots with varying functions. Actually, according to data analytics firm Personetics, close to 21% of all banks utilise chatbots and only 13.4% of banks have no intention of using them.

Caixabank, through its mobile-only subsidiary imaginBank, has also thrown its hat into the ring with the Spanish banking industry’s first chatbot.

Available through Facebook Messenger, the chatbot will provide information and assistance for customers, as well as exclusive offers for restaurants, hotels and the like.

A spokesperson for Caixa told RBI: “The primary target for this service is our millennial customer base that use imaginBank as their primary bank. These customers tend to be familiar with this type of interaction and the platform.”

When asked if this was the beginning of the end for the human touch in banking, the spokesperson replied: “It’s the exact opposite! It’s the optimisation of resources so the human beings can focus on the problems that require more attention and nuance to be solved. It also provides valuable information on our customers’ necessities and interests, allowing us to provide better services in that field.”