7 Reasons to Create an AI Chatbot for a Banking App

  • 12 min
  • Jun 27, 2018
Daria R.

Daria R.


Oleksandra I.

Oleksandra I.

Head of Product Management Office


Poor service is one of the main reasons why banks lose customers. Long response times, a need to repeat the same information every time you call support, and lack of free operators do your bank no credit. If you don’t want to see customers leaving you, be sure to make customer service a priority.

One of the most effective technological solutions for banks nowadays is chatbots. These systems can not only improve customer support but can also help bank employees, automate a lot of routine tasks, and even attract new customers to your bank. Let’s find out how chatbots do this and what they’re capable of and look at real-life examples which prove that chatbots in banking really work.

What benefits do chatbots provide to mobile banking?

Chatbots are no longer dull programs that use the same prescribed answers. AI chatbots are highly intelligent and can easily process all sorts of queries – and what’s more, they can learn. Here are some facts and predictions concerning the use of artificial intelligence in the banking sector to prove our point.

AI chatbot use in banking apps

Banks all over the world are starting to develop or have already developed chatbots based on artificial intelligence in banking apps to gain the following advantages.

#1 Сustomer support 24/7

The growth of internet banking showed how weak banks’ customer support systems were. Users wanted to get fast answers and real consultations, which led to long hours waiting on the phone and nightmare shifts for operators who had to deal with too many customers an hour.

This approach was far from perfect for a number of reasons. First of all, banks had to hire too many operators and pay more workers' salaries. Second, they had to educate every new employee. Finally, the level of these services was still just average.

AI chatbots have changed that. What they offer is 24/7 availability without bad days and bad moods. They eliminate customer queues and provide world-class service for everyone.

Chatbots based on Artificial Intelligence technology can process huge sets of data within seconds to give accurate answers and solid advice. They can easily handle simple, common questions like Where is the nearest ATM? How can I install the mobile banking app? and How can I exchange currency? But they can also handle more complex dialogs based on previous requests.

At the same time, employees, relieved of their routine duties, now can deal with customer support cases when human intervention is needed to provide a higher level of service and can spend as much time with a customer as the situation requires. Let’s see how banks are using chatbots to streamline customer support operations.

HSBC’s Amy. Amy is an AI chatbot specifically designed for corporate banking customer support at HSBC Bank, based in Hong Kong. Amy is available on desktop and mobile in Chinese and English. Amy covers a lot of services and goods and can provide clients with comprehensive answers to a lot of questions. As well, Amy is learning to deal with more complex and broader queries by processing and memorizing customer feedback.

AI chatbot Amy
Artificial Intelligence chatbot Amy from HSBC

Amy has proven a great solution for one of the busiest Chinese banks and has made a significant contribution to improving the bank’s support system. The bot can’t answer all questions from customers yet, but it easily handles FAQs, simple queries, and requests. If a question is too complicated for Amy, she offers to put a customer in contact with a real consultant.

#2 Employee assistance

Not only bank customers can feel the benefits of a chatbot. Bank employees can benefit from them too. A lot of banks believe that such investments are justified and they’re ready to make them. There are several ways AI chatbots can make bank employees’ lives easier.

Staff training

The banking sphere is growing along with the number of employees. All these staff have to be trained and taught to work efficiently. More than that, they also have to learn how to work with complex banking software systems, remember security rules, and learn corporate policy, which also takes time. Chatbots can deal with these tasks instead of a human mentor. They can train young specialists, speed up their adaptation, and help them memorize rules in the form of games (puzzles, quizzes, and questionnaires).

Technical consultancy

Banks always use the newest and most secure software solutions with tons of passwords, multi-factor authentication, and the like. But it’s not always easy to cope with this. Both new and experienced workers may need some technical assistance from time to time. It may sound strange, but chatbots can help even here by providing employees with IT support and consultations and helping them with some routine tasks. Here’s a real-life example.

Aida by SEB Bank. Aida is an AI chatbot that was launched to provide employees with IT support. For instance, if a person has locked his or her computer profile, Aida can easily unlock it without an IT specialist’s intervention. Moreover, Aida is able to support and answer thousands of workers’ questions at the same time.

The chatbot has been successful at helping SEB to improve technical assistance for employees and reduce the time that IT specialists spend on routine tasks.

HR support

In any large establishment, the HR department is busy. Banks are no exception. Employees send thousands of questions and requests to the HR department, slowing down everyone’s work. What if there were a chatbot that could answer all these questions without disturbing HR specialists? Well, it already exists.

OCBC Bank HR chatbot. OCBC Bank in Singapore has launched an AI chatbot whose name is Buddy. Buddy can answer HR-related questions based on employees’ individual profiles. These include common questions like How many days off do I have this month? or How much did I pay in taxes last month?. The chatbot helps workers to request vacation time, submit and track reimbursement claims, and do many more things via the app.

Buddy understands both spoken and written text, so workers don’t even need to type their requests but can speak them. They can reach the bot via computer or mobile phone, making interactions even easier.

With Buddy, OCBC decongested its HR department and saved lots of employee time that can now be spent on actual work.

#3 Personal banking services

Customers today are much different from the customers of yesterday. Today’s clients demand not only round-the-clock consultations but personal assistance as well. They want to manage their accounts, order and cancel services, make transactions, and know their balance within seconds. And they expect you to offer it all.

You can let users do everything by themselves in a banking app, yet live chat consultations have shown the highest satisfaction rate among all service channels (73% satisfaction).

Satisfaction rate of customers across communication channels
Customer satisfaction across different service channels

This chart proves that customers prefer conversational interactions. Such communication seems more natural to people and brings a lot of advantages to a bank too. Here’s a bank that has applied this approach.

Wells Fargo Facebook chatbot. American bank Wells Fargo decided to launch a chatbot on Facebook instead of an app. It was the right decision. The service has attracted thousands of fans who simply enjoy communicating with the bot. To use the bot, a user needs to go through a quick registration process after which he can easily check his account balance, see recent transactions, and get data about his spending. For instance, users can see how much they’ve spent on transport in the last month.

The success of Wells Fargo has led to a long list of other banks launching similar projects, including Capital One and Ally Bank.

#4 Measuring customer satisfaction

With a mobile banking app, it’s almost impossible to get customer feedback about your services. Users open the app, do what they need, and close it. It’s a one-way interaction. To figure out how to improve your services and goods, you have to understand whether your customers are satisfied or dissatisfied with them.

Chatbots provide many tools for that. Apart from a usual request to rate a chatbot’s work or a common question like Was this conversation useful? AI chatbots are able to identify users’ moods and react to them. They collect tons of data about users, their preferences, and their behavior patterns.

This all helps banks to improve their existing solutions, create new ones if needed, and provide users with a personalized approach which leads to an increased conversion rate.

#5 Personalized marketing strategies

Generic ads aren’t very effective. If you really want your customers to appreciate the ads you send them, you need to make these ads personal.

Chatbots, as we already know, collect all the personal data they can get. Why not use that data to deliver highly personalized suggestions to clients based on their profile information and preferences? With this marketing campaign, you can significantly improve your conversion rate and bring highly targeted goods and services to users at the right time and place.

The next example shows that personalized marketing campaigns through chatbots can not only improve the conversion rate but can also improve user engagement.

ImaginBank chatbot in Messenger. ImaginBank is a Spanish mobile banking organization that started a chatbot called Gina who offers promotions based on a user’s location, preferences, and interests.

While interacting with the chatbot, a user sets a goal – an amount he wants to save, a time by which he wants to pay a loan back, or the like. The chatbot then analyses this data and gives the user personalized offers and discounts on different forms of entertainment that can help him to spend less and accomplish his aim faster.

AI banking chatbot in Messenger
Gina – ImaginBank chatbot in Messenger

Significantly, on average customers of ImaginBank contact the bot at least once a week. What’s more, about 30 percent of conversations are initiated by non-customers of this bank. This proves the theory that chatbots are effective tools for engaging existing customers as well as acquiring new customers.

#6 Guidance on financial matters

A lot of people have no idea how to manage their finances. They need someone they can trust to teach them the basics. People can ask bank chatbots for personalized advice regarding their financial situation, life circumstances, and needs. This is especially helpful for youth who have never dealt with their personal finances before.

Of course, people could read long manuals or books about money management. But it would be much more effective if banks gave users a chance to talk to a personal advisor who’s available around the clock on all devices. This is exactly what Bank of America did.

Erica by Bank of America. Bank of America created a chatbot named Erica who teaches users how to save money, for instance, if they want to pay down their debt or create a plan to buy a car or a house. Erica helps people find ways to save in day-to-day life, tells them how much they could save in a year if they cut certain expenses, and shows what they can afford.

Erica AI chatbot
Erica - the Bank of America chatbot

Erica offers users not only consultations and clever financial advice but also educational videos and other materials that help Bank of America to build strong and trusting long-term relationships with their customers.

Apart from teaching, Erica can provide customer support and numerous banking services.

#7 Streamline routine back-office tasks

Automation means everything nowadays - especially in the banking sphere, where confirming one document can take hours. With a smart chatbot, this task can take minutes and save time for more important things.

Some chatbots are so clever that they can easily replace a lawyer or an accountant, or at least help them with many humdrum tasks. At the same time, chatbots can communicate with bank staff and provide them with data. That’s what COiN does for JPMorgan Chase.

COiN by JPMorgan Chase. COiN is a program that analyzes complex contracts faster and more efficiently than people can. JPMorgan Chase has calculated that the system helped them save almost 400,000 employee hours last year. This program is based on image processing and recognition software designed to check legal documentation and extract necessary information.

The chatbot’s assistance helps JPMorgan Chase process documents faster and is a great timesaver for the company.

The bottom line

AI chatbots solve multiple problems in the financial sphere. They can cut spending, improve services, engage clients, and make clients loyal to a company. Chatbots never get tired, they’re always in a good mood and, in many cases, they work more efficiently than people.

A lot of organizations are suspicious about chatbots because they think these programs will take people’s jobs. In reality, chatbots help employees. They allow them to forget about answering the same questions over and over again and automate the majority of humdrum tasks. This saves time that people can spend on education and on tasks where human help is really necessary.

Every bank that has launched a program based on an AI chatbot has achieved great success in one sphere or another. Many banks tell about outstanding results that have been possible only because of bots. Chatbots are a versatile tool that banks can use in many areas to deal with such typical issues as customer distrust, low user engagement, and bad conversion rates. Check out our infographic below and find more data proving that AI in financial services is a really great idea!

Banking chatbots Infographics


Daria R.

Daria R.


Oleksandra I.

Oleksandra I.

Head of Product Management Office

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