Today’s banking customers don’t want to visit your branch or speak to a rep over the phone. They want a digital experience. Over three-quarters of Americans now use their bank’s mobile app for everyday banking tasks.

Customer support needs to be digital, too. In-app live chat is a great start, but a banking chatbot takes things to the next level. With a banking chatbot, financial institutions can provide a personalized, automated service that delivers everything customers expect while saving the bank time and money. 

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about banking chatbots, including:

Banking chatbots Banking chatbots

What is a banking chatbot?

A banking chatbot is an AI-based conversational bot that acts like a virtual assistant to provide real-time support to bank customers. A banking chatbot can prevent customers from having to speak to a human customer support representative using a combination of artificial intelligence and question-answer combinations. 

Chatbots are at the front of the banking industry’s new automation efforts focused on conversational banking. Where ATMs and apps provided machine-based support in the past, chatbots and other conversational banking tools allow banks to automate customer interactions wherever they are and in whatever form they take.

What are the benefits of chatbots in banking?

Banking chatbots offer multiple benefits to financial institutions when used as virtual assistants. 

 

 

 

 

Financial services case study results Financial services case study results

 

What should a banking chatbot look like?

For banking chatbots to deliver the benefits above, they need to have the following characteristics.

1.  Conversational

A non-AI chatbot can be an effective tool for answering if-this-then-that or yes and no questions. With carefully preset rules, these chatbots can handle most simple banking queries. But that shouldn’t be satisfactory for banks. Instead, banks should look to conversational AI chatbots that use Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and Machine Learning (ML) to deliver a more personalized human-like experience. 

 

2.  Transactional

Cost savings is just one aspect of the benefits that chatbots offer to banks and their bottom lines. They can (and should) be used to increase revenue, too.  Typically, customers only use a fraction of a banks' products or services. A chatbot can act as a personal sales rep suggesting the most relevant financial products to every customer based on their data. They can even streamline the application process to increase sign-up rates. 

 

3. On-brand

Banks should provide customers a seamless experience whether they are accessing their bank in a branch, via their mobile banking apps, or through a banking chatbot. To that end, your chatbot software should be able to customize your chatbot to match your bank’s branding, language, and messaging guidelines.

 

Proactive chatbot Proactive chatbot

 

4. Secure

Banks can’t afford a single weak spot in their customer-facing applications — and chatbots are no different. Because they increase the attack surface of banks, chatbots must comply with strict regulations. Freshchat’s chatbot has a multi-tier data security model and end-to-end security and is GDPR and ISO 27001 compliant. 
 

5. Multichannel

Your banking chatbot must be accessible to customers across multiple mediums, including smartphones, the web, and messaging apps like WhatsApp. 

How to use a banking chatbot

Banks can pick and choose from the following use cases for their chatbot.

1.  Assist with essential banking activities

With a banking chatbot, customers no longer have to bother customer service reps with easy-to-fulfill tasks and queries. They receive a significantly faster, more private, and more reliable service as a result.

Banking chatbots can automate common activities like sending money, moving money between accounts, and paying bills. They can also give customers a breakdown of their financial activities, like spending habits, monthly bills, or account balance requests.

 

2.  Answer FAQs

Customers shouldn’t have to ring up their bank branch and wait on hold to get answers to common questions. By using chatbots, banks can help customers get answers to questions like:

Better still, banks can use chatbots to provide this service round the clock at little cost.

 

Chatbot FAQs Chatbot FAQs

3. Provide proactive support 

Banking chatbots aren’t limited to offering support when customers ask. They can take a proactive role in customer service, sending payment reminders to customers, giving them updates on their credit score, and asking customers if they need assistance after they’ve spent time on a page of your bank's website. These kinds of push alerts elevate the customer experience and help deliver the personalized service that customers now expect from apps.  

 

Proactive chatbot Proactive chatbot

 

4. Help customers apply for financial products

As discussed above, you can use chatbots to take the place of salespeople, not just customer service reps. Their conversational nature makes them the perfect tool to improve form-based signups for products like mortgages or credit cards. It makes for a much more appealing experience that can lead to higher conversion rates. They may also be able to provide instant approvals. 

 

5. Resolve suspicious activity

Fraud, sadly, remains an ever-present problem in the online banking industry, but chatbots can help fight the battle against fraud. Specifically, you can use proactive messages from chatbots to help customers spot the early signs of fraud. 

A chatbot can alert customers immediately whenever there is suspicious activity or unauthorized account access. Once alerted, chatbots can guide customers through the fraud reporting process.

The benefit of using a chatbot rather than a customer service rep for this task is that chatbots can use data access to spot fraud instances in real-time. No review is necessary. An alert can be sent as soon as suspicious activity has been identified.

 

Build a banking chatbot with Freshchat

Chatbots are quickly becoming essential customer support and sales tools in the banking sector. They provide a range of benefits, from a better customer experience to increased adoption of your various financial products. Finding the right chatbot tool is key to unlocking these benefits and use cases. Freshchat is the  perfect platform to build a banking chatbot thanks to: