Chat-robots and Robo-advisors (robot-assistants) are the steadily growing trends in the finance domain. Both are aimed at managing bank accounts and trading on the exchange, providing immediate assistance to users and equipping them with the key financial information or statements.
Every day the number of chatbots is growing, and their algorithms are being improved. Currently a lot of financial institutions and banks use chatbots, trying to automate the process of interaction with customers, and thus, on the one hand, to optimize the costs for the support staff, and on the other, to improve the quality of communication with consumers of their products, minimizing the negative human factor.
Of course, chatbots – even the most advanced ones – will not be able to support complex financial transactions or solve advanced issues that will require the physical presence of the customer for a long time.
Nevertheless, if we talk about the existing banking system, the bots push back its limits every day, making payment opportunities available in instant messengers, where the performance of financial transactions will soon become something ordinary for customers, and paying bills will become easier and more convenient.
The vast majority of existing chatbots are based on social messenger platforms, and the best of them are integrated into more than 100 platforms and equipped with self-learning algorithms.
Here is an interesting statistics about using chatbots in case there is such option:
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Samples of chatbots on the current FinTech market
1. One of the first PayPal bots was launched on October 2016 in Facebook Messenger: customers shopping in different online stores have the opportunity to make payments via Facebook Messenger using PayPal payment service.
2. Among the messengers, elegantly combining communication and money transfer options, the leading position belongs to the Chinese service WeChat: during the period of the Chinese New Year 2016, it excelled PayPal’s mobile transactions volume for the entire 2015!
The general vector of the development of chatbots in the financial market
Other major financial players such as Mastercard are also not standing still developing their chatbots for banks and financial institutions to:
- fight fraud,
- increase operational efficiency
and more effective interaction with customers, partners, issuers, and sellers.
At the moment, extracting the information from a database available to a chatbot is the most common functionality in the field of exchange trading. This chatbots feature is used for quickly obtaining the financial information: the current exchange rates of currencies, stocks, and other valuable assets, as well as important financial news that may affect their rates.
Many countries made the development of digital banks and remote banking services their policies. Nowadays, it’s possible to implement remote user identification, which allows performing all bank transactions via chatbots.
A lot of financial institutions try to optimize at least the first line of support with the help of chatbots. Here are some tips to consider before starting to implement this technology for your company:
What you need to know before creating a financial chatbot:
1. It is necessary to receive a qualified consultation from professional developers of chatbots and to establish cooperation with one of the companies providing such FinTech solution.
2. Planning and assessment of potential risks are required.
3. Before creating a bot, it is necessary to develop algorithms for efficient interaction with a large amount of user data. Databases should be built the way the entire source of necessary information about the user is available to a chatbot, so it could provide each user with personalized tips on managing his/her assets or extract other required information.
4. It is strategically important to transform the existing customer base into a format that is convenient for the bot.
5. Robot-advisor (bot-assistant) based on artificial intelligence is a complex technology, therefore, inadequate implementation of the project stages will create significant risks and can cause harm to customers. To minimize these risks, financial institution employees and information communication technology specialists should participate in all stages of designing and implementing chatbots and robot-advisors. Before launching, thorough QA testing is necessary to identify and assess risks.
6. The security of bots is provided by technologies identical to those used in mobile applications. These include two-factor and biometric authentication, behavior analysis technologies and other more advanced technologies. To ensure maximum security, communication with the chatbot should be encrypted.
10 main criteria for the overall assessment of the quality of bots:
1. Utility: The bot must have a set of user-specific functions making his/her everyday workflows easier and saving time.
2. Convenience: The bot should be simple and intuitive to use, eliminating the need for the user to re-enter his data (name, phone number, bank card, regular service invoices and so on), and can be used and improved without any developer’s skills.
3. Assistance: the bot should be empowered with the functions of an assistant – be able not only to understand the user but also to perform his tasks automatically (no worse than the user himself). This bot learns your preferences and typical needs, creates for you a set of products and services that are recommended for purchase or use at the moment, and further helps to manage this portfolio and achieve your goals.
4. Self-learning: the bot should be able to learn and develop independently in order to better understand both the user and the tasks assigned.
5. “Humanity”: the bot must understand the user, even if a person writes “buT three share of an apple”. He must understand that you need to buY stocks at the best price, and not 3 apples in the supermarket. And besides, the bot should be able to correct errors, understand typos and missed commands. If the command is unclear, it should be able to check it with the user once again.
6. Speed: instant response of the bot to the user’s inquiry is much better than the freezing up and lagging bot – the speed of data processing is really important.
7. Integration options availability: one bot for all platforms.
8. Mass and scalability: the bot should solve everyday tasks of its user, and at the same time, it should be designed for a wide audience a be scalable to perform a variety of different inquiries.
9. Reliability: a stably working bot without errors will not lead to financial and other losses, both for the user and the company serving him.
10. Security and confidentiality: the bot must be able to authenticate the user reliably and encrypt its data, prevent unauthorized access to its financial operations and block attempts to change, collect and steal user data.
Before you order the development of your chatbot, it is recommended to view competitors’ bots, analyze their pros and cons and benchmark their solutions with the functionality of the standard chatbots.
Popular free platforms for creating chatbots:
1. Chatfuel – the platform for creating chatbots for Facebook and Telegram without the programming skills, provides a set of templates that you can edit for your own needs.
2. FlowXO – the business-oriented platform that provides the opportunity for more than 100 integrations, and offers a visual interface for creating bots on a template at once for all major platforms. Programming skills are not required. In a free plan, there are restrictions on the number of interactions, after exceeding this limit it is necessary to switch to a paid plan.
3. Chattypeople – the platform for creating a chatbot on Facebook with integrated Facebook commerce. You can make a simple bot without coding, answering frequently asked questions from customers.
4. BotKit – this platform has more than 40 plugins and can be used to create intelligent dialog applications that realistically imitate how people communicate. This important detail distinguishes this platform from some of its competitors.
5. Beep Boop is a developer-centric hosting platform. This is a service for advanced bot builders that offers to create applications for Slack and Facebook Messenger. In order to create a bot, you need to connect an account on GitHub to Beep Boop and upload to GitHub the code for the future bot. Then open the repository via Beep Boop platform, connect to Facebook Messenger or Slack application. After that, the bot will be able to interact with your customers in the real-time through the messenger.
The disadvantages of such free platforms are obvious:
• Signing up for any of the above mentioned services, you basically get an empty shell, which you have to adjust to your tasks and needs.
• The functionality of such bot is usually very simple (say hello, give the initial choice of topics/questions, extract information on the topic chosen by the user).
• Even if you do not need coding skills, any way you need to be tech savvy to prepare a bot for simple interactions.
• These platforms are not focused on any specific business domains, they have truly general nature. Thus, whether it is connecting to an eCommerce website or an insurance company’s website, no business aspects will be taken into account – only basic capabilities will be available.
• The main drawback is the lack of a database necessary for training a bot (even if it has the learning capabilities, which is not available in every solution). By the way, not every company wishing to implement a chatbot has data for its training, which makes it more difficult to customize or develop a bot from scratch.
It should be noted that there are a lot of ready-made platforms for creating chatbots, but the best of them are still paid, and subsequently need to be customized for the company’s tasks. Some financial organizations choose free solutions, some choose paid, while others are on the way to create their own custom bots without finding a suitable solution among existing free or paid platforms.
For easier understanding which chatbot your organization needs, it’s wise to get a consultation in a specific FinTech company providing custom chatbot solutions.
According to Gartner forecasts, by 2020, users will manage 85% of communication processes with service providers without making contact with people.
Large foreign banks and other financial organizations are gradually delegating large amounts of routine back-office work to artificial intelligence. In addition, some functions of the front office, for example, advising customers through digital channels, are also transferred to artificial intelligence to improve the quality of banking services. For example, the largest banks in North America, such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Master Card and American Express, in 2016 successfully implemented the chatbots platform.
Obviously, chat-bots and robot-advisors actively transform the world financial system. These technologies provide a number of advantages for financial institutions, improve their quality of service, increase existing customers loyalty and attract new ones. It may be confidently asserted that chatbots and robot-advisors have a huge development potential in the next 5 years.
Author: ASD team