Artificial Intelligence (or AI) is already being widely deployed across industries, sometimes in ways you wouldn’t even have imagined. The financial sector, which is heavily regulated, may not seem like an industry that would be poised to harness cutting-edge technology. But with the right planning, regulatory experts, and smart selection of use cases, AI can be put to work for the good of the employees and customers. 

Where AI in Banking and Finance Gets Put to Work

AI in banking and finance can also lead to huge cost savings, within different business units or channels. There are three main channels where banks can use artificial intelligence. These include the front office (for tasks such as conversational banking), the middle office (for fraud detection and risk management), and the back office (for processes like underwriting). It is estimated that in the next 10 to 15 years, AI-powered applications will create $1 trillion in savings for the industry.

  1. Conversational Banking

The front office is client-facing, and incorporating AI generally means including messaging applications as part of the client experience. Having chatbots within the suite of customer service tools allows for clients to receive answers faster, while interacting with a human-like interface. Conversational banking will continue to improve as more institutions harness AI to elevate their customer and employee experiences. AI in banking and finance can:

  • Support customers by answering frequently asked questions quickly
  • Increase employee satisfaction by eliminating repetitive tasks
  • Boost sales by allowing AI to better serve and sell to clients
  • Help to improve marketing efforts and services by collecting data
  1. Fraud Detection and Risk Management

Within the middle office, AI is perfectly placed to identify any out-of-the-ordinary behaviour within financial accounts. Machine learning and AI are based on data analysis and pattern recognition, with each getting better and better the longer they are utilized. Unfortunately, fraud is an increasingly costly problem. But, AI used cleverly in risk management can perform data analysis in milliseconds, which makes it the most efficient way to detect fraud quickly. AI can:

  • Increase efficiency in identifying fraud and freezing suspect accounts
  • Improve customer service by providing account access and unlocking options in automated and easy-to-access applications
  • Reduce intensive human labour in fraud detection, allowing for employees to focus on developing the software and systems that improve security, rather than searching through transactions to identify fraudulent actions
  1. Underwriting

Underwriting is when your income, assets, and debt are verified as you attempt to apply for a loan. In the back office, AI can be put to good use for underwriting tasks that include data entry, data transfer, automated financial plan creation, and collection of loan application statuses. So much of the processes today are various data collection systems and oversight processes. In a bid to save time and allow the software to do some heavy lifting, AI can:

  • Process underwriting submissions
  • Make risk decisions based on past data
  • Give coverage recommendations 

Check Out Some of These Progressive Financial AI Chatbot Examples

Some of the largest banks in the United States and Canada have embraced AI in the form of a chatbot that interacts with clients. These examples of conversational banking have received rave reviews and are used by millions of users. Conversational AI is at the heart of each of these chatbots, used to ensure that the customer experience service that feels human-like, supportive and customized.

  1. Bank of America Chatbot: Erica

In 2016, Bank of America had a vision for a digital assistant that would help clients online, where they wanted to seek service. Not long after, Erica was born. This chatbot is considered the first widely available virtual assistant in finance. 

Erica can send notifications to customers, give money-saving tips, provide credit reports, and dole out balance information. When you call into your bank, these are all options you have, either in an automated response or when speaking to a representative. But 43% of online bank users would rather use a chatbot than speak to a representative. Erica provides answers much faster than a human ever could.

To say Erica was a hit is an understatement – within two months she already had 1 million users. As with most conversational AI chatbots, the more Erica interacts with customers, the smarter she gets. The initial investment that Bank of America made in the chatbot is paying off now, without needing to reprogram or upgrade the system. She is able to learn what customers need and how best to converse in order to provide the most up-to-date help.

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  1. RBC NOMI Digital Banking Assistant

RBC’s NOMI has received a lot of good press, and for good reason. The AI-based NOMI Digital Banking Assistant is four things in one:

  • Offers real-time personalized financial data to customers
  • Automatically finds and saves money by analyzing cash flow
  • Budgeting tool that is driven by insights derived from data
  • A chatbot that can respond to both text and voice inquiries

NOMI is built on the Personetics Engage AI platform, and RBC customers can simply click on a button to enable its use. There’s no setup required; it gets to work automatically providing insights, suggestions and budgeting help based on the customer’s own personal trends, data and preferences. 

The magic of this AI-powered solution is that it’s completely tailored to the customer from day one. When clients are reviewing their banking, they get insights that help them be more intentional with their money, such as “You spent $56 on coffee last week.” The find-and-save feature is also very popular where the AI technology can determine how much money could be automatically saved each month without hurting cash flow. 

More than 1.1 million users have enabled NOMI on their accounts, and less than 1% of customers turn the AI-powered platform off. As a result, users have received more than 1 billion insights, helping them spend better, save more, and learn about their finances. Talk about next-level customer service.

  1. Capital One Chatbot: Eno

Capital One’s chatbot, Eno, is used to help customers access account information, see transaction history and pay bills. Eno was the first natural language SMS chatbot from a U.S. bank. This means that Eno understands a variety of text lingo and short forms (helped by the pilot project that saw 100,000 users try out the platform). 

Eno doesn’t just answer questions for customers though, he also detects spending behaviour that is out of the ordinary. Eno can flag possible fraudulent activity to keep your accounts safe, but it can also provide insights on activity that seems out of the ordinary, such as a higher than usual tip or a monthly bill that seems to be more than normal. 

Eno sends messages to clients just like a human would and it analyzes the responses using its AI-powered chatbot. By understanding natural language and detecting human intent, it can converse with clients and help them solve problems in a way that feels customized and friendly. Clients love that they can check their balance or pay a bill simply by sending a text.

What Will the Future Bring for AI in Banking and Finance?

To take things one step further, and looking beyond the solutions that already exist in finance, there are additional options that AI and chatbots can harness for even more powerful customer experiences. The following is just a taste of what added technologies can bring to banking and finance:

  • Virtual reality+chatbots = illustrating the impact of long-term savings
  • Real-time status+chatbots = an update on a cross-border transaction
  • Facial recognition+chatbots = zero-click transactions
  • IoT devices+chatbots = voice conversations with customers in many locations

If you are wondering how you can incorporate a financial chatbot, reach out to a Chatbot Consultant. Our experts understand the industry and chatbot compliance requirements.

WhatsApp is used by two billion people worldwide on a monthly basis. That’s almost twice the monthly active users on Facebook Messenger. With the greatest global reach, it’s no surprise that WhatsApp chatbots are also on the rise. 

WhatsApp Chatbots Poised to Partner with NGOs

In addition to overall users, WhatsApp dominates the marketplace in certain locales around the globe. For instance, the countries with the most WhatsApp users are:

  1. India 
  2. Brazil
  3. USA
  4. Indonesia
  5. Mexico

NGOs (or non-governmental organizations, which are non-profit organizations) could strategically leverage the power of WhatsApp chatbots to communicate with people all over the world, but especially in the countries above that are heavy users of the app. Users are already familiar with the interface, and when an organization offers communication on the platform, barriers to communication and understanding are broken. 

Riaz Jogiyat, who is a business development expert, with extensive experience in data mining, conversational AI and NGOs, provided insight on how chatbots could serve NGOs: 

“If a chatbot is the tool that gets people to engage and communicate more, while balancing privacy, then I believe the potential is there for NGOs to make faster and more impactful decisions.”

WhatsApp Chatbots

The Power of WhatsApp Chatbots in Aiding NGOs

Depending on the countries that NGOs operate in, WhatsApp may be an untapped source of communication and data. In developing countries, communicating with key actors can be difficult. Technological and language barriers exist, and gathering information can be arduous. But in addition to that, the data that is collected often sits unused, when it could be put to task for the betterment of the countries it was collected in. Here’s how chatbots could be used to tackle both these issues.

  1. Contextual Information Gathering using WhatsApp Chatbots

Gathering information on the ground can take tremendous resources. Deploying a chatbot is a cost-effective way for NGOs to collect information, by way of surveys, answering questions, and conversing with the local population. A chatbot can even be developed such that it recognizes the language of the person and automatically responds in kind. Imagine the savings on interpreters and personnel gathering information live.

An example that Mr. Jogiyat considers to be prime for chatbot deployment is in the flow of communication between different actions of trade agreements. When evaluating the entire ecosystem of, say, a farming industry, its export and trade agreements, the chatbot could facilitate communication between:

  • Government agencies
  • Farmers
  • Businesses
  • Customers

Knowing that WhatsApp is easily picked up by populations around the world, it’s the natural choice for an NGO chatbot platform. Any actor with a mobile phone and access to the internet can connect easily and interact with the bot to get questions answered, to provide information, and to learn about any developments.

  1. Power of WhatsApp Chatbots Is also in the Insights

Once data has been collected by a chatbot, it’s ripe for mining. In fact, a recent study delved into data collected by NGOs within health policy and systems to find that it could be used as a primary data source to enable research in under-researched and marginalized groups. In conflict-affected areas and developing nations, it’s difficult for academics to perform research, but by developing partnerships with NGOs to improve data collection, research efforts could start to have a real impact on marginalized populations.

If a chatbot was used in the studies and data collection, the analysis of the data from people in the developing nation would be much easier. Chatbots can be designed to incorporate data analysis and information dashboards customized to the research desired. Build the chatbot on WhatsApp, which is used heavily in some developing nations, and the reach would be even greater, allowing for research efforts and improvements in health policy to be directed where truly needed. 

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Harness WhatsApp Chatbots the Right Way

As Riaz Jogiyat points out, security is still one of the concerns when it comes to deploying technology in an NGO. But experts in the chatbot realm know exactly how to build a chatbot that is secure and compliant. A Chatbot Consultant can also help ensure a chatbot is built by a team that has experience with large-scale WhatsApp rollouts. 

If you’re wondering how to get started with a chatbot for an NGO, reach out to one of our experts today.

Data-driven business insights allow you to make strategic business decisions that could give you a distinct competitive advantage. You can glean a surprising amount of strategic business insights from conversational AI chatbots.

An example of a strategic business insight might be that customers often say a competitor’s product is of higher quality. You could obtain these insights from social media, reviews, and even direct contact with customers. But that’s a ton of work. 

AI (or artificial intelligence), using machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), can help you collect data and show you trends like above, saving time and money. All you have to do is review the insights and develop an action plan to address the opportunity you’ve identified. 

Don’t forget: insights don’t all have to be actionable to have value. Sometimes insights can confirm your theories. Data collected from a chatbot can also give you critical feedback on whether your strategies are working. 

How Do Chatbots Lead to Strategic Business Insights? 

Chatbots collect considerable data through their conversations with your customers. You can mine this data to find out: 

  • what questions your customers ask, 
  • what suggestions they have, 
  • what they want from your products, 
  • and what issues they have most frequently.
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Let’s look at a simple example. If a restaurant chain has a chatbot, and customers are frequently asking about gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan options, it could be lucrative for the brand to start adding items to their menu in these categories. Chatbot data can reveal potential future business avenues your team may not have determined on their own.

How Chatbots Help Your Customer Service Strategy

Chatbot data can show you trends in customer issues, from when they’re most likely to occur to the most common complaints, as well as the cause of problems. You can also collect data on customer intent when they are interacting with the bot. You’ll understand at what point during the conversation is the customer getting more or less annoyed or angry. You can then tweak your process to direct those customers to a human representative, and you can look at adjusting your chatbot’s responses to serve customers better.

Even simple interactions with your chatbot can reveal trends about your customers. If your chatbot regularly gets the question: “what location is closest to me?” it might be worth surveying customers for postal codes. Maybe there’s an opportunity for expanding your business to a location you hadn’t thought of previously.

As a bonus, chatbots can also improve your employee experience because they can quickly answer straightforward questions like “when are you open?” This gives your customer service reps more time to deal with more complex questions or problems. It also eliminates repetitive work that can frustrate employees. 

How Chatbots Can Help Your Marketing Strategy

Chatbots are a perfect complement to an inbound marketing strategy. Your content gets people interested and builds trust, while the chatbot is the first friendly and immediately available point of contact. Your chatbot can also provide further information about the items your customers are looking at and can collect their contact details if they’d like to speak to someone. Chatbots could even book appointments with human staff members. 

Chatbot data can show you what information your marketing content is missing by offering you the most frequently asked questions. You can also find out what frustrates your customers and causes them to leave a chatbot conversation without purchasing a product or resolving an issue. Trends identified can lead to a strategy to reach out to these customers with a special offer or discount to get them back as customers. 

How Chatbots Can Help Improve Your Sales Procedures

Chatbots can also lend a hand to your sales department. Similar to your marketing strategies and customer service, chatbots can help save time for your sales team as well. Strategically designed chatbots, especially when integrated with a CRM, could collect contact information and pre-qualify leads for your team to contact. 

A chatbot can also collect the data your CRM needs and fill in the details after a conversation. Think about the time your sales team could save if the first discovery call was effectively completed by a chatbot asking the right questions. Suddenly, your sales strategy can be more tailored to the prospect in question when the first in-person call is made. 

Strategic Business Insights
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Depending on the industry you are in, you might have a chatbot that assists customers in making purchases online. The data collected can help you to change up your sales pages, forms and overall layout to make the experience better for customers. You’ll know from a chatbot when people ask questions, get confused and need assistance. The data from sales bots will help teams and leaders develop the next generation of even more intuitive online shopping experiences. 

Get Strategic Business Insights from Conversational AI

If you have an online business where customers can contact you via your website, on a messenger app or even through a call centre, you will benefit from integrating conversational AI into your business model. The insights gathered from the wealth of data collected are priceless. And as the chatbot continues to improve, the detailed and nuanced data being gathered will continue to direct your strategies in the years to come.

Curious about how you could tap into critical metrics and data analysis in an easy-to-use chatbot dashboard? Book a quick call with one of our consultants today!

As more and more of our lives shift into the online realm, so have many of the services that we use regularly. This includes mental health services and therapy. 

The need for mental health support is reaching all-time highs for many reasons: 

  • Mental health stigma is diminishing 
  • Employers are realizing mental health is an essential part of productivity 
  • People are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and worry worldwide
A young girl with black hair and a pink sweater and backpack stands on the left side of the frame, in front of a blurry urban scene. The girl stares straight at the camera with a content expression on her face. 

On the right side of the frame a friendly looking white robot, about the same height as the girl, stands facing her, with its hand outstretched towards her. The robot has a touchscreen tablet device mounted on its chest, and it has pink and white flower garlands around its neck.

The girl rests her left hand on top of the robot's outstretched hand.  Could be a mental health chatbot
Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

While demand is at an all-time high for mental health support, access can be full of barriers. An opportunity is emerging though, and it involves embracing AI as an integral part of the therapy process. 

Counsellors have a heavy load of patients, and finding a counsellor in the first place can be challenging. Barriers to access include: 

  • Limited availability
  • Affordability
  • Insufficient policies for mental health care implementation
  • Lack of education about mental health
  • Stigma about mental health

Initiatives like #BellLetsTalk Day are working to breakdown the stigma about mental health while fundraising to support community mental health programs across Canada. Bell has helped fund many programs, and in particular, they have helped support 792,636 Canadians via technology-based mental health programs. Even chatbots are now being used to deliver mental health care.

I received a call from the school nurse, who put my son on the line. My son told me he was very sad and was feeling depressed. I immediately went to my son’s school to pick him up. Before we left, we met with one of the administrators, who helped my son feel a little better. The whole afternoon I couldn’t stop thinking about how sad my son was when I arrived at the school. A few hours later, when I went upstairs for some quiet time, it hit me that my son may be depressed…just like me. What I love about this image is the raw emotion that shows just how hard parenting can be sometimes.
mental health chatbots can help even from the comfort of your bed.
Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

Mental Health Chatbots In Action

Wysa is an online platform that is accessible to anyone 24/7 for free through an app on iOS or Android devices. The app is described as a buddy to cheer you up and track your wellbeing. It includes daily meditations for mental health, and it can even be used as a family meditation experience. With Wysa, you have support to stay emotionally healthy by: 

  • Tracking your mood
  • Finding optimism
  • Practicing thought reframing with CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)
  • Reducing sadness

Wysa helps you learn more about mental health and can connect you with a human therapist, who will offer you support via text message. Support from a real human therapist costs just under $100USD a month for four live sessions. In many parts of the world, the average price of seeing a licensed therapist is over $100 per hour. 

Woebot is another app for iOS and Android-based devices that can help you cope with challenging feelings and experiences. The app can prompt you for a check-in every day, to track your moods, and guides you through CBT-based techniques, mindfulness, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Woebot offers mental health coaching, insights, and skill-building to help you learn to effectively manage your mental health. It’s available when you need it, and it’ll even make you smile with funny jokes and stories. 

Woebot also teaches about mental health and tracks your progress over time. The tracking features of these apps can help identify trends in experiences and times of year that might set off mental health symptoms. 

Some situations are difficult to deal with and you might not know how to cope with them. 😵
Follow these steps to better understand your emotions and deal with them mindfully.
Tag and share this to raise awareness!
Talk through your feelings or vent with Wysa mental health chatbot
Photo by Wysa on Instagram

8 Reasons a Mental Health Chatbot Can Supplement Therapy

Could a conversational AI chatbot help deliver effective mental health treatment? Here are eight reasons you might be looking to a bot for your next therapy session:

  1. Chatbots are available 24/7, whenever people need support.
  2. Mental health chatbots are more affordable than traditional therapy; most are free for users. 
  3. Chatbots can help an individual cope between appointments with their human therapist. 
  4. The patient doesn’t have to go anywhere or dress up for a video call; they just converse with the chatbot from home. 
  5. Chatbots are accessible, providing options for the visually impaired or hard-of-hearing clients. 
  6. Therapists can deploy their chatbots to monitor at-risk patients between appointments in a low-pressure way. 
  7. Many people prefer to talk to a chatbot than to a real human, so they’re more likely to engage. 
  8. Talking to a bot may not trigger anxiety the same way that face-to-face or phone conversations can for some people, making treatment more likely to succeed.

Chatbots can help people get improved access to mental health care services, and bridge a gap for individuals who may not be able to access the services via traditional methods. Mental health chatbots are an excellent step in breaking down common barriers to help people manage their mental health care. 

Reach out to one of our experts if you have any questions about how a chatbot could be put to use in the healthcare industry, and beyond.

AI (or artificial intelligence) is changing how companies operate, but not in the sci-fi, sentient robots way that Hollywood has portrayed. The integration of AI is already delivering tangible results for many businesses. 

Automation and optimization of tasks save companies time and money while improving customer and employee experience. Deloitte estimates that with strong AI adoption, time savings could be upwards of 27% within seven years. 

Figuring out how to integrate AI into your business can be an intimidating proposition. There’s so much to learn, and it can seem like there are many risks involved. 

So, how do you know where to get started?

Integrate AI into Your Business
Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

How to Integrate AI Into Your Business Without the Risk

Conversational AI, put to work by chatbots, is one of the easiest, low-risk ways to integrate AI into your business. Most companies that conduct business online are using chatbots now, and research shows that by the end of 2020, 80% of entrepreneurs will use them. Chatbots are revolutionizing the way businesses deliver customer service, build relationships with customers, and drive revenue goals. 

You can experiment with chatbots in low-risk ways. They deliver a surprising amount of valuable data for your company, and chances are it fits within your innovation budget.

Chatbots are the perfect place to start integrating AI into your business. Here’s why:

  • Chatbots scale quickly as your business grows and as your AI requirements develop.
  • Chatbots are low risk because you have complete control from the very beginning. You decide exactly how they help your customers and when and where they require human oversight. They can handle low-risk issues at first while efficiently shifting challenging questions to staff members.
  • You can start small and even deploy a chatbot internally before you launch it to customers. Chatbots can be then adjusted if you identify problems or opportunities from test group interactions.
  • Chatbots easily integrate with your existing tech stack, systems and organizational architecture. You can plan ahead, and there won’t be any unexpected additional software costs to do with implementation.
  • Chatbots can be developed to supplement and work with your operational standards, customer service standards, and logistical standards. Compliance can be met within an organization.

Chatbots help you take advantage of AI for real business outcomes. You can gather critical customer data to improve customer experience in ways that you may not have considered. Chatbots can also help nurture leads and build trust with potential and current customers. But to harness all of these benefits, you need to have a plan and the guidance of an expert. Working with a chatbot consultant will give you the best bang for your innovation buck when introducing AI to your business.

How Do I Get Started with a Chatbot Consultant?

The process starts with a conversation. In week one, the consultant will discuss the value of chatbots and determine the feasibility of integrating conversational AI into your business. You’ll help the consultant understand your industry, where your comfort level is with AI, and what your expectations are. From there, the best chatbot consultant for your industry will be assigned, and you’ll move to the next phase of your project. 

In the second phase, you’ll come up with a shortlist of possible use cases and desired results and then team up with the consultant to select the best use case. The consultant will work with you to develop KPIs for success and will start to discuss the vendor landscape. 

Integrate AI into Your Business

The ChatC Group has developed an agile process that can be customized to work for every chatbot project. It’s fast and clearly defined, so you know exactly what’s going to happen next. No matter who you procure as your chatbot supplier, ensure they’re working with agile methods. It’ll save you money and time in the long run. 

You can avoid time-consuming outdated procedures and meetings because discussions focus on solutions instead of specs. A solution-focused project also means there’s much more opportunity for collaborative partnerships, which foster better working relationships. Agile projects are more fluid and flexible, meaning they can pivot based on feedback. The ability to adjust on the fly means your project has a lower risk of failure, is less likely to incur cost overruns and will deliver a better product.

What Are the Benefits of a Chatbot Consultant?

Working with a chatbot consultant that takes an agile project management approach means you work with people who are already experts, instead of trying to get your in-house innovation team up to speed. They are likely already busy with projects and their precious time would be better utilized providing context to the chatbot consultant and development team.

An agile chatbot consultant also means a faster process, from start to finish. With a traditional consulting approach, your AI integration project could take up to six months. With an agile approach, consultants start implementing your AI systems within four weeks and are ready to launch a minimum viable product to your customers in less than three months.

If you are interested in adding AI to your business but are understandably cautious about the investment and the risks involved, get in touch. A chatbot consultant can help you identify and mitigate risk to deliver the benefits of AI for your business.