The word on the street says that banking and finance are moving towards digital transformation more aggressively than ever. Disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are key focus areas for FinTech leaders today. Developing long term solutions at scale to simplify finance operations is what will get developers the most brownie points!
Gartner predicts that companies offering personalization will outperform brands who don’t. With IoT in place now, the number of connected devices in the market has only increased, and the world already has 2.5 billion smartphone users. More than 37% of the world is using messaging apps today, and approximately 20 million already use smart speakers. The paradigm shift from non-personalized marketing to social media is representative of new age interactive customer experiences, and that’s the big fish to catch. Conversational commerce is a key driver of this transformation, and its recent popularity is well deserved. This also includes text based chatbots that increase consumer engagement especially in service-based sectors. In the last year, especially, this has grown incredibly and enabled businesses to connect to 5 times more the number of customers than usual. Impact? Their revenue grew by 10-20%. That is massive! Imagine the kind of growth opportunities out there!
Conversational Banking: Embracing digital transformation
The key differentiator for conversational commerce is that it allows users to converse through a platform of their choice, along with greater transparency. It is cost effective for banks and financial institutions, as a chatbot is simply a conversational algorithm embedded within a chat interface, i.e. a one-time investment. Intelligent chatbots generate a human like conversation with consumers, provide businesses with a dynamic understanding of their needs and while at it, optimize user data in real time. The smarter your bot becomes, the more data it collects. Initially, FinTech chatbots focused on customer experience but more recently, investments in contextual insights driven communication have made bots the new age contact executives, says PWC. Bots have also overtaken IVR and are helping users authenticate transactions seamlessly. In fact, chatbots can also provide CXOs with operational information and thus help them focus more on strategic business objectives, rather than remain caught up in day to day activities.
Adopting holistic, AI empowered support systems for back office
While optimizing customer experiences is priority, chatbots can be used to solve operational back office problems too. Backed by advanced machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), chatbots are essentially conversational analytics platforms that initiate actions without human intervention. A well designed chatbot reduces turn around time, provides instant information, enhances cross selling, improvises mundane queries and has the ability to provide omni channel experiences. For example, if a customer wants their bank statements, all they need to do is send a message to the chatbot. The details will be furnished to them within seconds! Based on the customer’s history and digital profile, chatbots also recommend investment options, provide market related news and suggest ways to utilize credit card points. Proactive suggestions for the win! That’s not all. Advanced chatbots can even analyze complex legal contracts much faster than lawyers, saving a large chunk of manpower and resources in the process. Granting access to software systems, resetting passwords and handling day to day IT operations is also achievable. Cognitive intelligence can further be utilized to pay down debt. Personal banking assistants are already anticipating questions for thousands of common FAQs, reducing the need for time consuming telephonic conversations.
Roadmap for the future: Intelligent conversations
An insights-driven bank complete with sales and marketing functions, and custom offerings based on global trends is the future of FinTech. Imagine an institution empowered with technology that can engage with consumers in real time, bridge gaps between existing legacy infrastructure through predictive data analytics and keep track of everything, all in one place. It will benefit not only the end consumer, but the bank’s employees as well by cutting down hours of repetitive work. For example, if a bank runs a loyalty program and wants to find out customers with the most number of transactions, they don’t need to manually look through their records. An AI and RPA powered chatbot can easily look through the customer data and respond via text! Scalable, high performance open source solutions implemented through apps add to dynamic UX as well. Mobile payments, digital wallets and UPI have also seen a massive escalation in the recent years, and non banking transactions like bill payments are adding to the boost. Soon, front office banking systems will be overtaken by mobile apps, and ticketing and back office systems will run on data analytics and blockchain. While certain processes like KYCs and internal employee management will definitely rely on the human touch, disruptive tech is here to stay. Conversational commerce may be in its infancy stage right now, but it holds the power to build strong business-consumer relationships.. The next era of FinTech will transform banks of today into cognitive financial institutions of tomorrow, and I, for one, can’t wait to see that happen!