September 17, 2019
Conversational AI tools or chatbots have come a long way from error-prone level-1 support to becoming a widely used tool in banks’ automation and AI strategies. Today, chatbots in banking are being used by Wells Fargo, Capital One Bank of America, HDFC Bank, HSBC, CBA, and many other leading global banks. The contribution of these chatbots is noteworthy. Consider this: Bank of America’s chatbot Erica has served over 35 million customers, and HDFC’s EVA engages in over 20,000 conversations every day. The overall impact and growing importance of intelligent chatbots can be understood if we look at the report from Gartner, which suggests that by 2020, customers will prefer to resolve 85% of their problems with an enterprise without interacting with support staff.
AI-enabled chatbots not only help to speed up the process of managing customer queries but also enable banks to meet the compliance requirement around customer onboarding. For example, to meet GDPR requirements, banks need to consider why and how they store customer data. In this case, chatbots provide a simple interface for various databases with accurate time and date stamps of customers’ consent being recorded. These systems are faster to search & compute data and remove manual tasks, thus helping to reduce the cost of compliance.
The use of chatbot is not limited to traditional banks. Neobanks such as Revolut and Chime use mobile-based conversational bots. We have seen some interesting use case of AI-powered chatbots by FinTechs that use it to assist customers in peer-to-peer payments, providing personal finance advice and alerting users about bad spending habits (e.g., Olivia.ai), managing customers’ savings by transferring money to the savings account and more such personalized tasks. Now that we have established the benefits and wide adoption of chatbots in financial services, let’s have a look at some leading chatbot solution providers in the market:
Amplify.ai (US; founding year: 2016)
Amplify provides personalized message-based experiences with a host of virtual assistants. The company's clients include Google, Facebook, and Kohler. They have conducted 2 billion+ engagements with over 150 million consumers. Amplify.ai has developed the enterprise-class conversational AI platform which offers persistent, personalized, messaging-based experiences across a large and expanding diversity of conversational surfaces.
Aivo (Spain; founding year: 2012)
Aivo develops artificial intelligence solutions. It is a leader in Latin American virtual assistants and has a presence in 10 countries. Avio handles over 100 million interactions every year, covering English, Spanish, and Portuguese language capabilities. It has won the Best Global Virtual Agent award in 2016 and the Latin American Virtual Agent Product Leadership Award in 2016. Avio offers and automatic customer service solution that uses AI. Aivo’s AgentBot recognizes, interprets, and responds to customer's inquiries through digital channels and allows companies to help their users in real-time. AgentBot has a broad customer base that includes Sony, AIG, Visa, Mastercard, GM, LG, Telefónica, among others.
Boost.ai (Norway; founding year: 2016)
Boost.ai creates and delivers virtual assistants for enterprises. It specializes in developing virtual assistants that can handle an enormous amount of inquiries simultaneously and can operate both internally and externally. Boost.ai offers James, a virtual personal assistant that is fully equipped to address the queries and solve problems for the organization’s customers. The platform currently helps customers in banking, insurance, telecom, public administration, retail, transportation, and HR.
active.ai (Singapore; founding Year: 2016)
Active.ai provides a SaaS platform that uses artificial intelligence technology to improve customer engagement solutions for banks, wealth institutions, and financial companies. It provides a conversation banking platform that uses advanced NLP and machine intelligence to enable customers to have natural dialogues over messaging, voice, or IoT devices. The chatbot can get balances, view transactions, and make payments. With the help of an automation platform, customers can easily communicate with their concerned companies without any hassle. In June 2017, the company was selected Microsoft Accelerator’s flagship forum Think Next 2017. At present, the company is improving product technology and looking for customers and strategic partnerships.
Glia (US; founding year: 2012)
Glia (formerly SaleMove) is a provider of a digital communications platform that simply enables communications between businesses and their customers. Its conversational AI helps the agents & customer support reps to reach customers in real-time using bot-powered logic in the form of suggested responses.
mFino (US; founding year: 2009)
mFino is a mobile financial services platform that enables customers to make remittances, retail purchases, merchant payments, issue digital vouchers, branchless banking, agent banking, bill payments, airtime top-ups, send invoices, payroll management, and more. It provides services to financial institutions, mobile operators, distributors, and retailers.
Chatbots.Studio (Ukraine; founding year: 2016)
Chatbot Studio is a business automation and AI chatbots development startup. It helps banks, insurance, telecoms, retail, and service companies to develop conversational bots that understand the industry and business context.
Labiba (UAE; founding year: 2016)
Labiba is an artificial intelligence & robotic process automation company that specializes in building virtual agents that can emulate human actions in executing business processes and interact with customers. The bot management platform comes with native Arabic language understanding and also includes all the functions needed to create voice & text conversational experiences. Recently, the company was selected by Plug and Play ADGM for the second batch of its FinTech program (2019).
gnani.ai (India; founding year: 2016)
gnani.ai is a B2B FinTech company focused on providing customer experiences using AI-based speech recognition and NLP technologies for multiple languages. It automates voice assistants on a mobile phone and IVR for cost benefits and reducing customer wait times, helps to improve the quality and efficiency of call center agent customer support in multiple channels (Mobile/IVR) by automatic speech analytics-based QA processes, etc.
Phonon (India; founding year: 2006)
Phonon provides telecom software technology for call center and customer service operations. The solutions can easily be integrated with existing insurance infrastructure viz payment systems, customer database, CRM systems, voice bot with speech-to-text, intent & entity recognition, etc.
Interface (India; founding year: 2015)
Interface (formerly known as Payjo) is a banking platform that leverages artificial intelligence. The platform uses speech recognition technology which enables banks to offer IVR services to customers. It can also suggest financial products to users based on their spending patterns. Interface also analyzes the data gathered from all customer touchpoints to predict future customer behavior.
Other well-known conversational AI platforms/solutions include:
Plum (UK; founding year: 2016)
Plum develops personal savings assistant solutions for customers. It is an AI-powered Facebook chatbot that enables users to start saving small amounts of money. The chatbot connects the current account, and Plum’s AI learns user's spending habits, allowing it to deposit small amounts of money into their Plum savings account every few days automatically. The chatbot was developed by ex-TransferWise employees.
Finn (Canada; founding year: 2014)
Finn is a Vancouver-based white-label virtual banking assistant powered by artificial intelligence. The chatbot helps put a personal banker in every customer’s pocket.
Abe AI (US; founding year: 2016)
Abe is a smart financial chatbot that helps people to navigate the challenges of money management. Abe can monitor income, keep track of expenses, and help users to achieve their savings goals. It offers AI-powered money management chatbots and white labeled products for credit unions & banks.
Kasisto (US; founding year: 2013)
Kasisto has developed a smart AI-powered conversational platform that enables companies to engage and transact with their customers via intelligent conversations. The company offers KAI bot, which is a conversational AI platform that powers virtual assistants and smart bots across mobile, messaging, and wearables.