What is Conversational Banking?

Updated: Oct 6


Digital banking has done a great job making banking and financial services accessible to users at their fingertips. However, the shift from offline to online has led to a void of personalisation in their experience.


50% of people want to switch between human and digital channels - Accenture

Though users can almost do everything natively on their mobile app, they need to connect with the bank for queries. Offline banks could help them, but it isn’t convenient for users to drive down to a physical branch to resolve their issues. They want to interact with humans but at the comfort of their digital channels.


What is conversational banking?


It involves using all forms of communications - text messaging, voice and visual engagement tools and mediums - messaging apps, mobile apps, websites etc., to interact with your users. However, you can automate all the repetitive queries using AI and ML to free up human effort for non-standard requests.


Why do you need conversational banking?


Financial institutions can use Bots, IVR’s and Video calls to reduce customer wait time by 92% and increase first call resolution by 80%. At the same time, businesses can save up the cost by 30%.


1) 24*7 Personalised service


Since you are using bots and AI to cater to recurring queries, it helps you resolve customer queries round the clock. Even IVR makes it simpler for you to resolve basic inquiries through automated prompts. Through continuous machine learning, they can be trained to answer questions more effectively over time.


2) Cater to a multilingual audience


For non-native English speakers, English isn’t the most preferred language. They feel more comfortable in their native language like Arabic, Swahili etc.


Implementing conversational banking allows you to give people the ease to switch between languages as they like. Most people prefer reading and communicating in native languages than in English.


3) Omni-channel communication strategy


Conversational banking requires you to be available on every channel that your customer is on. Thus, ultimately increasing the number of touch points that a user has with you, helping you grow brand recall, trust and customer interaction.


4) Helps build trust


You can build trust through effective communication on all of the mediums. Conversational banking allows you to interact with your customers wherever and whenever they want and resolve their issues almost instantly.


Moreover, since it also entails a video call option for users, it reassures them and creates an instant connection.


5) Hybrid experience


There are two extremes of the banking industry; on one end, you have fully self-service banks like Neo banks, while on the other end, you have traditional banks where at every step there is someone to guide you through. Conversational banking is an ideal combination of the two where you have all the ways to execute tasks on your own; however, you have so many ways to reach out to the banks wherever you get stuck.


Step by Step guide to designing a conversational banking experience


Identify your customer journey.


Mapping out customer journeys help you figure out the areas where you can deliver a conversational experience. After identifying all the touch points, your customer goes through, it becomes easier to provide an engaging and consistent conversational experience throughout their journey.


Feed Common queries to AI and trace areas of human assistance


Sit with your customer support team and find out all the frequently asked questions from your customers. Then, train your bots and IVR for the repetitive question that could be asked; it will help you resolve them instantly and boost customer engagement. However, you should leave scope for a human agent to intervene via video calls or text messaging for unusual queries.


Select the right platforms


This is one of the most critical factors to consider while taking a conversational banking approach. You need to view all the touch points for every type of customer and identify platforms. Additionally, you must also consider the channels’ features to carry out the process seamlessly.


Bottom Line

Conversational banking helps you automate customer support and reduce call centre queries using Voice bots.

90% of interactions in banks will be automated by 2022 using chatbots - Juniper

However, as the popularity around conversational banking and using AI and ML to deliver personalised experiences grows, financial institutions must also focus on maintaining customer privacy and safety throughout.


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