Chatbots in FinTech: Enhancing Customer Experiences


Financial Technology or FinTech is software that enhances customer’s experience with
finance and banking. It is new technology that directly competes with more traditional
finance firms. With more people having access to internet and the growing numbers of
mobile phone use to access the world wide web, FinTech is becoming a more appealing
solution to improve services.

In an article at Forbes, The University of Essex along with their partner from Hood Group
discussed issues from cybersecurity, data analysis methods and artificial intelligence for
automation to the introduction of chatbots to the insurance industry.

Specialists coming from Microsoft, Filament, Profusion, and Site Media all had something to
say about the benefits of adding chatbots to FinTech firms.

What are chatbots?

Chatbots are artificial intelligence software that simulate human conversation with a user
using natural language. These can be through messaging, email, website apps, or even
through telephone calls. Chatbots are typically used as systems for customer support and
service or information acquisition. However, with the growing number of people online,
many chatbots now offer other solutions to their needs. Some are programed to set up
meetings and appointments, make hotel reservations and even book flights.

A great chatbot often has three major characteristics.

 Efficient- chatbots are available 24/7 and they can provide round the clock services
for customers who wish to access them. Chatbots are also efficient at information
delivery. Customers do not need to wait for very long to receive answers about their
queries. On top of that, these apps can also perform mundane tasks without a lot of
effort. A good chatbot would be one that is also integrated with CRM.

 Better Interactions- a chatbot developed with machine learning in mind would be
able to respond to queries better. It is able to understand and seamlessly interpret
languages commonly conversed in and respond accordingly. Whether it is structured
or unstructured, it should be able to process data. It must also be omni-capable.
With its design, the interface should be intuitive to provide smoother interaction
with the bot.

 ChatBot Personality- Often times, this is overlooked but it is one of the subtler
elements that actually make a chatbot great. Giving the bot a personality that
represents the brand would add to a very personal experience for the customer.
When users engage with the chatbot, it should feel like messaging or talking to a
friend over a messaging app.

 

Why should chatbots be integrated in FinTech?


Chatbot applications serve as a tool to streamline the communication between people and
services to enhance customer experience. Implementing chatbots are a cost-effective
solution to giving real time support. Henrik Nordmark, Head of Data Science at Profusion,
predicted that by 2020 over 85% of interactions from financial institutions will be via chat.
These includes short queries to more complicated issues that need intervention.
With the addition of chatbots, Phil Westcott, Managing Director of Filament, believes that
by 2020, all call-centres will have a front-end chatbot to answer around 25% of customer
queries.

This number might not mean much but this allows companies to invest resources in other
areas that could be improved. Often times, these queries remain similar and instead of
investing time addressing the same issues all over again, a chatbot can be programmed to
resolve these queries. Moreover, chatbots are available 24/7. Businesses with chatbots are
always in touch with their customers even if they send a request at the middle of the night.

 

 

Developing Goodchatbots for FinTech


Adding chatbots are an overall good way to keep in touch with customers. Integrating them
into a business website would enhance customer satisfaction as well. Before being able to
use it, chatbots must first be built and developed according to the needs of the businesses.

There are two ways of building a chatbot app. There are hard coded chatbots which are
usually built on a rule-based approach and then there are those that grow with constant
flow of information and using machine learning technology to incorporate information into
their systems. Developers also have the choice to create basic or intelligent chatbots. The
latter has artificial intelligence incorporated into it.

Artificial intelligence gives chatbots a personality that makes interaction a pleasant
experience. On top of that, it enables the bot to do complex tasks and learn to process these
tasks at a faster rate. Language is incorporated into it so that it can learn phrases and
accurately carry out the tasks that the user had asked for the bot to dol.

One of the most important aspects in developing the chatbot is its ability to understand
what the user intends to do. Companies use natural linguistic programing (NLP).

NLP is a program’s ability to understand spoken human language and is a component of AI.
The development of NLP is often a tedious task as it involves complex algorithms that
recognise the complexity of language. Traditionally, programs are only capable of
understanding precise, unambiguous, and highly structured programming language.
Currently, NLP is being developed to better understand the nuances and the dynamics of
authentic human language and it is progressing at a fast rate.

Chatbots use NLP so that when the user inputs a phrase or words either through text or
voice, the bot would be able to respond accordingly. If programming is not an option there
are premade algorithms by other companies online that can be used for free.

 

In the same way, the process of creating a chatbot might sound intimidating to those who
have no background in app development but there are a number of services online that can
be used to create chatbots. These companies even have support for newbies who like to try
out creating their own apps.

Some examples of these companies include:
 Liveperson
 Botique.ai
 Dialogflow
 Amazon lex

Knowing the target audience that the chatbot is intended for is also crucial in the
development of the bot. It is important as it allows developers to program the bot in such a
way that it is responsive to the needs of its target audience. A banking company would want
chatbots that could be able to assist their clients in checking account details and balance
after a verification process, resetting account PINs, or even simply providing information
and answering. Chatbots could answer even the most frequently asked questions that
customers might actually have.

Besides being able to provide services that address customer needs, knowing clients also
contribute to the type of personality the chatbot will be programed with. If the chatbot uses
audio to respond, the personality will also dictate the kind of voice that the bot will be
having. This will also give designers the chance to be creative with the look and feel of the
app.

The design elements of the chatbot are for aesthetic and functional purposes that serve
their target audience. A website meant for young users would often have colorful themes
that complement each other. In similar way, creating the design for the chatbot would
include buttons, smart reply slots, quick reply slots, or persistent menus that are visually in
line with the brand to create a more professional feel across the entire website.

After completing the entire process of development and testing of the chatbot, they can
now be hosted on the company website or other sites that support them. There are many
platforms that can host chatbots. Facebook messenger, Slack, and other social networking
messengers often have support for hosting chatbots.

As a company, it is advisable that chabots are both enabled in both mobile and desktop
versions of the website. It provides more opportunities for customers to engage with the
business even if they are on their mobiles. Adding these chatbots into social networking
platforms that the business uses is also a very good idea. Standalone chatbot apps could
also made available as a mobile counterpart.

 

Final Thoughts


Chatbots are a healthy addition to any business website as it offers a more personalized
experience for each user. While it is another platform that customers can use to interact
with the company, chatbots are definitely effective at making users feel like their issues
matter as these little helpers try their best to meet their needs. Nothing soothes a frazzled
customer’s nerves better than a friendly voice offering the best customer experience.

 

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