Over in Hong Kong, some of the biggest names in banking are starting to really make use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of smart chatbots.
This comes in a bid to try and secure some of the tech savvy customers out there and of course to save money over time.
Two of the banks that are doing this as we write are HSBC Holdings and Hang Seng Bank.
Chatbots are just one of the many great technologies to emerge from AI. The way they work is by using natural language processing (NLP) to answer any questions customers may have.
To help give them a more personal touch the banks decided to name them. HSBC’s chatbot is called Amy, while Hang Seng Bank’s virtual assistants are called DORI and HARO.
As well as being there 24/7 to answer customer queries, the chatbots will also help to speed up services, which will save firms a great deal of money in the long run.
“When we take out our smartphone, we spend more time in text messaging through social media than we use it as a phone,” explains Daniel Chan, head of business banking at HSBC Hong Kong. “This is why we believe customers would like to use a chatbot.”
In using an AI chatbot, customers can get answers in a matter of seconds, opposed to having to wait for a real human to answer the phone.
Earlier this year Hang Seng’s DORI and HARO went live.
While DORI’s role involves searching dining discounts and making personalized recommendations to its customers through the likes of Facebook, HARO focuses on its customers’ banking needs and is available both online and through the company’s mobile app.
Standard Chartered bank is also looking to launch its very own AI chatbot later this year but is just awaiting approval at the moment.
While Bank of America is still in the process of testing its AI chatbot, Erica.
The hardest part for most firms is not the integration of AI into their business, but finding the right people to deal with the actual maintenance of it once it’s up and running. “Once new technology is deployed in production, it needs people to maintain the platform.
Relying on a small fintech [company] is not realistic and recruiting from the market is difficult,” said Paul Sin, consulting partner with Deloitte China.