Chatbots in banking: a revolution beyond communication with customers


Few solutions in the financial sector arouse as much interest as chatbots. Their applicability when it comes to increasing operating efficiency, improving customer experience and reducing staff costs and management time, positions them as a promising revolution with great benefits, both for banks and customers. But, in reality, what does the use of chatbots mean for financial services? What benefits do they offer and what projects do we work on at GFT using these tools?

Robots equipped with artificial intelligence capable of holding a conversation with a human user. That is the most common definition of a chatbot. However, even though this capability has been used frequently on social networks, its full potential has still not been exploited in the financial services sector. There are very diverse reasons why banks and similar institutions haven’t made a firmer commitment to chatbots. Implementing this type of solution is a real challenge, not only technologically, but also organisationally and strategically, since it will transform relationships with customers and employees.

For the end customer, the primary benefit is an improvement in the experience using financial services. The majority of questions and queries that arise for financial institution users can be answered by chatbots, saving valuable time for both customers and banks. Being able to get an instant answer and at any time of day or night is a major bonus for both sides. Moreover, the possibilities don’t stop at answering questions users may have; instead, tasks such as checking bills, finding out about new promotions and helping make transactions or decisions could all be automated or facilitated, always while using a new, more natural form of interaction.

For the banks, on the other hand, using chatbots provides a real benefit and affects various areas of the business model. One of these is the decrease in incidents relating to customer service. When opening a new channel dedicated to this area, a large number of customer requests will be routed to the bot directly without having to go through a human operator first. This generates significant savings in terms of jobs, time spent and resources necessary to assist customers. In addition, chatbots can handle more monotonous and routine tasks, while staff can free themselves from this type of work to focus on more professionally enriching tasks. Obviously, bots can also be used for the benefit of employees, as a tool to help them work increasingly better and faster.

At the service of cognitive banking

In addition, it is worth considering that a lot of new user data can be gleaned from this exchange between machine and customer, as well as a high number of contacts, which should be collected and used by the bank. Through these conversations, chatbots can obtain key information that will later be used to offer more personalised experiences and guide entities in their hyper-personalised offers and services. In this sense, thanks to cognitive banking – one of the four pillars on which GFT bases its vision of exponential banking – full advantage can be taken of all these new data generated thanks to the use of bots.

On the other hand, it is clear that introducing chatbots will improve the efficiency and productivity of financial institutions. This is not only due to the advantages already outlined, but also due to aspects such as staff training, the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously or the reduction of human errors. In addition, the introduction of bots has great advantages in terms of marketing and branding as well. This generates an image of an innovative and customer-focused company.

At GFT, we’re aware of the importance of these solutions for financial services and are committed to them, investing and carrying out various initiatives. We work with chatbots specifically designed to carry out financial transactions and offer an enhanced customer experience. They are also tested with various providers and platforms. We focus especially on the communications work flow and the customer’s final experience. This philosophy, when it comes to designing bots, means significant costs savings for banks and businesses. For their part, the customers of these institutions get much faster service that answers their questions and resolves their queries, even when these are complicated. This can also be done more quickly thanks to the familiar interface of a messaging app.

An example of one of our projects with this technology is Digital Bank Bot, which lets customers communicate with their bank or ask for information. Users are assisted by a bot to answer some of their questions, although they can always contact a human agent if they like. We’ve also partnered with Hubtype, which has a platform to create and introduce chatbots in all kinds of companies. This Barcelona start-up specialises in improving relationships between users and their brands via this type of technology.

The future of chatbots is definitely as open as it is promising. Voice conversations are one of the new possibilities that seem to be closest, as well broadening offers and improving accuracy and personalisation for users. The potential of chatbots has yet to be defined. Their immediate and real benefits are very clear, but we still need good knowledge and advice to correctly implement these solutions in every company.