Businesses are increasingly beginning to use chatbots for users seeking customer service. Chatbots use AI in order to help answer users’ questions. Businesses employ chatbots because they lower the cost required for customer service representatives and allow users to get instant feedback. Many financial firms have begun to adopt chatbots, which I believe is an exciting application and presents many interesting questions regarding users’ perceptions and sense of privacy.
78% of retail bank customers seek guidance with their banking; however, only 45% of customers felt like the digital experience that they received met their need (2). Chatbots represent a mechanism to help improve customers’ digital experience and close gaps in consumer knowledge.
All of the major banks have began to release their own chatbots. For example, Bank of America released Erica in order to “to send notifications to customers, provide balance information, suggest how to save money, provide credit report updates, pay bills and help customers with simple transactions (3).”
The rise of automation allows for technology to perform tasks that businesses would employ employees to do. According to PwC, in the early 2030’s, around 38% of jobs in the United States could be automated (5). Interestingly, the likelihood of one’s job getting automated is highly dependent on the level of education that the job requires. For example, for people working in the UK, it’s estimated that 46% of jobs that only require a high school degree will be automated, while jobs that require an undergraduate degree will be replaced by automation by 12%.
These statistics point to the fact that the financial services industry will continue to develop technology, like chatbots, that automate tasks and, ideally, also improve the customer’s experience. Currently, chatbots can function to direct consumers to educational resources and perform simple tasks; however, the chatbots in the financial industry do not have the ability to perform more complex tasks.