How Conversational AI is transforming Banking and Insurance

How Conversational AI is transforming Banking and Insurance

Creating accounts, setting up securities, taking out loans or insurance policies – these are processes that every bank or insurance company carries out several times a day. Whereas in the past it was up to the industry-specific customer advisor to complete these kinds of tasks, nowadays direct banks and insurers, or digital offerings established by those are responsible for many completions of contracts. Moreover, FinTechs and InsurTechs are significantly involved in these developments, being either banks or insurers themselves or suppliers of technological products to offer support to meet the digital requirements of customers. In the following article, we will describe how Conversional AI is transforming these processes.

Multi-channel strategy for a better customer experience

Taking out an insurance policy or opening an account in person is a time-consuming process, and opening hours only allow for a visit within a limited period of time. However, customers increasingly expect a quick and convenient solution from home. This may be difficult as bank advisors do not make home visits, especially not outside their working hours or during weekends. It is not only customers increasing desire for convenience that is changing but also the increased financial interest and education. The unlimited availability of information is changing customer behaviour, as they can acquire basic knowledge themselves and expect a new kind of advice: more dynamic, more flexible and, above all, less complicated. 

In addition to the change in users’ behaviours, there are further challenges banks and insurance companies are facing: rising pressure due to increased costs resulting from the high competition and the growing digital affinity of society, which is creating new customer expectations. These are challenges that banks and insurance companies must deal with. 

One solution to this includes multi-channel strategies to reach, acquire, inform and serve customers and prospects in the best possible way. Customers want to contact their bank or insurance company quickly and easily and clarify their concerns. To achieve this, the range of services must be available throughout all-important channels so that the customer has a positive customer experience. Here, Conversational AI plays an essential and central role: with the help of a chatbot, transferred amounts, credit investigation queries, credit card orders, insurance contracts or account balances can be called up easily without having to physically visit a bank or insurance company. The transactions are independent of location and time and can be carried out from all devices.

AI chatbots as an answer to new user behaviour

The change in customer behaviours requires a 24/7 availability of advice and assistance. In this context, chatbots can answer the majority of customer queries at all times and automate certain routine requests, such as the blocking of cards or the provision of a copy of an insurance confirmation. The channel through which the customer contacts the bank or insurance company does not matter as long as the chatbot can access the CRM. For the majority of customers, communication via messenger services has already become part of their daily lives. So why not offer them the same service for their banking transactions? More complex issues are pre-qualified by the chatbot and passed on to the customer service employee if necessary. Due to immediate feedback from the chatbot, the customer feels supported and valued. Therefore, the relationship is strengthened and generates customer loyalty, which is especially important in the very competitive market of banking and insurance. Banking transactions can now also be done at all times via online banking, so why should arising questions only be answered during opening hours? With chatbots, the better the technology, i.e. artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing and deep learning, the more benefits the bank and the customer will have in the end.

The insurance company HDI shows how Conversational AI can be successfully used for the sales process: by interacting with Chatbot Lizzy from the insurer HDI, customers are able to flexibly add additional drivers to their insurance policies for limited periods of time – regardless of working hours or holidays. The chatbot processes the requests fully automatically and the upselling of the driver extension does not tie up any additional sales resources. Within just 3 minutes, the customer can extend his insurance policy in the chat and the insurance company can record a further contract conclusion. 

Flexibility, individuality and self-service. How to keep up with the new players in the banking and insurance sector

Through Conversational AI, banks and insurers can offer customers a highly flexible and customised solution that adapts to different needs, is extensible and offers the company a significant competitive advantage through this customer-centricity. Why is this so important? The changing user behaviour of customers is turning the requirements for banks and insurance companies upside down. FinTechs and InsurTechs are often very quick to adapt due to their agile corporate structure, increasing competitive pressure. However, through the thoughtful use of Conversational Banking, central touchpoints of different customers can be served and different target groups can be addressed. The customer can start the dialogue quickly and easily via his or her preferred channel, and receives individual advice without having to search the entire homepage for the desired information or make an enquiry via mail or phone. The advisor is given additional freedom for more complex queries and regulatory requirements are automatically met. 

For example, the insurance company mailo uses e-bot7’s AI platform to automate customer queries and therefore optimise the user experience. Chatbot MIA is prominently placed on the homepage, welcomes all visitors and lets them choose between different options or concerns. If there is no suitable option for the user available, the bot enables free text input. MIA functions as a helpful digital assistant guiding users to the desired information within only seconds. Therefore, the user can get support without having to pay attention to the working hours. MIA is available 24/7 and does not require any additional internal resources.

Chatbots as personal banking assistants

Payment options have changed due to the availability of electronic banking and many innovations in the B2B and B2C sectors. Remittance slips belong to the past and new forms of payment, such as Apple Pay or PayPal, have become indispensable due to their high user-friendliness and can be optimally supported by chatbots. Voice banking, i.e. transfers managed and assigned by voice, or payment links sent via Messenger – the use of Conversational AI offers customers a new level of flexibility. A digital financial assistant can carry out transfers, request a new credit card and keep an eye on the current account balance. Moreover, the potential is far from exhausted: other countries, such as Sweden or China, are already using messenger services to transfer money for any amount or purpose. For example, the Swedish cashless payment system Swish and the associated payment process “swishen” have already made it into the Swedish dictionary.

Conversational Banking for personalised financial management

Today’s customers are usually very well-informed about their needs for insurance, savings and their personal spending habits. They like to manage their finances themselves and inform themselves extensively with the help of the internet. Here, Conversational Banking can be very helpful to manage personal finances. As a customer, do I know my exact monthly expenses? Does the real estate loan fit into my financial planning? Which insurance fits me? By evaluating databases and parameters such as age, marital status, income, account movements and personal spending behaviour, a chatbot can compile and analyse all relevant information and thus provide qualified advice to the customer – hence, the chatbot works as a personal financial manager. 

The use of fintech chatbots also makes sense for investments: Conversational Bots act similarly to financial advisors. They are able to calculate possible risks thanks to AI and support the creation and management of a portfolio. 

Conclusion

Today’s banking and insurance structure requires more personalised advice for each customer – 24/7 and on all channels – due to rising customer expectations, increasing competition and growing product offerings. Thanks to the use of chatbots and AI, banks and insurance companies can ensure more productive and efficient business activities while covering required security standards, automating processes and offering consumers a unique and innovative customer experience.

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