- Senior Vice President of Commerce for Every Device, Mastercard
31 Jul, 2017 10:29 am
Artificial intelligence-powered bots are taking over frontline financial sector customer experience (FinX) tasks, enabling banks to cut costs, deliver greater brand consistency and sell more services.
service industry enthusiastically adopted app-based phone and Internet banking,
but the current rollout of artificial intelligence-enabled chatbots are set to
reshape the bank-customer interface even more profoundly.
These bots, which
are typically accessed within popular messaging applications such as Facebook
Messenger, are becoming customers' personal financial advisors.
In addition to
providing instant responses to balance queries and fund transfer requests, they
can also convey further information previously only attainable by visiting a
branch, phoning a call centre or logging in online.
This is reducing banks'
costs, enabling them to provide superior customer service and generate detailed
analytics that can be used to better tailor financial services to each
"I see the migration from a standard, stand-alone
transactional banking app, over to something much more conversational, much
more social," said Colin
Payne, Principal & Global Domain Lead, Digital Banking, Capgemini
"This will involve a chatbot within an interface like Facebook
Messenger, or WhatsApp, or wherever someone can have many conversations running
at the same time, but still allow them an interface with their banking."
The trend towards
bots mirrors smartphone users' changing behaviour. Consumers are now spending
more time on apps, but access a smaller variety of apps - a 2016 comScore
report showed 45% of users' time on their phone was devoted to a single app and
73% on their three favourite apps combined.
From early 2016, major messaging services including
Facebook opened up their APIs to external developers allowing them to create
bots within the platforms, while new financial legislation will soon allow
third-parties to access customers' bank infomation - at the customer's request
- to provide services directly to them.
world's fastest payments processing network with operations in more than 210
countries and territories, is one of the financial institutions leading the bot
charge, last year announcing plans to launch a bot platform for its bank
partnered with tech specialists Kasisto to run a six-month pilot of the
chatbot, named Mastercard KAI, which enables consumers to transact, manage
finances and shop via messaging platforms.
Kiki Del Valle Senior Vice President of Commerce for Every Device at Mastercard
“Bots will complement banking apps”
What's the latest on the chatbot pilot?
We ran the pilot
to better understand consumer behaviour and see which services
Mastercard can provide to our banks through this platform.
We learned there were a few areas of critical importance
or relevance for consumers. These include the ability to obtain your account
balance, check your latest transaction history, get financial advice and
receive answers to questions that a customer may have for their bank. All this,
via a two-way conversation in a chatbot environment.
We're here to help banks better manage their cardholders requirements
and provide additional products and services that can bring extra value to the
banks. We have finalized the pilot and at this point we're looking to enhance
some of the internal products and services so that the banks can take advantage
of those within their own chatbot.
What are the customer service benefits of a bot?
The fact that the bot can respond to a customer inquiry
live via a two-way communication, rather than reacting to a set of FAQs that
may be on a bank's website means that we are moving away from a single,
standard way of communicating with everybody as a whole, to one that is more personalized.
There is huge opportunity in having the ability to drive
this personalized experience. The bot is not only conversing with a customer. It
can also sell different products and services. It's also able to change its personality,
the content, the tone of the conversation, just as people do when they are
talking with friends.
How can bots help with fraud prevention?
It's an area a lot of banks are leveraging, the addition
of social indicators within the chatbot to help validate the authenticity of
any given transaction.
Do you expect FinTech bots to largely replace standalone apps?
We know consumers are spending a lot more time on
messaging apps and we've also seen a decline in app downloads. Consumers are
engaging less with individual applications.
They want platforms that are bringing them additional
value. Consumers are spending about 5-6 hours on messaging apps each week. Crucially,
you're not limited to providing customer support in a chatbot. It's another
channel for the merchants or the financial institutions to engage with their
We believe that for a time bots will play a complementary
role to banking apps, mainly because today you still can't provide every
service that you're providing on a mobile banking app in a chatbot.
To what extent is this going to change the distribution of financial services products?
It will change the speed at which we can deliver new
products and services to the consumer, helping expedite a lot of the benefits.
It's also going to help close the gap with the consumer so that you get to this
end state where the bank becomes more of a financial advisor for everything
that the consumer does.
So Mastercard will create a bot that your bank clients will then personalize and deploy?
Yes, it's our traditional business model. We're working to
make sure that we help our banks through this digital journey and that we get
ready to help facilitate the different experiences that they envision for the
Kiki Del Valle is Senior Vice President of Commerce for Every Device at Mastercard. In this role, she leads the execution of Mastercard's digital strategy, managing the company's product strategy and relationships with key digital partners including device manufacturers, digital vendors and telecom operators.
Having joined Mastercard in 2008, Kiki was previously responsible for building its payments strategy with the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter.