Russian banks don’t use chatbot capabilities to the full extent – expert
Founder and head of Endurance robots, George Fomichev says that Russian banks that have implemented chatbots do not use their full potential. Digital interlocutors are kind of there, but they are very inconvenient, so customers continue using familiar applications. Unlike Russian financial institutions, US and European banks are investing enormous funds in the new communication channel development.
Messengers’ audience has been actively growing since 2014. Out of 4 billion Internet users, 2.5 billion communicate in social networks, and 3.6 billion – in messengers. And the second number is continuously increasing. In addition, people prefer to have several communication messengers.
According to analyst Daniel Pominov, 50 million people in Russia use messengers. The most popular platforms are WhatsApp, Viber and Skype. Telegram doesn’t have a very big audience yet – only 1.5 million users. However, it is considered the most technologically advanced and has the greatest potential for launching FinTech bots.
How Russian banks use chatbots
Russia has everything necessary for successful virtual interlocutor implementation and establishing an effective customer communication channel. Moreover, chatbots are becoming more functional, they allow you to conduct transactions, store message history, monitor expenses and income, and also act as a financial advisor.
Today, 18% of Russian banks use bots, says Mr. Fomichev. However, they are rather just formal than functional. Virtual interlocutors of financial organizations cannot even answer a simple question whether there’s a bank branch in St. Petersburg. Why? It's simple – they don’t understand natural speech and their functions are very primitive.
Russian banks are cautious of new technologies and are not in a rush to invest in them. But they shouldn’t be. After all, chatbot allows you to establish personalized communication with the client. It stores correspondence, is able to offer services and goods at the right time, does not send out spam, makes interaction with the bank more convenient, and improves service.
In the US and Europe, chatbots have become a trend in many industries, including financial. Plum, Chip and Сleo services connect to the customer transaction database, analyze costs and incomes, and then give advice on how to save up the required sum, where to save money, etc.
American banks also create functional bots. Among them:
- Eno – a bot for customer support, invoice payment and expenses data;
- Letstock – a service that notifies about current stock quotes;
- PollyChat from AJ Bell – a tool for creating financial profiles, gives stock exchange trading recommendations.
All these bots understand natural human speech, that is, they are artificial intelligence based.
Analysts at Gartner say that in three years, 85% of business and customer communication processes will be remote, without any direct interaction. So we can see why US and Europe implement bots so actively. And it's unclear why Russian banks do not. All the more so, since almost all popular messengers have tools for developing convenient and functional fintech-services.