I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First. ...Full Bio
I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First.
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These upcoming chatbots from banks are about to change the game
Some of the biggest banks of Hong Kong are planning to invest in artificial intelligence by launching smart chatbots, in an attempt to serve tech-savvy customers and save money in the long run.
HSBC Holding, Hang Seng Bank & Standard Chartered are among some of the biggest players who recently announced their chatbots to engage customers.
Chatbots are basically AI entities that make use of natural language processing to answer queries of customers. The lenders are wanting to give their bots a human touch which is why HSBC has named its chatbot Amy, while Hang Seng named its bots HARO & Dori.
The move came as the city's banking regulator, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), launched a number of measures over the past two years to encourage local lenders to develop financial technology. Banks are encouraged to develop innovative products or technology to cut down operating costs and offer better service to customers.
Besides changing customer behaviour, chatbots are also supposed to cut costs while speeding up service. Chatbots will help save global banks more than US$8 billion per year by 2022, according to a report by Juniper Research. The report also estimates a chatbot inquiry will save around four minutes compared with traditional call centres.
With chatbots handling 80 per cent of inquiries, it should be much faster if one customer really needs to reach a human agent, said Paul Sin, consulting partner with Deloitte China and leader of Deloitte's Asia-Pacific blockchain lab.
The corporate banking unit of HSBC, Hong KongĂ?Â˘??s largest bank by assets, launched Amy, the first chatbot of its kind in the city, to answer basic questions such as how to open an account.
"When we take out our smartphone, we spend more time in text messaging through social media more than we use it as a phone. This is why we believe customers would like to use a chatbot," Daniel Chan, head of business banking at HSBC Hong Kong said.
Customers want answers straight away from a chatbot instead of waiting for even 10 second to reach someone in the call centre, he said.
Hang Seng Bank introduced two chatbots, HARO and DORI, to its retail banking customers in early January, promising human-like conversations fuelled by machine learning technologies.
HARO, available online and through the bank's mobile app, will handle general inquiries about the bank's products and services, such as calculating mortgage payments, while DORI is in charge of searching dining discounts and making recommendations based on customer preferences. DORI is embedded in Facebook's instant messaging app, and is said to function similarly to Apple's Siri or Google Assistant.
Standard Charted plans to launch its AI-powered chatbot in the second quarter as it is still waiting for regulatory approval. The chatbot can talk with clients in text messages and process more than 80 per cent of requests. When stuck, it will transfer the inquiry to human agents, according to Zor Gorelov, chief executive and co-founder of Kasisto.
Finding the right personnel who would be able to maintain the chatbot services is a challenging issue.
Sin said that once a new technology gets deployed in production, people are needed to maintain the platform. Relying on a small fintech company is unrealistic and recruiting from the market difficult.
Due to liability issues, banks are taking a cautious approach to their fintech plans. Bank of America, the largest bank in U.S. in terms of assets, is still testing its chatbot Erica, which allows communication via both voice & text.
As per Sin, clients cannot sue a chatbot for errors in investment execution or in transaction.