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Atom Bank to offer artificial intelligence-based customer support

Digital bank is integrating AI into its mobile banking app for customers to access support

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Atom Bank is offering customer support via machine learning software on its mobile app.

The bank, which gained its licence last year, delivers its products and services through an app for mobile devices and desktop computers.

It is integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into its mobile app, which it said will provide near-human customer care.

The machine learning technology from WDS – part of Xerox – will use analytics to capture the context of each customer inquiry and respond appropriately. It will also learn from experience.

“We are setting out to offer a very different banking experience for our customers, using advanced technology to help provide customers with easy and intuitive ways to manage their money,” said Helen Wilson, Atom’s head of customer service.

If the app cannot fix a problem, WDS is also supplying software that will transfer a query to the 24-hour customer support team for resolution.  

Atom’s IT strategy is to use off-the-shelf technology where there is no differentiation, but to invest in areas where it can make itself stand out from other banks.

On example is its focus on customer experience, with its app using the capabilities of the Unity gaming platform and incorporating a 3D interactive experience. 

Earlier this month, Atom acquired Grasp, a company with gaming expertise, to improve its customer interaction.

Grasp already works with brands such as MTV and F1, and Atom acquired it to be able create engaging user interfaces for customers.

Read more about challenger banks

Atom Bank was the brainchild of Anthony Thomson, who in 2009 set up Metro Bank, the first new banking organisation to open in the UK since the end of the 19th century.

Separately, the Royal Bank of Scotland is using an automated financial advice service, dubbed robo-advice, which has enabled it to cut 220 face-to-face adviser roles.

RBS said customers increasingly wanted to bank using digital technology. “As a result, we are scaling back our face-to-face advisers and significantly investing in an online investing platform to help customers with as little as £500 to invest,” it said.

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We can only hope it's better, smarter, faster and more accurate than the astonishingly time-wasting banking (and business) apps in use now. Of course this is the future, but the present is pretty ugly. It needs a much greater sense of human-machine interface. At this point the AI is little better than the script-reading, minimum-wage automatons who confuse every issue now.

Nice to see it all starting, but it has a long, long way to go. 
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