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The Bank of Scotland is piloting a service that will enable customers to have real-time conversations with a software robot via text based messages.
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The pilot will initially be available to 50,000 customers on an iPhone app. It is trained to answer the common questions asked by customers. Being artificial intelligence it will also learn over time and be able to answer more queries. The software was developed in-house using a combination of technology from Lloyds Banking Group, of which Bank of Scotland is part, and third party technology.
Unlike the disappointment experienced by customers when they are cut off from a customer service agent the service will remember where the conversation was interrupted and be able to continue at a later time.
"We are experimenting with how to use artificial intelligence to help our customers find the information in the simplest and most convenient way possible," said Nick Williams, managing director, consumer digital, at Bank of Scotland.
The bank is planning more and this is a first step in using AI and messaging technology, added Williams.
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Banks are increasingly looking to automate customer services to support customers that bank via apps. Artificial intelligence is key to this.
In a recent survey 86% of UK respondents to a global survey of retail banks by consultancy GFT said they valued the role of AI in their digital transformations.
It found that he banks identified virtual customer assistants, or chatbots – which understands natural language – as the most useful AI technology followed by the automation of processes.
The financial services sector in general will see huge cuits in human resources as software robots take over many of their tasks. This goes beyond customer services.
Deutsche Bank s CEO John Cryan is recently told an audience at a conference in Frankfurt that a “big number” of the bank’s staff will lose their jobs as a result of new technology taking over. The bank has around 100,000 employees.
He accused accountants as being like abacuses, saying the bank “won’t need as many people”.
“In our banks, we have people behaving like robots doing mechanical things. Tomorrow, we’re going to have robots behaving like people,” he added