Updated: Jul 6
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the latest and greatest buzzword. It comes on the heels of “omnichannel” and “automation.” But it’s really just another step in the same direction and it isn’t surprising how fast financial institutions are jumping on the bandwagon. As of 2020, around 62 percent of banks and credit unions considered themselves fully integrated or advancing their integration with AI.
With cybercrime a growing concern across the globe, a large part of this implementation is focused on enhancing security. Some credit unions have designed AI systems with learning programs that help improve fraud detection, even if the fraud does not follow previously seen patterns.
But surveillance, protection, and compliance aren’t the only ways AI can help financial institutions succeed. Here are three ways it can help enhance your account holder experience and marketing.
Creating Faster Ways to Connect – Despite Staffing Issues
Chat has been growing ever more popular to communicate with consumers through mobile banking application. Other chat platforms such as social media and online chat plugins have also gained in popularity. But keeping up with incoming messages can be a real problem.
Chatbots have been a key solution to helping resolve this issue. These automated tools help credit unions recognize standard questions and provide the appropriate answers – all without having to engage an employee. While they may generally be “canned” responses, the chatbots really operate as an interactive FAQ page that lets users gain the information they need without having to search and, potentially, lose interest.
Financial institutions, especially those facing staffing problems, can benefit from implementing chatbot tools to help alleviate some of the pressures from a growing number of text-based information seekers. But it is important to remember that chat tools are not one-size-fits-all.
One of the biggest problems some banks and credit unions might face is a chat tool’s inability to recognize unprogrammed questions. This is a serious concern for institutions that differentiate themselves based on service. Fortunately, new solutions like ChatGPT integration or MiniBranch can provide options to address the impersonal feelings chat tools usually offer.
ChatGPT integrations offer AI learning tools that, when presented with the right information, can more accurately recognize new questions, and offer appropriate information such as articles, account holder feedback, and other available resources. For more complex questions, the system can be programmed to forward to an assigned contact person for further assistance.
In a similar vein, MiniBranch is a tool that centralizes chat, video, and other communication tools for viewing by all available customer service representatives. When chat texts come in, they are populated to all logged-in reps who are then able to either craft a custom response or select from a range of canned responses. So, with a single tool, banks and credit unions are able to leverage bot automation/AI along with their real-life staff to make sure every account holder gets the answers they need.
Expand Functionality to Connect & Convert Consumers into Account Holders
Marketing usually requests a call-in or a form to be filled out. But AI can take the call-to-action experience much further than ever before. Credit unions and banks can now convert their landing pages into interactive experiences that are more likely to meet the needs of anyone clicking through.
ChatGPT integration, for instance, can engage with contacts to provide them with appropriate products and services based on previous behavior and preferences. It can also analyze comments for their tone to help understand when to forward messages to real people as soon as it is clear they need to be converted.
But perhaps more importantly is that technology now lets consumers choose how they want to interact. Some AI-based solutions don’t rely only on chat or only on phone calls. Instead, the system’s landing pages offer several communication options including video, phone call, chat, response forms, and more. Landing page options can be set up based on the campaign and it all funnels to the main customer care portal – letting the institution select what gets automated with AI or addressed by a live person.
Bridging Language Barriers
Banks and credit unions in communities with multiple languages are hard-pressed to ensure every person on staff is multi-lingual. Fortunately, AI can be programmed to recognize and respond to email, chat, and online communications in the language they are written. So, current and potential account holders can enjoy a seamless experience in their communication style of choice.
Some systems leverage Google translation technology to provide two-way communication. This way, even if AI automation hands a communication off to a live person, any of the staff members will be able to read and respond to the message. Incoming messages from consumers are displayed in English and responses are typed in English. But the system translates the outgoing message into the correct language.
Using either one of these systems, or both, can greatly improve first impressions, ongoing communications, and conversion rates simply by making sure anyone in the community can be understood and assisted in a timely manner.
A Growing Part of the Future for Credit Unions
AI and automation are not just essential for improving security for financial institutions, they are a growing part of a bank or credit union’s future toolbox. When used appropriately, AI technology is not a replacement for real people. Rather, it enhances the ability of marketing and staff to communicate efficiently and effectively. AI and the systems that help integrate them are fast becoming necessary technology for improving user experience across channels.
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