4 min read
Conversational Banking: Secret to Winning Financial UX
Conversational banking is gaining momentum: Juniper Research predicts that chatbots will automate 90% of interactions in banks by 2022. Financial institutions started adopting conversational technologies a few years ago, but the pandemic and social distancing propelled the trend. In 2020, U.S. Bank and OCBC BANK launched voice assistants for mobile apps, Natwest bank piloted Google Assistant banking, while Bank of America broke its record for new patents, led by AI and digital banking. To find out more about the growing trend and understand what makes a good conversational banking experience, we spoke to Alex Kreger, founder at UXDA, a financial UX design agency.
State of conversational banking today: the Baltics and the world
Globally there are a growing number of conversational banking vendors and developers worldwide, but only a small number of solutions are exclusively based on this technology. Financial services are afraid to make banking fully conversational. Instead, they integrate it into existing solutions to automate customer support. And yet, some leading banks are actively adopting this technology by providing banking service via voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri. The situation in Latvia and the Baltics, unfortunately, is not so good. The majority of financial companies don’t implement conversational AI technology at all.
Drivers and сhallenges in the global conversational banking
First, it’s global digitalization, banking processes become digital, and conversation is one of the most prospective and convenient ways to interact with users. The second one is increased Fintech competition because to enter the industry, they attract customers via innovative technologies, and conversational AI is one of them. And the third one is big tech with its voice assistants and chatbots that change digital usage patterns creating demand for a new banking channel. The main challenge is to make it easy and usable for the customers. Every innovative technology goes through the technology adoption lifecycle before it becomes mainstream. Therefore, it takes a lot of effort, in the beginning, to convince users that it is safe and worth trying.
Do’s and dont’s in UX of conversational banking projects
Main Do — to provide an easier and natural way to interact with digital services, thus expanding and enriching the user experience. It could be called interface without interface.
Main Don’t — «a picture is worth a thousand words,» and some users may find conversational interactions too slow and not so informative as app dashboards, for example. That’s why I believe the future is in between.
Great examples of conversational banking
As I mentioned previously, the best example is the conversational bank Bella Loves Me that was introduced to the financial world in 2020. A conversational interface aims to take personalization to a brand new level by using AI and concierge services.
What makes an efficient banking chatbot
The only way to evaluate the effectiveness of chatbots is from the feedback of your users. Customer-centered metrics also could be helpful here. How users use them, how much time they spend and how they rate their satisfaction with the product or service.
There is no such thing as a perfect recipe because it depends on the service model, functions, user interaction patterns, business goals, usage context, and overall banking ecosystem. The are many elements that contribute to successful results.
The UXDA is a well-known financial UX design agency that designed over 100 financial products in 32 countries. The company implements different solutions into financial product architecture to ensure the best possible customer experience, and conversational AI is one of them. We have created several fintech solutions that partly use conversational AI. The UXDA team designed the first purely conversational bank, named Bella, backed by LivePerson banking technology.