Will banking chatbots replace banking apps?

Jul 1, 2020

We look at whether banking chatbots can replace banking apps or whether they are two parts of a single system.



Why do banks need chatbots in a world where banking apps are becoming more and more common? This is a question we hear fairly often in many industries, but it is also a false dichotomy. It assumes an either/or situation where a chatbot and a banking app serve the same function and are not complementing each other.

To understand the role that each plays in the relationship between the bank and its customers we must first take a look at how people are using their mobile devices.

Conversational commerce

The way people communicate with brands has changed significantly over the past few years. The trend started way back in the 2010s when social media became mainstream and users gained the ability to interact with the brand through things like comments, likes, and shares. At first, the interaction was fully public, but slowly direct messages started gaining traction and became an important customer service channel in many industries.

A similar trend also started to emerge in peer-to-peer communications, and apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger rose to prominence. Today messaging apps rank consistently in the top 3 most used apps, across markets and age groups. The preferred messaging app will, of course, vary by region, but they all share very high open rates and are checked multiple times a day.

This new-found addiction to messaging apps has made them a natural tool for people to communicate with companies, for everything from product information to customer service issues, creating what we now call “conversational commerce”

Banks and messaging apps

Banking apps are here to stay, but consumers will gradually expect to be able to perform more and more tasks by simply messaging the bank through their favorite apps. Some banks are already providing customer service and simple services like checking balances and receiving notifications through messaging and the trend is likely to continue.

The trend will result in a significant increase in the volume of messages and to keep up, banks will need to enlist the help of chatbots to automate as much of the task as possible. A simple FAQ-based chatbot would significantly reduce the workload for the human customer support teams, but advanced systems can go much further, creating human-like conversations and being integrated directly into the company’s systems.

A well-designed chatbot will be able to cover a range of functions, from providing information to future customers to helping existing ones operate and solve problems. To learn more about how your company could benefit from this, reach out to us by using the link below.