Meet Erica and Eno, Alexa’s new friends in the market.

Back in 2014 when Amazon Echo launched Alexa, it changed the game of when it comes to virtual personal assistants. It started as just a small reminder app to set your to-do list for the day but lately expanded its application to much more. The “Alexa experience” as what it is termed by some, has has a positive impact on users. The use of such bots or “assistants” account for a two-way conversation between companies and end-users by personalising the experience.

Being Consumer Friendly yet Automated

The proactivity of virtual bots has long lasting positive impact on consumers It makes the services to establish itself as a “human experience” that results in better ratings. Although Siri and Cortana, Alexa’s predecessors were there first and arguably are the ones who set the tone of conversational technology, Alexa’s wide ranging application has made it to stand one step ahead.

The banking industry is the newest in line which has adopted the technology. It is definitely become a reality by now that a service which is consumer friendly services are here to say. It’s quite evident that the market has become competitive. Each day a new key-player is joining the race. Seeing the scenario, there is a definite need for banks to start introducing features and optimising their services in a way that can reduce the gap between them and consumers.

Capital One, the first in line, introduced “Eno”. A smart AI chat bot which allowed user to check their balance, keep a track of their payments and pay bills online. Eno currently holds the position of first smart chat bot introduced by an American Bank in natural language.

Similarly last year, Bank of America introduced “Erica”, a similar tool like Eno by using AI technology. It sends real-time reminders to customers about upcoming bills or answering their bank-related queries, much like a phone operator.

Latest Development

A recent study by Accenture and The Financial Brand indicates that 63% of worldwide customers use messaging apps to interact with service providers. Another survey by International Banker in July 2018 showed that 67% of banks use AI in their backend or frontend. Considering the numbers, it makes perfect sense to employ conversational banking services.

Commenting on the advancements, Gareth Gatson, head of omnichannel banking (US Bank) said, “Voice technology is going to be central to the future of digital interaction. We’ve all become [accustomed] to speaking to our devices for simple things like getting directions to a restaurant or placing a call. Now, voice services such as Amazon Alexa are making it easy to check an account balance, or hear a payment due date. All this without picking up a phone or logging into Internet banking.”

In October 2018, First Hawaiian Bank also made public its plan about introducing a voice capability feature. It will allow its users to perform smaller tasks or get information by interacting with easy chat bot.

Banks have a great opportunity in terms of voice technology. In order to train AI, big chunk of already present data is the key. Banks hold a massive data bank on almost everything considering their operations. It is easy to automate and optimise their processes now.

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