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In recent years, several major banks have launched new virtual banking assistants to help customers manage their online banking transactions and day-to-day requests. Using the power of artificial intelligence (AI), these virtual assistants can help customers save time on basic banking tasks and get the most out of their bank accounts.
More and more people are getting used to using voice-enabled devices like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant to do their daily web searches, manage tasks, get directions, ask questions, or give commands to devices. smart at home. As voice technology becomes more efficient and accurate, it could be easier for many people to complete their banking transactions by simply speaking to a virtual assistant on their phone, instead of entering information manually.
For the same reasons that online banking and mobile banking have become more prevalent, several banks offer a more comprehensive range of virtual assistant features.
Here are some ways virtual banking assistants can improve your banking experience and why you might want to try these new digital assistants.
Streamline daily requests
If you want basic information about your bank account, without having to call customer service or browse the website, these virtual assistants can put the data at your fingertips.
For example, most banking virtual assistants, such as the Chase digital assistant, help you check your account balance, pay bills or transfer money, view your investments and get credit card numbers. routing of your account. They can also help you lock or unlock your credit or debit cards and manage other day-to-day banking tasks from your bank’s mobile app.
Save time typing
Some banking virtual assistants are voice-activated. If you’re tired of fumbling with thumb input and backtracking through incorrect auto-corrections, a virtual assistant can offer a faster, easier way to get questions about your bank account answered.
Some banking virtual assistants offer voice interaction, as well as typing, including:
- Erica, the “virtual financial assistant” of the Bank of America mobile application
- US Bank Smart Assistant, a talking, typing or tapping virtual assistant, available through the bank’s mobile app
These virtual assistants may be better suited to customers who prefer to talk rather than text. If you enjoy using other voice-enabled tools on your phone, you can get the same kind of experience from banking virtual assistants.
Perform simple transactions
Voice-activated virtual banking assistants, like Bank of America’s Erica and US Bank Smart Assistant, can make it easy to quickly transfer money or make payments to businesses, friends or family.
For example, while talking to the US Bank smart assistant, you can issue commands to execute simple transactions. For example, you can say:
- “Transfer money from savings to check.”
- “Send John $50. »
- “Scheduling a $200 bill payment on my auto loan.”
If you want to save time on your day-to-day banking and complete your transactions without navigating multiple menus and screens, virtual banking assistants with voice technology can be a useful tool. Most virtual assistants are only available through the bank’s mobile app, although Eno Assistant for Capital One is also available via SMS or online banking.
Receive notifications about unusual activity
Capital One’s virtual assistant, Eno, provides automated alerts whenever it detects suspicious activity on your account, such as possible fraud, unusually large tips or duplicate charges. Eno also monitors the expiration of free trials and notifies you when they are about to end. it can save you from paying for subscription services you no longer want.
In case you feel overwhelmed by the many emails and notifications coming from the different apps and accounts in your life, a banking virtual assistant can be an extra line of defense to ensure that your bank account is secure and that all activity unusual is valid and verified.
Banking virtual assistants vs chatbots
Voice-activated virtual assistants are the most advanced form of a type of AI customer service technology sometimes referred to as a “chatbot.” According to research by Cornerstone Advisors, by the end of 2020, 13% of banks and credit unions were using chatbot technology for customer service. But there are a few key differences between these two AI technologies.
Chatbots tend to be a simpler form of customer service, like a pop-up screen that can answer questions just by typing and text.
Voice-activated virtual assistants are more advanced than simple chatbots and can handle a more complex range of questions and transactions than simple text requests. Virtual assistants can also handle more specific and personalized requests, such as sending money to friends and family, or quickly extracting data about recent purchases.
Virtual assistants with voice recognition and personalized information — not just simple typing and responses to basic requests — are the next evolution in AI-powered technology for digital banking and customer service.
Get advanced insights
Some virtual banking assistants not only help you transact but also help you track your expenses and show you advanced information about where your money is going. Bank of America’s Erica provides several key insights into your finances, including:
- Weekly spending overview
- Search past transactions
- Tracking recurring costs
- Notifications of changes to your FICO credit score
- Track account balance trends
The US Bank Smart Assistant also offers spending information, which you can access by asking simple questions, such as:
- “How much did I spend on [store name] last month?”
- “How many times have I been to [type of business] last month?”
Banking virtual assistants are starting to include the best of mobile banking and personal finance apps. These assistants can help people access their bank account more easily and manage their money better.
Virtual assistants are part of the future of banking
Banks are investing more in digital technology, and digital banking is becoming the new normal. A recent Ipsos-Forbes Advisor survey found that 76% of Americans have used their bank’s mobile app to perform everyday banking tasks in the past year.
Although banking virtual assistants are still relatively new and not among respondents’ picks for the most useful mobile app features, four of the five most useful tasks can be performed through a bank’s virtual assistant:
- View statements and account balances (most valuable feature for 33% of respondents)
- Transfer funds between accounts (31%)
- Bill payment (28%)
- Peer-to-peer payments (11%)
People clearly want to use their mobile banking apps to transact. As digital customer service technology improves and people become more comfortable using voice-enabled apps such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant in daily life, it is likely that more people will also use banking virtual assistants. In February 2021, Bank of America reports that there are 17 million total users of virtual assistant Erica, a 67% increase since 2019.
Sometimes people don’t know what they want from a new technology until they’ve tried it. Banks are still testing and developing new features for virtual assistants. And AI technology is getting smarter as it learns from more customer data and interactions. Over time, today’s simple virtual assistants may become even more sophisticated tools to help customers manage their money and make more valuable financial decisions.
Banks are striving to be more innovative with digital technology to help their customers succeed financially. The future of banking will likely be shaped by smarter digital tools that deliver personalized financial information and advice. Today’s virtual banking assistants help customers manage basic banking transactions and tasks. Some, like Erica and US Bank Smart Assistant, are starting to take it to the next level, showing customers detailed information about their spending and how their money is working.
Find the best online banks of 2022
The smartest banks seek to build ongoing relationships with their customers, helping them get what they need and want from their money, and building trust and adding value along the way. road. Today’s virtual banking assistants are part of the next evolution of digital banking. Look for other banks to add these tools to their mobile apps as part of the ongoing effort to better understand their customers and help customers understand their money.