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First of all, I am very happy and excited to see the encouraging response to the FundsTiger ChatBOT and would like to thank all those early adopters and technology enthusiasts who tried it out, shared their valuable feedback so that we can improve further.
Today in this article, we will delve into why we think a ChatBOTs are a good interface to interact with our customers,why we built it and why do we think it is relevant for customers particularly in Banking and Finance.We also take a broad look at Bots and AI that would impact the Financial world.
A little overview about FundsTiger ChatBOT. It is a specific intent-based BOT. By that I mean that it does not talk to you about anything under the sun, but is rather specific to a niche – Business Loans and Personal Loans that are offered via the FundsTiger Lending Platform for Indian borrowers. It can also provide additional information about FundsTiger’s offerings to users.
It is available to any FB or FB Messenger user, doesn’t require user to have a FundsTiger account as a prerequisite.
Why a ChatBOT in the first place?
FundsTiger launched its ChatBOT in early Jan with the idea of reaching to customers via a “Natural Interface” – conversations on the FaceBook Messenger platform. Chat and Voice are Natural conversational interfaces that all of us are familiar with and more accessible from a HCI (Human Computer Interaction) perspective.
Within Banking and Finance in general, people have moved from Paper and Branch banking to Phone and Internet Banking to Mobile Apps and now we believe that the time is ripe for niche, specific intent-based ChatBOTs to be available as a possible for customers and users in financial services industry. A Natural Interface like conversations offered by ChatBOTs is useful since it is something that people are naturally conversant and comfortable with. The advent of smartphones enable with Google Now, Siri and Cortana have also made people more familiar with Bots and AI, reducing the barriers for trying out services.
In the US, UK many Banks and FinTech companies have been investing in this space. In India as well ,YES Bank and HDFC Bank have also announced ChatBOTs that are available for existing users for only select banking functions.
The recent steps like Demonetization and the push to Cashless Economy in India is going to accelerate this for sure in areas beyond Payments, as that was the most evident use-case. We believe that within Finance industry- the Wealth Advisory business, the Personal Finance business as well as Lending and Financing for sure.
The future of Banking in general would change a lot. Just like Internet Banking has reduced the footfalls to branches, advances in AI would possibly help banks to be doing most of the business in their digital avatars and reduces branch banking to only the absolutely required use cases. ChatBOTs are just the starting point.
In India, this would also help the people who are less-banked or even un-banked by making the financial services like Core Banking transactions, Lending and Loans, Managing FDs and Investments , Customer Support, Insurance etc. easier for people to consume and interact via accessible interfaces provided by ChatBOTs and Voice BOTs, powered by AI that would make the adoption easier as their is no need to understand a new User Interface (UI) or a new Mobile App – all of which have a learning curve and despite the best efforts of the designers, are at times non-intuitive to the user, particularly the new users. A chat interface on the other hand will allow people to switch to different contexts rather in various ways.
Of course, there are other ways in which AI would impact our lives in various ways, combined with IoT, M2M communication and even ways that we have not imagined so far. The most noteworthy in recent times are Google Translate and DeepMind, the tech behind the machine that defeated the world champion in Go is a step in the direction of Artificial General Intelligence. DeepMind is not trained to play a specific game like Chess but can learn other games as well.
I have taken a narrow view in this article, focusing on FinTech and applications – ChatBOTs and AI in Finance. Of course, there are other ways that AI would impact us but that would be the topic for another day.
We @FundsTiger have taken a baby-step in the direction with the FundsTiger ChatBOT available on FB Messenger. The future is going to be very exciting indeed and we look forward to contributing to it!
Would love to hear your views – feel free to reach out to us, and share your insights, feedbacks and suggestions – let us make a nice BOT for all of us!