A new craze for conversational interfaces has taken off around the globe. It seems like all of a sudden, every business wants to add a “cool factor” to the way they serve customers by making their interfaces talk. Big brands are already taking advantage of the consumers’ love of messaging apps and serving them within those platforms via chatbots.

Want to quickly hail a ride, order pizza, buy new shoes, or make a money transfer? There’s a bot for that! Just search among more than 11000 chatbots that are now available on Facebook Messenger.

This transition to a conversational commerce paradigm is driven by the world’s growing need for instant gratification. Consumers now expect instantaneous response from companies. They want an on-demand service that is contextual, personalized, and highly relevant. Fortunately for businesses, continuous advances in AI, machine learning, and NLP technologies are enabling them to provide exactly that through smart chatbots.

Everything Becomes Conversational, Even Banking

If you want to know whether a trending technology is a passing hype or if there’s something more to it just look at the adoption levels among enterprises, especially in conservative industries such as banking. If the most regulated businesses are investing into becoming “conversational,” it is safe to say that this new type of commerce is here to stay. Let’s take a closer look at how banks are utilizing chatbots.

To remain competitive, banks must innovate digitally and deliver uniquely personalized customer experiences. They’re investing in conversational interfaces because they can be developed and brought to market quickly which is essential for fast ROI.

Chatbots are efficient way for banks to attract and engage with digitally native generations who don’t want to install a new app or search through websites to get the information they need or make purchases.

With chatbots, banks are enabling customers to make transactions or check their balance through their favorite messaging app, be it Kik, Line, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, Slack or Messenger. They’re delighting them with intelligent conversations and moving towards digital banking that is not only transactional but also relationship-based. With voice interfaces provided by Amazon Alexa and Google Home this becomes even easier.

Looking at the current pace of implementation of conversational AI in banks, there’s little doubt that banking will become more natural and more seamlessly integrated into customers’ lives. Leading banks are already using AI chatbots to help customers make payments, answer banking queries, and manage their finances.

What’s in it for Banking Customers?

Modern consumers are definitely hard to impress when it comes to digital products and services. Conversational banking eliminates the need for switching between apps or calling 800 numbers for support, which are both frustrating experiences for the users.

AI-powered chatbots understand the contextual request from a customer and can be “taught” to ask and answer questions in a familiar, conversational language. Conversation with a bank thus becomes a more natural, intuitive experience. Offering a one stop solution for all customer inquiries and transactions in form of a chatbot will deliver customer value both on the sales and the engagement side, helping banks build more meaningful customer relationships.

In a battle to create distinctive customer experiences, banks are competing not just with each other but with new fintech startups that are chipping away at their market share. Although still in its early stages, conversational banking will only become more widespread with time enabling banks to redefine how they deliver and sell their services and helping them stay ahead of the competitive curve.