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Online & Mobile Banking

RBS to test AI chat bots to deal with customer questions

Friday 7 October 2016 | 11:05 AM CET

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced plans to test out the use of AI chat bots to answer questions from customers.

The bank will use Luvo, as part of its webchat service in December 2016, with around 10 percent of its customers in Scotland. Luvo is built on IBM Watson's cloud-based Conversation service and will be able to answer basic questions such as, "How do I authorise my card to be used overseas?" or "How do I update my home address with the bank?" Still, complex or urgent queries, like a stolen credit card, will be directed to a human to answer. By using the bot, staff are able to concentrate on more complicated issues or questions, according to the bank.

Bots might help companies cut customer service costs by shifting simpler conversations to automated responses; some have gone so far as to suggest that bots are a new class of user interface. For example, Microsoft recently said it now has 45,000 developers using its Microsoft Bot Framework, which allows developers to build bots to interact with customers via SMS, Skype, Slack, Office 365 mail, and more, according to zdnet.com. And in July 2016, Facebook said it had 23,000 developers signed up to build bots for Facebook Messenger, the site continues.

If the trial turns out to be a success, the bank intends to roll out the service to the bank's NatWest customers. The customer pilot follows a two-month trial of the technology earlier in 2016 among 1,200 RBS and NatWest staff, mainly handling queries from small-businesses customers with problems such as lost corporate cards or forgotten pins. 

More: Link
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