31 May, 2023 / Xode Article

AI and chatbots are more or less expected now in the financial services_

If you go on just about any major website, chances are you’ll encounter a chatbot or some form of AI. Even industries which previously had no seeming need for the feature, such as supermarkets, have been investing in the technology for years now. But why?

Chatbots and AIs

Just so we’re clear, chatbots and AIs aren’t two interchangeable terms. An AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a system or piece of software which mimics human intelligence in order to improve its service continually. This doesn’t mean an AI can leap out of its programming and begin intensive self-learning — rather, it has the ability to analyse very specific data, which it's programmed to deal with, analyse and react to it accordingly. 

Chatbots use AI because of the vast ambiguities of the English language. Not every question is going to be asked in the exact same way, so some sort of intelligence is needed to interpret this human data and deliver an accurate response. The more basic chatbot functions will give a user the option to select from a variety of preplanned customer help pathways, while a more complex tool may allow the user to write whatever they think and then interpret the result. 

However hi-def and risky that sounds, trusting a machine to carry a conversation, it’s more or less impossible to get along without one. Of the 6.6 billion people using smartphones, 73% are now managing their finances through some sort of app. And when you consider the fast growth of tech companies like Mint, the need for automation to keep your legion of customers happy becomes glaringly apparent. 

Why now?

Whilst the first prototypes of chatbots were developed almost 30 years ago, the popularity and growth of the technology has largely come about because of staggering leaps in AI. In June 2020, GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) was released, a deep learning language prediction model that produces incredibly human-like language interactions. Since then, the ability of AI technology to interact with humans, given very little context to play with, has increased dramatically, to the point where an AI could carry on most mundane conversations, emails and even articles.

You’ve probably come into contact with lots of this content before. The blog you’re reading now could even be the product of AI (although it’s not, it’s in fact written by a very clever young author).

What do the bots allow you to do?

If you’re running a start-up, particularly within financial services, your application will have been designed to help customers complete a certain task. The problem with getting people to use your software and stay using it is two-fold; first, they must find it, and second, they must be able to intuitively use it without becoming an angry inferno of impatience. 

Chatbots are being used at scale to provide multiple points of contact between customers across social media channels, such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Skype, which already see high volumes of use. Within the apps themselves, the chatbots lead the journey, creating an interactive point of reference users can refer to when trying to use your meticulously crafted (but yet highly untested) application or website. 

Do chatbots require a lot of maintenance? 

Chatbots are designed as virtual assistants that not only provide real-time dialogue but actually learn as they go — more than can be said for some people! Since they require no human to drive them, their ability to communicate and handle multiple user objections and queries in real-time is vastly greater than a whole fleet of staff. 

Full digital kit-building services like GoHighLevel, which offer a full website, marketing and sales channel system, include chatbot services which you can set up via region to take care of questions, lead users on a prescription journey or even take payments. Managing such software, however, can be a hassle, particularly if you want to build a system into your existing software platform. If your financial service already has a particular preplanned route and you’re considering a way to expand your reach, getting a team to build out an intelligent AI pathway with chatbots is a good idea.

Whatsmore, you can personalise it as much as you want. Like our friendly little helper, Xavier the Xode ChatBOT;


How can I get on board?

If you’re currently fielding all your questions via email or are experiencing low adoption rates, it could be that you’re lacking a chatbot — or, at any rate, a proficient one. 

Just getting any chatbot started by training it on your FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) won’t develop the most intuitive customer journey. That’s why starting with UX (User Experience) is crucial to developing a smart, useful AI chatbot. Your bot should be able to handle conversations with multiple topics and should include security protocols, particularly if you intend to use your bot to handle financial transactions and personal details. Chatbots are at risk of being hacked into and bullied by their nasty and much less user-friendly cousin hacker bots. Maintaining security is deadly serious — but that’s a topic for another blog. 

Getting your first (or a much superior) chatbot

At Xode, creating bespoke, out-of-the-box solutions to technology is kind of our thing. We’ve experience scaling outgrowth products and implementing them with existing features to enhance your application or website. Or, if you’re beginning from the ground up, we’d love to help you with that too. 

If you’d like to learn more, send us a message. We don’t have to get down to business straight away — we’re happy to begin by fielding some of your long-held but never voiced questions about technology. 

Tags: ai, techservices, chatbots, uxdesign, smartdesign, financialapps, financialservices