Deccan Chronicle

IVAs can help usher the smartphone generation into the banking world: Haptik CEO

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: November 26, 2019 | Updated on: November 26, 2019

Haptik's Aakrit Vaish answers some key questions on the use of Intelligent Virtual Assistants in the banking sector & the benefits therein.

With Haptik, you can stay in touch with your customers across 40+ channels including Web, Mobile, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

With Haptik, you can stay in touch with your customers across 40+ channels including Web, Mobile, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

Intelligent Virtual Assistance Solutions are everywhere. From the chatbots that conveniently resolve your queries to those messages that inform you about great deals and cashbacks on the gadget you were searching for a while, new-age technologies have made our life easier than ever before. However, if there is one domain that has probably benefited the most out of IVAs, it is the banking sector. Managing millions of queries every day, reaching out to existing and new customers and disseminating information at a huge scale, IVAs have made the impossible possible for global banking.

1.What are the different domains through which Intelligent Virtual Assistance solutions have impacted the way banks conventionally functioned?

Banks need to carry out conversations with millions of consumers, which are either informative in nature or pertain to some sort of query resolution. So, ideally speaking, banks are the perfect sector to implement smart, new-age intelligent assistance solutions that can conduct such a volume of conversations at minimum cost and efforts. Therefore, banks have incorporated IVA solutions in almost every domain, including product discovery & information, application status & KYC, account information, financial advisor, CRM integration, and lead generation. Banks are increasingly investing in AI-powered chatbots as a smarter way to acquire, engage and serve customers.

2.Quantitatively, are there numbers to suggest the benefit derived by banking sector through implementing such solutions?

It is still early days, however, the existing data points show massive savings for banks, both in terms of time and costs. A 2017 report by Juniper Research states that for every query handled by a voice assistant, banks have saved 4 minutes of an agent’s time translating to a cost saving of 0.70 USD per query. More recently, it has been estimated that the operational cost savings from the use of Conversational AI in the banking sector will reach 7.3 billion USD by 2023. This represents a total time saved for banks in 2023 of 862 million hours – equivalent to nearly half a million working years.

3.With the Digital India narrative gaining ground amidst the need to inculcate greater transparency in India’s banking structure, do you think these solutions can play a key role in accelerating such transition and bring in more clarity?

Undoubtedly. Recent crises faced by several prominent Indian banks have reduced an average Indian’s confidence in the Indian banking framework. Considering the same, any effort by both public and private banks in ‘keeping up with the times’ and incorporating solutions that enhance efficiency, result in cost-savings and bring in more transparency as well as credibility in the overall system will be welcomed. At a time when the government is focusing on bringing more and more Indians within the formal banking structure and smartphones penetrating thick and fast across the country, IVA(Intelligent Virtual Assistant) solutions are perfectly suited to handhold this emerging user base into the world of banking.

4.Can these solutions significantly impact the financial inclusion narrative and bring in underserved communities under the formal banking structure?

Definitely. One important factor that needs to be considered when it comes to voice assistants and other IVA solutions is the fact that they can be enabled to process vernacular language conversations. In fact, vernacular language capability building is one of Haptik’s prime areas of focus. Considering a significant portion of the user base that is entering the formal banking system does not speak English as its first language, vernacular enabled conversational assistance is probably the best way to resolve their queries, specifically for a linguistically diverse country such as India. Added to that is the obvious efficiency and scalability such technologies bring into the banking framework.

5.Considering customer engagement has become a major focus point for banks, how do you see IVA solutions helping in this regard?

 The number of conversations managed by an IVA or the consistency of customer experience offered by it cannot be replicated by a human agent. For banks especially, offering a consistent customer experience at scale is a primary concern. If implemented right, it serves a key brand differentiator and also helps them connect with customers better.

IVAs can resolve queries 24x7, thereby ensuring seamless communication with users to ensure no query remains unattended. Implementation of IVAs also ensures that the burden on support is reduced and their expertise can be optimally utilized on challenging/complex queries where their involvement is explicitly required. Another good way to reiterate brand presence and connect with customers is by communicating with them on their most preferred channels. With Haptik, you can stay in touch with your customers across 40+ channels including Web, Mobile, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Our customers can also use pre-built and personalized templates for faster query resolution.

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