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Embracing the Future of AI-powered Digital Assistants

Over one year into the pandemic, the “new normal” is already here. 

Among the many disruptions, the Covid-19 crisis left our financial lives inexorably altered. Now more than ever, banking is evolving from a physical location-based task to a capability that can be carried out at any time, from anywhere, using digital tools.

As we think about what banking will look like once the pandemic recedes, one key takeaway is that customers aren’t likely to go back to pre-Covid business as usual. Of those who adopted digital banking habits during the pandemic, recent research suggests 87% expect to continue to do so afterwards. 

So where do we go from here? At Kasisto, we believe every crisis presents opportunities. And instead of pulling back during this unprecedented period in our history, we doubled down on our research and development investment to help banks humanize their digital experiences. At Kasisto, we have always had a vision for AI-powered banking interactions that went well beyond what banking customers expected from traditional banking experiences such as the local bank branch. And the pandemic presented us with an opportunity to double down on this vision in a meaningful way. 

Where did we start? We sought to understand what motivates customer behavior and how technology can best meet their evolving digital needs. By analyzing more than 24 million utterances (banking customer questions) within our own data set, we focused on the “power user“ personas and the types of financial conversations they found highly valuable and engaging. We used these personas, in addition to end-user studies, to understand how today’s chatbots were perceived within the banking industry.

Our research revealed that the three key problems that limit adoption and usability of chatbots are:

  • Opaque instead of discoverable: Customers don’t know what they’re capable of, so information effectively flows into a “black box” without context or meaning.
  • Generic instead of personalized: Communication is non-specific, broad and does not factor in personalized financial or behavioral history. 
  • Reactive instead of anticipatory: They depend on customers to report service issues or file a complaint.

It was clear to us that in order to resolve these shortcomings, the next generation of conversational AI assistants needed to address these problems and deliver a previously unimaginable experience for:

  • Optimized Discovery: Proactive features that showcase digital intelligence.
  • Hyper-personalization : Smart interactions based on deep contextual insights.
  • Humanizing Engagement: Natural conversations that exceed expectations with remarkable experiences.

Enter Enlighten by Kasisto, the first truly Intelligent Digital Assistant Solution

The outcome of our research and development effort is the launch of Enlighten, an intelligent digital assistant solution that taps AI, machine learning and data analytics to deliver hyper-personalized, intuitively discoverable, and engaging conversational experiences to banking users.

Enlighten is there for customers all the time – whether they’re actively transacting, seeking answers, idle or even sleeping. It uses AI to study each customer’s situation, contextualizing and personalizing answers that suit an individual customer’s needs, while at the same time being insightful and proactive. 

Instead of static, generic answers to a question, Enlighten offers deep insights into a customer’s personal financial situation, which can include information on their spending habits, savings recommendations, or credit score improvements. It delivers personalized conversation starters based on its knowledge of a customer’s unique situation as well as their behavior patterns. And it offers contextualized and relevant responses, along with tailored next best actions. For example, instead of simply displaying account information, it may ask the customer about recent activity that impacted this outcome.

Enlighten does more by enabling the evolution of AI in banking from “what” to “why” to “how” types of interactions. Despite many years of evolution, today’s chatbots still deliver “what”-oriented responses, which are very service focused, and don’t provide much value to the banking customer. For example, “What was my last payment?”.  

Things get  more interesting when the “why” questions are answered with conversational AI. For example, to address why a customer’s balance is low in a given month, the transaction history could be analyzed to respond by saying “Your balance is low because you overspent on transportation last month,” or “Your rent has increased, and so have your utilities.”

If we take the “why” up a notch, we move to the “how,” tapping analytical capabilities to guide a customer on how they may improve their financial situation. This may include suggestions on how a customer could spend less, or how they could invest more.

Evolving for the Future Means Being Bold

The bank of the future may not always have the luxury to “wow” a customer with a human touch or a state-of-the-art bank branch. They will need to establish their value through different yardsticks, including the speed, analytical depth and advisory capabilities of digital assistants that could be a customer’s first – and perhaps preferred – point of contact.

This is what is exciting about Enlighten. Our Intelligent Digital Assistant remembers everything about a customer’s journey. It can provide insights into their financial well-being that historically would just not even become evident when visiting a local bank branch or talking with a human financial advisor. 

Just imagine, an Intelligent Digital Assistant that actually anticipates one’s needs and assists in solving them. Enlighten is built with this single purpose in mind and will surprise and delight everyone who encounters it.

To learn more about the world of Enlighten, please visit www.kasisto.com/enlighten and be prepared to be, well… enlightened.  

Thank you,
Zor

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