NAB launches chatbot to help business customers

NAB has launched what it has described as a “digital virtual banker”: A chatbot designed to aid the bank’s business customers.

The new service is currently being piloted on

The virtual assistant can answer more than 13,000 variations on more than 200 questions relating to business accounts, the bank said.

The service draws on real-life customer enquiries, the bank said. It is currently focused on queries involving business credit and debit cards.

“Our research shows that two thirds of Australian SMEs cite dealing with administrative tasks as taking a lot of effort, and our customers desperately want to spend more time on their business and less time on dealing with admin tasks,” NAB chief operating officer Antony Cahill said in a statement.

“’We’re working hard to make banking an easy and supportive experience for our customers and technology like this helps save business customers critical time. When they have a question about their banking, our virtual banker is there to help solve it 24 hours a day, seven days a week; it’s a simple and seamless on-the-go experience.”

The COO said that the NAB would continue work on the ‘virtual banker’ over coming months, including adding to the knowledge base it can draw on for answers.

The bank didn’t offer details about the technology that drivers the new service, but NAB subsidiary UBank has used IBM’s Watson cognitive computing offering as the basis for a chatbot that can help existing and prospective customers understand its home loan offerings.

UBank’s ‘RobotChat’ service currently uses LivePerson’s cloud-based LiveEngage platform for interacting with customers. UBank recently revealed that it is looking at additional interfaces for the chatbot, including potentially bringing the service to Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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