Support with chatbots, pay with apps

 

“How can I help you today?” That is how Assisto greets digital-savvy users when they open the banking chatbot on their favourite instant messaging platform. Assisto banking chatbot is a white-label conversational platform for banking developed by Comtrade Digital Services, a leading provider of software solutions and services headquartered in Dublin.

Ever since it was first launched in December 2016, the company implemented Assisto to help numerous banks to attract, retain, and engage more digital customers. Haris Ceco, VP and GM of Fintech at Comtrade Digital Services explains: “Our Assisto conversational platform enables banks to build meaningful relationships with their customers resulting in loyal and happy customers who turn into ambassadors of the bank’s brand.” Conversational banking is a direct response to the market shift driven by the behaviour of millennial generation. The idea of putting a face and personality to a brand is nothing new, but to do this successfully in banking requires a strategic approach and deep understanding of customers.

Like many other chatbots, Assisto can be modified to support specific goals, serving as an always available customer support channel, engagement tool or - as Comtrade calls it – a full banking transaction bot. This means that Assisto offers all the functionalities you would find in an online or mobile bank but through a chat interface. “Chatbots are not a substitution,” explains Ceco. “Rather, they are another option for the user.”

 

 

Opti-channel banking

 

Ceco’s experience supports the idea of an opti-channel approach that aims to find the optimal channel that a customer prefers for a certain activity. While a customer might love the 24/7 customer support within a chatbot, they might still rather scan payment orders within the mobile banking application or read more about a loan on their desktop computer. With a little help of actionable data, banks can now predict the best option for every individual.
Chatbots, however, seem to speak (or text, to be exact) especially well to the hearts of the younger, digitally connected population. “Chatbots are great for referrals and smaller peer-to-peer payments,” concludes Ceco who formed a mixed team of experts within Comtrade that helps navigate banks through the entire Assisto implementation project.

 

Strategic approach to banking chatbots

 

Banks that are thinking about adding a chatbot to their digital branch should take this vibrant solution very seriously. Ceco`s team of consultants briefly shared their approach: “After the analysis, the team organizes a joint workshop with the client to learn as much as we can about their situation. After the presentation of key findings and objectives, we would put together a detailed plan with use cases, etc.” Regardless of whether they are partnering up or taking on the chatbot project on their own, banks must pay special attention to the assessment phase. Looking at a solution from the technological and business aspects can predict or help avoid any potential hurdles in the future.

When carefully planned and well executed, chatbots built on top of legacy systems can be launched in weeks. In Comtrade’s case, the company would usually take over the integration process and help their clients internally prepare for the implementation. “We try to work with, instead of for our clients,” explains Ceco who believes a true digital transformation is much more than introduction of new technologies. “During the process of digital transformation, we link legacy systems and the digital layer of a bank’s infrastructure, using reliable software and agile methodologies. The process is complete once it is integrated at every level of a bank’s organization and, most importantly, people.”

Result? An innovation-ready open API environment, where solutions like chatbots can realize their full potential.

 

About Comtrade Digital Services

 

Comtrade Digital Services is a provider of strategic software engineering services and solutions. Through understanding the new roles in technology-savvy businesses and with over 25 years of hands-on experience on numerous projects, Comtrade Digital Services enables companies across different industries to innovate faster and reinvent their business models digitally by leveraging agile development methodologies, innovative technology, and business acumen. We focus on global delivery and implementation in digital banking, mobility and travel, healthcare, and logistics. Comtrade Digital Services is part of Comtrade Group that employs more than 2,000 engineers and has 16 offices across the globe.

For more information about Comtrade Digital Services, follow @ComtradeDigital

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