It is a fact that most of our machine based communication is inside instant messengers. This means if we want to meet the customers where they really are (nearly permanently) then we can't avoid instant messengers.
Forget wallets, standalone banking apps, 3rd party payment apps like PayPal etc. Before we had smartphones we had (and still have) plastic cards - now we have apps and wallets.
The problem shifted from plastic to digital but it has not (yet) been solved.
In the Chinese intranet (well internet) we can observe players like WeChat and their wallets. Hundreds of millions of Chinese users can chat inside WeChat and transfer money by using the WeChat wallet. This is already a step into the future direction. It is
very convenient, fast and cheap to pay or transfer funds by using the wallet.
But we still have to bind a credit / debit card to the WeChat wallet. This means we are still depending on the bank account linked to the wallet.
The IM banking could be a smart solution if there would be one bot for all.
This means if we have a bot per bank / card then we transfer the problem of managing our money from: plastic --> digital wallet --> apps to --> IM bots.
One bot for all would be nice. But in the real life it probably will be one bot per bank.
The IM bots have too many marketing possibilities beside the "simple" banking features as the different banks would give this advantage up by using one bot for all.
The advantages for IM banking are obvious.
- Convenient for the user
- Fast (instant...)
- Very very low cost for the banks
- Simple integration into the banks IT
- Huge customer base nearly 24/7 available to receive the banks messages
- Plus some more if I would think more about it ;-)
I see a bright future for this concept.