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As conversation is a more natural interface than websites, enterprise applications and mobile apps, it is inevitable that dialogue will become the most prominent and effective way of communicating between people and computers. The speed of this transition will undoubtedly be far faster than most people are expecting.


Dialogue is via a Conversational User Interface (CUI), which is already used by over 3bn people via messaging platforms. As the CUI is already so pervasive across the world, it provides the natural habitat for people and Chatbots to co-exist, using text or voice. With real-time language translation and real-time text-to-voice-to-text, the socioeconomic deployment in terms of cost and elapsed-time collapse.

Just as importantly, every workflow inside and outside the organisation is about to change.  

For example, Conversational Commerce.

Conversational Commerce is the term used where the interaction and transaction are conducted through dialogue between a Chatbot and a person. The transactional element includes Conversational Payments.

Tencent, one of the Chatbot tech titans through WeChat, are already processing a US$1m a minute through Chatbot Conversations. As a Chatbot can handle infinite parallel conversations with people, the implication is significant. Each parallel conversation is in context. The conventions of A/B testing for customer journeys as deployed across websites worldwide are soon to become extinct, as a dinosaur from a different age.     

In Financial Services, new brokers have emerged in the form of Chatbots. For example, the USA firm has used conversational workflows to reinvent home insurance ranging from new business to claims. The Conversational Commerce is for both revenue generation and claim payments.

India’s HDFC Life is using a Chatbot to provide transparent and suitable advice for Life Assurance products.


Think about it!


Those firms selling financial products that transcend to use Chatbots could obliviate misselling. Imagine if the USA could have avoided misselling sub-prime mortgages or the UK avoided misselling PPI (Payment Protection Insurance).

There is a concern right now about the UK motor industry potentially misselling financial products for the acquisition of cars. The Bank of England recently estimated that there was £58bn of outstanding car loans as at the end of March 2017. This is almost the same as Credit Card debt, which now stands at £67bn. The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is so concerned about the rising exposure of car loans that it started an investigation in April.

Traditional lenders have about £24bn of car credit on their books. Leaving around £34bn with lenders such as Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes and Renault. This means that banks are doubly exposed: from consumers and their corporate clients from the motor industry. With the German car manufacturers already leading the way for this consumer risk, it does not help matters that the European Union are investigating the allegations of these firms working as a cartel. This is all feeling like Déjà vu, with the European Union being the epicenter of this potential credit volatility.   


The 2008 financial collapse began with salespeople misselling sub-prime mortgages, whilst receiving commission payments. Now we have car salespeople promoting and selling financial products, whilst receiving commission.


Chatbots don’t receive commission. Chatbots can consistently adhere to regulations, policies and practices. Chatbots can provide full transparency.


It is time to stop misselling of financial products. There is an alternative way.       



Comments: (2)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 01 September, 2017, 19:471 like 1 like

Seven years ago, I'd tested the Virtual Agent aka Chatbot called ASK on Yorkshire Building Society's website. I asked if YBS offered Buy-to-Let mortgage product. Its answer was "We regretfully don't offer BTL any more". More at Can Chatbots Replace Humans?. BTLs were under cloud during the GFC for mis-selling and my experience convinces me that chatbots can protect against mis-selling.

However, I'm not sure if that's going to help in popularizing chatbots within banks. I say this on the back of the experience of one of my company's customers who has another technology to prevent mis-selling. While pitching it to banks, we found out that banks follow a "wink and nod" practice w.r.t mis-selling. If you position chatbots as a way of not getting caught while mis-selling, that might work 😉

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 September, 2017, 06:221 like 1 like

Yes, that looks like a strong advantage for a Chatbot. Chatbots will definitely help in selling the right way and conveying the right messages. And if attempts are made to misuse Chatbots, unlike human interactions, it will be much easier to track it down.

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