23 August 2016
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Atom Bank to deploy 'intelligent software' to answer customer queries

15 March 2016  |  8642 views  |  3 Woman leaning on wall using smartphone

Atom Bank is to augment its mobile banking service with machine learning technology from Xerox subsidiary WDS, to provide customers with answers to queries from an AI bot within the app.

Due to launch shortly, the UK challenger bank is integrating the WDS Virtual Agent software tool into its mobile app to give customers the power to self-serve by getting immediate answers directly from the app.

The virtual assistant will learn through analysing customer behaviour, problems and solution success rates, increasing its effectiveness over time says Helen Wilson, Atom’s head of customer service.

“We are setting out to offer a very different banking experience for our customers, using advanced technology to help provide customers with easy and intuitive ways to manage their money," she says. "Ensuring help is always available is vitally important to us and the WDS Virtual Agent is an intelligent way of us helping our customers.”

If the app can’t fix a problem, WDS is also providing Atom with 'Agent IQ' software, which guides the human customer support team with the best questions to ask customers. This software will also learn which agents are getting the best results and feeds that learning through to the rest of the team so customer queries are handled consistently in the best way.

Atom Bank is not alone in the deployment of machine learning tools to improve customer service. Royal Bank of Scotland last week announced that it is exploring the potential of using an AI bot - dubbed Luvo - to answer customer queries following a successful two-month trial of the technology among 1200 staff.

Comments: (3)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 17 March, 2016, 08:54

Hope it works better than the bot encountered by Stanley Bing on an insurance company website

If We Teach Machines To Think, Will They Be as Stupid as People?

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 19 April, 2016, 16:40

In the words of Sergeant Wilson from Dad's Army, "Do you think that's Wise?". For a new bank intent on earning affection from UK consumers with relatively low pain threshold, I worry about the virtual assistant learning on the job.

Such bots may need to have some quiet time in the back office learning in parallel while staff handle calls. I expect staff will be at the ready to pick up calls that are not working out before irritation levels set in - but even this process is likely to need tweaking to ensure British-style irritation level is correctly guaged.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 19 April, 2016, 18:30

@CharmaineOak: LOL but very valid point! Was a time when I used to think I was smarter than bots but I still couldn't gauge "British-style irritation level" on numerous occasions. While I can LOL about them now, they were terribly embarrassing at the time!

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