US brokerage TD Ameritrade is to provide financial market updates, investor education and client account access to retail investors through Facebook Messenger.
While multiple banks have begun providing services across popular messaging platforms, TD Ameritrade’s chat bot for Messenger is augmented by live client service support. Client support specialists can intervene in multiple ways. Or, at any time, clients can proactively connect with a person directly in-app.
“Our goal is to use the power of technology to make finance more personal,” says Vijay Sankaran, chief information officer for TD Ameritrade. “When it comes to something as personal as money, people often have complex questions that only a human can answer. But, they also have lots of questions about simpler things, like where to find an IRA statement or how to reset a password, and AI gives an intelligent assistant that can answer those things anytime, anywhere. This allows our employees to focus on the human element, while our technology can make the simpler things just that - simple.”
The launch is part of the company’s larger conversational commerce strategy, relying on an inhouse AI engine which can be applied to a variety of client interaction points with little additional development, says Sankaran.
Thus, TD Ameritrade’s bot for Messenger is powered by the same underlying engine used for its Amazon Alexa skill, which launched last year.