Belgian bank KBC says it is moving from an omnichannel to digital-first distribution model, putting a new AI-powered customer assistant at the centre of its strategy.
Last year KBC set out a "more of the same, but differently" strategy, but with Covid-19 accelerating the digital trend, it is now shifting up a gear in its move away from in-person banking.
From now on, KBC products, services and commercial processes will be designed with the emphasis on ‘digital first’, with a virtual assistant, called Kate, central to this.
Kate will be rolled out to retail customers in Belgium and the Czech Republic over the next few weeks, answering queries through the KBC app. The bank says, that for customers who opt in, she will also provide proactive, personalised and relevant advice and sales offers.
The assistant will build up new skills and also come to SME and corporate customers, as well as users in other countries, over the coming months.
Johan Thijs, CEO, KBC, says: "Kate is a core element of a disruptive strategy that has an impact on all products and processes, as well as on how we steer our organisation and interact with our customers.
"Ultimately, all product and process development and updates will be driven by Kate. Interaction between the branches, KBC Live (our remote contact centre) and Kate will be maximised to boost the pickup rate of Kate-driven solutions.
"The success rate on both product, service and on individual level is followed-up in order to create the feedback loop and “feed the machine’, which in turn will foster Kate’s growth."