Direct Line applies AI to encourage Web transactions

Direct Line applies AI to encourage Web transactions

UK financial services firm Direct Line is to use artifical intelligence technology from Cambridge-based Transversal to provide automatic answers to consumer queries during Internet transactions.

Direct Line, a Royal Bank of Scotland subsidiary with over 10 million policyholders worldwide, is to use Transversal’s Metafaq technology in an effort to reduce the number of online transactions abandoned midway due to customers requiring further information about the insurance and financial services products available on its Website.

Justin Skinner, Direct Line’s online marketing manager, says: "In common with many other businesses, our customers come up with many new questions regarding our products and services as they go through the transaction process. We wanted to encourage customers to complete online transactions by being able to answer their questions at any stage of the buying process."

When a Website visitor asks a question, Metafaq returns appropriate responses from a knowledgebase of previously asked questions. Only questions that cannot be answered are forwarded to support staff. Their responses are then simultaneously e-mailed back and added to the knowledgebase to be used to answer future queries. The more questions that are asked and answered, the better the system becomes at handling queries.

Direct Line intends to apply the system to answer queries covering the gamut of banking and insurance products available across its Web site.

Skinner says that customer queries such as "What difference will moving to a new postcode have on my insurance premium?" or "Can I vary my loan repayments?" can now be answered immediately while online.

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